(1)Accepted mental disorders resulting in impairment must be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional as provided for in a managed care organization certified under OAR chapter 436, Division 015.
(2)Diagnoses of mental disorders for the purposes of these rules follow the guidelines of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV (1994), published by the American Psychiatric Association. A copy of the standards referenced in this rule is available for review during regular business hours at the Workers’ Compensation Division, 350 Winter Street NE, Salem OR 97301, 503-947-7810.
(3)The physician describes permanent changes in mental function in terms of their affect on the worker’s activities of daily living (ADLs), as defined in OAR 436-035-0005 (Definitions)(1). Additionally, the physician describes the affect on social functioning and deterioration or decompensation in work or work-like settings.
(a)Social functioning refers to an individual’s capacity to interact appropriately, communicate effectively, and get along with other individuals.
(b)Deterioration or decompensation in work or work-like settings refers to repeated failure to adapt to stressful circumstances, which causes the individual either to withdraw from that situation or to experience exacerbations with accompanying difficulty in maintaining ADL, social relationships, concentration, persistence, pace, or adaptive behaviors.
(4)Loss of function attributable to permanent worsening of personality disorders may be stated as impairment only if it interferes with the worker’s long-term ability to adapt to the ordinary activities and stresses of daily living. Personality disorders are rated as two classes with gradations within each class based on severity:
(a)Class 1: minimal (0%), mild (6%), or moderate (11%) when the worker shows little self-understanding or awareness of the mental illness; some problems with judgment; some problems with controlling personal behavior; some ability to avoid serious problems with social and personal relationships; and some ability to avoid self-harm.
(b)Class 2: minimal (20%), mild (29%), or moderate (38%) when the worker shows considerable loss of self control; an inability to learn from experience; and causes harm to the community or to the self.
(5)Loss of function attributable to permanent symptoms of affective disorders, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, and chronic adjustment disorders is rated under the following classes, with gradations within each class based on the severity of the symptoms/loss of function:
(a)Class 1: 0% when one or more of the following residual symptoms are noted:
(A)Anxiety symptoms: Require little or no treatment, are in response to a particular stress situation, produce unpleasant tension while the stress lasts, and might limit some activities.
(B)Depressive symptoms: The ADL can be carried out, but the worker might lack ambition, energy, and enthusiasm. There may be such depression-related, mentally-caused physical problems as mild loss of appetite and a general feeling of being unwell.
(C)Phobic symptoms: Phobias the worker already suffers from may come into play, or new phobias may appear in a mild form.
(D)Psychophysiological symptoms: Are temporary and in reaction to specific stress. Digestive problems are typical. Any treatment is for a short time and is not connected with any ongoing treatment. Any physical pathology is temporary and reversible. Conversion symptoms or hysterical symptoms are brief and do not occur very often. They might include some slight and limited physical problems (such as weakness or hoarseness) that quickly respond to treatment.
(b)Class 2: minimal (6%), mild (23%), or moderate (35%) when one or more of the following residual symptoms/loss of functions are noted:
(A)Anxiety symptoms: May require extended treatment. Specific symptoms may include (but are not limited to) startle reactions, indecision because of fear, fear of being alone, and insomnia. There is no loss of intellect or disturbance in thinking, concentration, or memory.
(B)Depressive symptoms: Last for several weeks. There are disturbances in eating and sleeping patterns, loss of interest in usual activities, and moderate retardation of physical activity. There may be thoughts of suicide. Self-care activities and personal hygiene remain good.
(C)Phobic symptoms: Interfere with normal activities to a mild to moderate degree. Typical reactions include (but are not limited to) a desire to remain at home, a refusal to use elevators, a refusal to go into closed rooms, and an obvious reaction of fear when confronted with a situation that involves a superstition.
(D)Psychophysiological symptoms: Require substantial treatment. Frequent and recurring problems with the organs get in the way of common activities. The problems may include (but are not limited to) diarrhea; chest pains; muscle spasms in the arms, legs, or along the backbone; a feeling of being smothered; and hyperventilation. There is no actual pathology in the organs or tissues. Conversion or hysterical symptoms result in periods of loss of physical function that occur more than twice a year, last for several weeks, and need treatment. Symptoms may include (but are not limited to) temporary hoarseness, temporary blindness, temporary weakness in the arms or the legs. These problems continue to return.
(c)Class 3: Minimal (50%), mild (66%), or moderate (81%) when one or more of the following residual symptoms/loss of functions are noted:
(A)Anxiety symptoms: Fear, tension, and apprehension interfere with work or the ADL. Memory and concentration decrease or become unreliable. Long-lasting periods of anxiety keep returning and interfere with personal relationships. The worker needs constant reassurance and comfort from family, friends, and co-workers.
(B)Depressive symptoms: Include an obvious loss of interest in the usual ADL, including eating and self-care. These problems are long-lasting and result in loss of weight and an unkempt appearance. There may be retardation of physical activity, a preoccupation with suicide, and actual attempts at suicide. The worker may be extremely agitated on a frequent or constant basis.
(C)Phobic symptoms: Existing phobias are intensified. In addition, new phobias develop. This results in bizarre and disruptive behavior. In the most serious cases, the worker may become home-bound, or even room-bound. Persons in this state often carry out strange rituals which require them to be isolated or protected.
(D)Psychophysiological symptoms: Include tissue changes in one or more body systems or organs. These may not be reversible. Typical reactions include (but are not limited to) changes in the wall of the intestine that results in constant digestive and elimination problems. Conversion or hysterical symptoms include loss of physical function that occurs often and lasts for weeks or longer. Evidence of physical change follows such events. A symptomatic period (18 months or more) is associated with advanced negative changes in the tissues and organs. These include (but are not limited to) atrophy of muscles in the legs and arms. A common symptom is general flabbiness.
(6)Psychotic disorders are rated based on perception, thinking process, social behavior, and emotional control. Variations in these aspects of mental function are rated under the following classifications with gradations within each class based on severity:
(a)Class 1: minimal (0%), mild (6%), or moderate (11%) when one or more of the following is established:
(A)Perception: The worker misinterprets conversations or events. It is common for persons with this problem to think others are talking about them or laughing at them.
(B)Thinking process: The worker is absent-minded, forgetful, daydreams too much, thinks slowly, has unusual thoughts that recur, or suffers from an obsession. The worker is aware of these problems and may also show mild problems with judgment. It is also possible that the worker may have little self-understanding or understanding of the problem.
(C)Social behavior: Small problems appear in general behavior, but do not get in the way of social or living activities. Others are not disturbed by them. The worker may be over-reactive or depressed or may neglect self-care and personal hygiene.
(D)Emotional control: The worker may be depressed and have little interest in work or life. The worker may have an extreme feeling of well-being without reason. Controlled and productive activities are possible, but the worker is likely to be irritable and unpredictable.
(b)Class 2: minimal (20%), mild (29%), or moderate (38%) when one or more of the following is established:
(A)Perception: Workers in this state have fairly serious problems in understanding their personal surroundings. They cannot be counted on to understand the difference between daydreams, imagination, and reality. They may have fantasies involving money or power, but they recognize them as fantasies. Because persons in this state are likely to be overly excited or suffering from paranoia, they are also likely to be domineering, peremptory, irritable, or suspicious.
(B)Thinking process: The thinking process is so disturbed that persons in this state might not realize they are having mental problems. The problems might include (but are not limited to) obsessions, blocking, memory loss serious enough to affect work and personal life, confusion, powerful daydreams or long periods of being deeply lost in thought to no set purpose.
(C)Social behavior: Persons in this state can control their social behavior if they are asked to do so. However, if left on their own, their behavior is so bizarre that others may be concerned. Such behavior might include (but is not limited to) over-activity, disarranged clothing, and talk or gestures which neither make sense nor fit the situation.
(D)Emotional control: Persons in this state suffer a serious loss of control over their emotions. They may become extremely angry for little or no reason, they may cry easily, or they may have an extreme feeling of well-being, causing them to talk too much and to little purpose. These behaviors interfere with living and work and cause concern in others.
(c)Class 3: minimal (50%), mild (63%), or moderate (75%) when one or more of the following is established:
(A)Perception: Workers in this state suffer from frequent illusions and hallucinations. Following the demands of these illusions and hallucinations leads to bizarre and disruptive behavior.
(B)Thinking process: Workers in this state suffer from disturbances in thought that are obvious even to a casual observer. These include an inability to communicate clearly because of slurred speech, rambling speech, primitive language, and an absence of the ability to understand the self or the nature of the problem. Such workers also show poor judgment and openly talk about delusions without recognizing them as such.
(C)Social behavior: Persons in this state are a nuisance or a danger to others. Actions might include interfering with work and other activities, shouting, sudden inappropriate bursts of profanity, carelessness about excretory functions, threatening others, and endangering others.
(D)Emotional control: Workers in this state cannot control their personal behavior. They might be very irritable and overactive or so depressed they become suicidal.
(d)Class 4: 90% for workers who usually need to be placed in a hospital or institution. Medication may help them to a certain extent and the following is established:
(A)Perception: Workers become so obsessed with hallucinations, illusions, and delusions that normal self-care is not possible. Bursts of violence may occur.
(B)Thinking process: Communication is either very difficult or impossible. The worker is responding almost entirely to delusions, illusions, and hallucinations. Evidence of disturbed mental processes may include (but are not limited to) severe confusion, incoherence, irrelevance, refusal to speak, the creation of new words or using existing words in a new manner.
(C)Social behavior: The worker’s personal behavior endangers both the worker and others. Poor perceptions, confused thinking, lack of emotional control, and obsessive reaction to hallucinations, illusions, and delusions produce behavior that can result in the worker being inaccessible, suicidal, openly aggressive and assaultive, or even homicidal.
(D)Emotional control: The worker may have either a severe emotional disturbance in which the worker is delirious and uncontrolled or extreme depression in which the worker is silent, hostile, and self-destructive. In either case, lack of control over anger and rage might result in homicidal behavior.
Rule 436-035-0400 — Mental Illness,