United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
LANNY KING, Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of an administrative decision of the Commissioner of Social Security, who denied her application for disability benefits. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned Magistrate Judge to determine this case, with any appeal lying before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The fact and law summaries of Plaintiff and Defendant are at DN 13 and 14, and this matter is ripe for determination.
Because Plaintiff's contention that he suffers from a mental impairment satisfying Listing § 12.04 fails to meet the duration requirement and because his own description of his limitations is compatible with performance of some jobs in the national economy, the Court will AFFIRM the Commissioner's final decision.
Background facts and chronology
Plaintiff was born in 1969. He acknowledged many years of daily marijuana use and frequent abuse of amphetamine, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, and mushrooms "starting at about 1986 and with ebbs and flows all the way up until, I would say, the beginning of last year [i.e., 2012]." Administrative Record (AR), p. 14.
Despite this drug abuse, Plaintiff maintained gainful employment from 1994 through 2006, as a production manager and from 2006 through June, 2012, as a massage therapist. AR, p. 87.
In May, 2012, while living in Fayette County, Kentucky, and, at that time, "using no drugs or alcohol and  no prescription medications" other than high blood pressure pills, Plaintiff experienced the onset of what would become a complete psychotic break with reality. AR, pp. 289-90. His thoughts began to race, he became obsessed with "religious coincidences, " he was unable to sleep, and eventually succumbed to visual hallucinations. Id.
In June, at the urging of friends, he was psychiatrically hospitalized, prescribed Depakote, and released. However, soon after release, he stopped taking the Depakote because he became convinced that "God was going to help me with that." Id.
By late June, he was experiencing strong delusions to the effect that God was instructing him to kill certain individuals (which thankfully did not occur) and that his dog was "an agent of the beast." Id . After posting some bizarre Facebook messages, concerned friends arrived at his residence and discovered that he had stabbed his dog to death. Id.
In July, Plaintiff was confined to the Fayette County mental health unit on charges of animal cruelty and terroristic threatening. Id . In November, he was released on condition that he faithfully take Lamictal as prescribed for his mental condition. Id . He also takes Hydroxyzine as needed as a sleep aid.
Shortly after release, he moved to Paducah, Kentucky, and at the time of the administrative hearing, lived with his mother. He testified that he has not taken any illegal drug since release. AR, p. 51. He participates in biweekly counseling at Four Rivers Behavioral Health.
He filed for disability, with an alleged onset of disability date of July 1, 2012. He alleges no physical limitation but claims that his mental impairment (bipolar disorder) meets or equals the requirements of § 12.04 of Appendix 1 of the regulations, the so-called Listing of medical impairments.
To be disabling, a physical or mental impairment must satisfy the so-called duration requirement, i.e., it must have "lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of ...