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lugnut

What Do Gaf Numbers Mean?

12 posts in this topic

Can someone tell me what the GAF numbers mean? I have the following diagnosis:

Axis I= MDD, recurrent

Panic disorder

AxisII= Defered

Axis III= Chronic back pain

cervical DDD

Lumber DDD

Neck Pain

COPD

HTN

Tinnitus

Hyperlipidemia

Axis IV= Ineffective coping skils

History of Relational problems

Limited social skills

Axis V= GAF+60

I know all that is listed in Axis III, but not the rest. All help will be appreciated. I have just recently filed claim for my back, tinnitus, neck, and depression.

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You have to look at the GAF in context of overall picture of emotional/mental functioning. A GAF of 60 usually means a moderate level of functioning. That means a rating of about 30% if it is for SC condition. This is not hard and fast rule. If you have severe panic or major depression a GAF of 60 is not appropriate. If you don't leave the house due to panic disorder then your GAF is way out of line. Do you have a private shrink. I trust the VA not at all.

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GAF is short for Global Assessment Function. Its pretty much an opinion of how you fit into your world and can you function but it is an opinion.

To the VA 60+ is not going to do much as far as a rating maybe 0% to 30%.

We would have a better idea if you would tell us how you are doing. Can you work? Can you hold a job if you do work? How do you get along with friends and families?

What do you think should be your rating?

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On second though anyone with panic disorder and a 60+ GAF is not being honest with their Doc or the Doc who did the Assessment is full of beans.

I think that you got a bad C&P

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One bad panic attack and you know the meaning of fear and disability. When they hit you out of the blue more than once a day you probably should be 100%. It puts you in a permanent crouch waiting for the next attack.

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GAF is short for Global Assessment Function. Its pretty much an opinion of how you fit into your world and can you function but it is an opinion.

To the VA 60+ is not going to do much as far as a rating maybe 0% to 30%.

We would have a better idea if you would tell us how you are doing. Can you work? Can you hold a job if you do work? How do you get along with friends and families?

What do you think should be your rating?

Thanks Pete, I am now retired, in part because I was in a school setting, and ocassionally a student would push my bottons and I might just fly into a rage and be out of control. Came close to some real trouble. It happens at others times/places also. I had a head injury in Army in '66--trying to get SC for residuals. The only thing in SMR is where they sewed my chin up. That Doc was pissed he had to get up and fix me in the middle of the night. Didn't ask if I was ok, just take these APC's, gave me a shot, and told me to go toback to barracks. Later, I was dizzy & nausious, etc. but never went back to Dr. I know now that I had a concussion but then I would never conplain. Didn't know any better. I pretty much stay to myself now, avoid people, stores, etc. VA phyc rated me 60, then later 57 and I had no idea what that meant. The c&p exam said " no diagnosis for TBI" and denied all. I have filed a NOD. Any help is appreciated.

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Jeez, that sounds like me. If you have Major Depressive Disorder you certainly much presist with evaluation. Don't give up.

I struggled with MDD for too long without help.

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If you have documented residuals of the TBI-that raise to a ratable level-you might have to obtain a buudy statement to prove it occurred.

"The only thing in SMR is where they sewed my chin up"

The scar might be ratable. That would be a residual but they could say this is from in service event but not TBI.

John is right- the GAF seems too high.

Army 1966---- are you incountry Vietnam vet?

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I borrowed this from elsewhere, Patrick428 is the author of it in full.

carlie

"I will describe many common terms needed to be understood and given examples when warranted.

R/O (Rule Out): Is a term found on either Axis I or II saying that there is not enough evidence to support the diagnosis at this time.

Deferred: Is a way of a clinician saying, "I just met you and I am not sure if you have this or not." Usually found when the patient has first entered the mental health system or has been out of the mental health system for a long period of time.

Secondary: Disorders that have manifested because of the first or primary disorder and also contribute to the severity of the primary disorder.

A full diagnostic example is as follows. There are varieties of how they are written, but this is the universally accepted model:

Axis I: Major depression, recurrent without psychotic features (Primary)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Secondary)

Axis II: Borderline Personality Disorder or None

Axis III: Ulcers and heart problems (usually medical problems that contribute to the mental disorder)

Axis IV: Psychosocial Stressors: Lose of employment and child abuse

Severity: 1 None; 2 Mild; 3 Moderate; 4 Severe; 5 Chronic

Axis V: Current GAF: 50

Highest GAF past year 60

GAF : Is referred to as Global Assessment of Functioning. This is a scale from 1 - 100 suggesting a pattern of behavior at any given movement in time. GAF is a fluid score and is never static (think of your blood pressure when applying GAF). The lower the score more problematic behavior becomes.

91 - 100 Not much happening and you can tolerate most stress very easily. (Blood pressure normal)

81 - 90 Some minor setbacks, maybe late bill that was not paid causing a flurry of minor stress, but is usually resolved. (Blood pressure slight elevated, but returns to normal rapidly)

71 -80 Minor problems within the home (work) and some stress that is enduring, but usually dealt with. They called about the bill that you forgot to pay (Blood pressure slightly elevated).

61 - 70 Minor to moderate problems such as not having the money to pay the bill and you are under pressure by your creditor to pay it. (Blood pressure is elevated and in need of attention).

51 - 60 Your being sued for not paying your bill, and your wife or husband has announced they are tired of living this way. Your kids do not know who you are anymore. (Blood pressure above 140/90 and dual medications are needed).

41 - 50 Wife or husband announces they are leaving and the bill collector has placed a lien on your property. You have called your creditor and your spouse idiots and you say to hell with them. (Blood pressure is severe and strong doses of medication are needed)

31 - 40 You threaten to kill your creditor and your spouse and everyone around you is against you. (Blood pressure is in the stroke range).

21 - 30 You bought a weapon and can of gas and your going to resolve the issue once and for all. It causes you to be either incarcerated or committed. (Blood pressure is causing severe chest pains and your stroking).

11 - 20 The best you can do is verbally babble and drool on yourself. (Blood pressure has caused a stroke).

0 - 10 You are no longer with us as you now live in a parallel universe. (It does not matter now).

It is not my intention to make light of the scale, but I wish to show the reality of the levels.

Axis I. A grouping of mental syndromes from a common etiology or pathology. What is usual found on Axis I disorders are: Mood, Sexual, Psychotic Substance Abuse, Child Disorders (except Mental Retardation), and Organic Syndromes (e.g.,Depression caused by a stroke).

Axis II. Are disorders of the Personality and Mental Retardation. Here Personality Disorders in Cluster A, B, and C are found.

Cluster A. Disorders deemed to be problems associated with peculiar behaviors(Schizoid).

Cluster B. Disorders where the individual violates the right of other people and often has little regard for others (Antisocial).

Cluster C. Disorders where dependency and inability to fit in socially with others is the common theme(Avoidant).

Personality is how one perceives, relates, and thinks about the environment and of oneself.

Personality Disorder is a maladaptive problem with the personality that causes extensive interference and ability to function in society. This is a pervasive pattern of behavior manifesting itself in the early development of an individual and prevents the individual from functioning normally in society.

Illusion: An illusion is a visual perception or misinterpretation of something real.

Hallucination: A hallucination is a false perception of a sensory experience (tactile, visual, auditory, taste, smell, or in body experience).

Delusion: Is a false belief carried to an extreme.

Psychotic. Loss of touch with reality

Depersonalization: Feelings of detachment from others. Feelings like being one's own dream.

Affect: Mood behaviors. Moods can be blunted, flat, inappropriate, labile (frequent mood changes), and restricted.

PTSD: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Can come in forms of mild, moderate, severe, chronic and delayed. May be seen on Axis I written as: PTSD, Chronic and Delayed.

Psychiatrist: Is Medical Doctor who specializes in mental illness and uses medications for its' treatment.

Psychologist: Is a person who performs psychological testing, assessment, and therapy.

M.S.W. Master's in Social Work and usually coordinates community-based programs and also performs therapy. But is restricted to therapy only.

Psychological Battery includes:

Personality Inventory (MMPI, etc)

Intelligence Scale (IQ test Wechsler or Stanford-Binet)

Neurological Tests (Bender-Gestalt, Wechsler Memory Test, etc).

Mood Inventories (Depression Scale; Anxiety Scales)

Trauma Scales (Mississippi, TSI)

Mental Status Examination

History

Mental Status Examinations:

Mini Mental Status exam - 20 minutes

Full Mental Status Examination - 1 hour

Specialized Tests as warranted for the purpose of narrowing the cause of many problems. "

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wow carlie according to that scale I was 11-20 in April 1992 rofl by Jan 2003 I was up to 31-40 so I had really improved but that is where it leveled off I still get 30-40s I had the stroke in April 92 then all the cardiac problems from 94-2002 - present all many of us can hope for a leveling off of the symptoms and just maintain a "I am not going to explode" and stay in our "caves" as long as the phone don't ring and I don't go out the door my life is fine it's all the other BS people seem to think I want to share like their problems not I prefer to spend my time when I can function to helping other vets and doing vet advocate work not getting my kids out of trouble they created......Patrick is a great shrink and knows how to say it in plain english so even us grunts understand it

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If you have documented residuals of the TBI-that raise to a ratable level-you might have to obtain a buudy statement to prove it occurred.

"The only thing in SMR is where they sewed my chin up"

The scar might be ratable. That would be a residual but they could say this is from in service event but not TBI.

John is right- the GAF seems too high.

Army 1966---- are you incountry Vietnam vet?

I may be able to get a Buddy letter. No, I'm not a Vietnam vet, just Era. Germany on the Border, 14th Cavalry.

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