Can you be excused from jury duty due to anxiety?

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This blog answers: Can you be excused from jury duty due to anxiety? What are the additional reasons for not being able to complete your jury services with an anxiety disorder? What are the tips to manage anxiety at jury duty if individuals weren’t excused? What is Anxiety? What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety?  What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Can you be excused from jury duty due to anxiety?

Individuals with anxiety can be excused from jury duty provided they have a certificate stating their diagnosis given by a respective mental health practitioner. 

That being said individuals who do have a proper recorded diagnosis can contact the jury services and communicate their condition and situation to them as anxiety is considered as a disability as well as a legitimate medical condition.

Other reasons for which individuals with anxiety disorder can get an excuse from jury duty are if they already have a pre-booked travel plan, important medical surgery, a significant exam, or the rigidity of their job. 

In such situations, individuals with an anxiety disorder might be required to provide the jury with a letter stating their reasons for not attending jury duty.

Anxiety disorder is considered a legitimate mental health condition and also a disability in various provinces.

What are the additional reasons for not being able to complete your jury services with an anxiety disorder?

Some additional reasons for not being able to complete the jury services with an anxiety disorder:

  • An Individual with an anxiety disorder will not be qualified for jury service if they are on bail in the Crown Court however, they can do so in the High Court or corona’s court.
  • An individual with an anxiety disorder will also be disqualified for jury duty if they have a criminal record depending on certain terms and conditions.
  • Individuals with an anxiety disorder might be ineligible for jury duty due to the type of work that they are in. For instance, if they are working at and administration of justice, and history of work experience with lay magistrates, solicitors clerks, barristers at law, and solicitors among the many others.

What are the tips to manage anxiety at jury duty if individuals weren’t excused?

Some tips to manage anxiety at jury duty if they weren’t excused are:

Consult a professional

Individuals who have been summoned for jury duty and also experience anxiety can consult their health care professional, particularly their psychologist or therapist to help them calm their nerves before the jury duty or also ask them for an application that can act as evidence for their mental health condition.

Have company

Another way to manage one’s anxiety while going for jury duty is to take along a company with you to the court who can talk on behalf of you if required and inform them about your mental health condition in worst scenarios.

Have a proper meal

One’s eating habits might also contribute to an individual’s anxiety directly or indirectly. When an individual fails to maintain their food timings it might lead to fluctuations in their blood sugar levels.

These fluctuations might make an individual feel jittery which in turn triggers their anxiety.

Hence maintaining a proper schedule and diet is important for various reasons not just for energy but also for maintaining one’s mood.

Individuals must take a good breakfast or a healthy meal before going to court to stay full and avoid feeling jittery.

Have your medication

Individuals who have been experiencing chronic anxiety must be very particular about their medication and their dosage. Before leaving for jury duty individuals must ensure that they have taken their medicines as prescribed by the practitioner.

Though medications are not a one-stop solution for anxiety they can help to calm an individual during jury duty which can help them make it through the situation.

Anxiety weighted blankets

Another possible management technique for anxiety for someone summoned for jury duty is to use anxiety-weighted blankets which are a significant tool for those having the condition. These anxiety blankets help to improve individuals’ sleep allowing them to have a good restful sleep.

Light therapy

Light therapy can be one way of increasing the melatonin production in an individual’s body which in turn helps them to sleep better at night and have a positive mood the following day. An Amber light lamp can aid in reducing the time individuals take to fall asleep and improving their sleep quality.

 What is Anxiety?

Problems and resulting stress are usually accompanied by some common emotions like confusion, feeling at the edge, a sense of helplessness, and recurrent negative thoughts which can collectively be seen as an individual experiencing what’s commonly called  Anxiety. 

Every human has their unique ways of dealing with these difficult situations and the following emotions, some try to adapt to the circumstances and find the best and most comfortable solution while others try to find an escape route for the same, in both cases the main aim is usually to get over the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety.

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:

 

  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Complaints of chest pain
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased heart rate

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy

 

It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.

Medication

Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time

Conclusion

Anxiety disorder is a serious mental health condition that is taken seriously across the world. Individuals who are asked to come for jury duty and are experiencing anxiety can get an excuse from the service by getting a legitimate certificate from their mental health practitioner indicating their diagnosis.

However, individuals with anxiety disorder must take relevant steps to get over their condition to restore their normal functioning and keep up with their responsibilities.

Frequently asked questions: Can you be excused from jury duty due to anxiety disorder?

Can you be excused from jury duty due to anxiety?

There are possibilities of being excused from jury duty because of one’s anxiety concerns if their condition is considered as a disability. However, this does require a certificate from the respective practitioner as a source of evidence.

How can I get excused from jury duty?

Several reasons can be an excuse from jury duty such as:

  • The type of job you do
  • Criminal records in the past
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Recent medical surgeries
  • If you are a full-time caretaker for someone with a disability

Can you get out of jury duty for being out of town?

Individuals can defer their jury service until a comfortable date if they are out of town for reasons such as illness or surgical procedures.

What happens if you ignore jury duty?

If individuals ignore the jury duty, they could face fines or other serious charges unless they give a good reason for not attending it.

Citations

https://optimistminds.com/can-you-be-excused-from-jury-duty-for-anxiety/
https://optimistminds.com/anxiety-is-not-an-excuse/

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