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About AirForce99

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  1. I Finally had a 2-hour meeting with my VA Psychologist . I checked the MyHealtheVet Blue Button and I was diagnosed with... 1. Moderate major depression, single episode (SCT 15639000) 2. Panic disorder with agoraphobia (SCT 35607004) I've been recommended to go into a 12-week therapy program which I start soon. I know these issues are due to my service connected lower back issues/pain. But there aren't any notes saying this is a fact. Do I just go to the 12 weeks of therapy and see if it shows up in my notes, and if it does, file for both of the issues above secondary to my lower back pain? And what if they won't write a nexus, would I file anyway and hope the rater sees that my back causes this? At any rate, I'm happy to be getting help and if it's not worth filing I'd rather not waste time. Just not sure if I should wait until after my 12 weeks of therapy so I can see what they say, or I should file now and let the C & P do that work.
  2. MODS: I ACCIDENTALLY POSTED THIS IN "SUCCESS STORIES", CAN YOU MOVE TO CORRECT LOCATION?", THANKS! I had an initial mental exam with a VA provided Psychologist last week. The notes from the MyHealtheVet Blue Button are below. He recommended 12 week exposure therapy and sent me to some other doctors downtown. His "Assessment" was "Panic with agoraphobia" but didn't neccessarily tie to my constant lower back pain back pain to it but kind of did at the same time. Just no formal diagnosis. I know this is due to my back which I am already SC'd for because I'm in constant daily pain and after we talked about it, I realized that's when I went downhill and started having all of these issues was after I was in bed for a week and couldn't move because I threw my back out. Questions: 1. Do I just go through the 12 week therapy and wait for a diagnosis tying the "Panic with agoraphobia" secondary to my service connected lower back pain? 2. His assessment is "Panic with agoraphobia", but I suppose you have to wait for the new doctors to make official diagnosis before filing a claim? VA NOTES ---------------------------------------------------------- CHIEF COMPLAINT: Continued isolation Vet states he basically spends all of his time in his room between his computer and his bed. Reports this has gotten worse over the years. States he's had panic attacks when on planes. Avoids going just about anywhere. He is vigilant. He has anxiety in a wide variety of situations. He appears to meet criteria for Panic with Agoraphobia. Not sure why or how he got this way. Saw dead bodies in intelligence reports while in service. Also, had high pressure security job that dependence on exact attention to detail. Finally, had an instance in which he throughout his back for a week. He couldn't move or engage in self-care for many days. There is at some residual fear that if he goes out, somethings similar will happen again. He knows it's illogical. He's puzzled by it and feels there is something wrong. I provided psychoeducation about anxiety, how it generalizes, how we avoid it, and how avoidance becomes stronger and reinforced. He felt he met agoraphobia diagnostic criteria when I read it to him. Importantly, he's highly motivated to change it. I offered research treatment as a means to address the above. Informed vet they will be motivated to get him scheduled and started. Stated that regularly treatment will contribute to exposure that can help him overcome avoidance behavior. MENTAL STATUS EXAM: Appearance, Grooming, and Hygiene: Appropriate grooming Behavior: Friendly cooperative Psychomotor Activity: Normal Speech: Normal Mood: Blah Thought Content (including SI/HI): Denied SI/HI Hallucinations and/or Delusions: None Thought Processes: Linear, logical Memory and Orientation: Intact Judgment: Fair Insight: Fair Assessment: Panic with agoraphobia Plan: Research treatment with REMOVED NAME
  3. Thank you Seminoles, that means a lot to me.
  4. Thank you for the kind words, those who know you best must love your great attitude. My private doctor suggested all of this, I have no clue, I just started reading about all of this last week. I'm just "following orders" per se and doing what he says. What I mentioned above isn't everything, but a sample.
  5. Just talked to my private doctor today and I have an appointment with a VA mental health doctor next week. But I'm curious. My private doctor feels I have PTSD (And is willing to write a letter) and that the stressor is due to a deployment to the desert for OEF/OIF 10 years ago. My stressor has to do with working 130 days in a row, 12 hours per day without a break and seeing images of dead people/innocent civilians dead in breifings. I worked in intel/comm and was responsible for the every aircraft being able to fly. And of course there is guilt for feeling I contributed to the death of these same people. I have a Commendation Medal proving I was there during this period. I've never been the same since. Insomnia, Panic Attacks, weight gain, flashbacks, high blood pressure, the list goes on. But it's gotten bad over the last 5 years. The problem is, my private doctor thinks it's a combination of the hours on top of seeing the bodies in breifings and the burdon I've put on my self feeling responsible for some of this. But will this qualify as a stressor or will I need to go back 10 years ago and have someone prove these images were shown? How would this work as it would be simply my testimony of what happened and what I experienced. I guess I'm really wondering, if the VA Psychologist sees it as my private doctor sees it and says I have PTSD and it's becuase of the images and stress caused by that specific deployment, is that good enough? I'm not sure this would even qualify for a rating. Regardless, I'm getting help, I just couldn't come up with an answer for this. Thank you so much everyone. The only proof I have are my story/experiences, what I deal with today, my DD214, a Global War on Terrorism Service Award, and my Commendation Medal from the deployment which proves I was there. And during that deployment, my Pay Type code was (Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger and Combat Zone Tax Exclusion). Thanks so much.
  6. Got it, thanks. So basically he would have to say what I've experienced on my deployments are WHY I have PTSD.
  7. Thanks so much, I'm glad to have an appointment with a clinical Psychologist next week. We will see how it goes. IF they diagnose me with PTSD, will that be clear in the notes or will I have to specifically ask the mental health doctor? I'd rather just get the treatment, let them diagnose, and IF I see an official diagnoses in my records in MyHealthVet simply file and let the VA look in those records. I would imagine that is the perfect scenario.
  8. Thanks so much, this helps a lot. So do I just check the "Blue Button" on eBenefits to see what they say about me and once I see an official diagnosis simply file at that point? Or do I wait until I've been seen a lot.
  9. Thanks for the advice everyone, I'm setup through my primary care provider for an appointment with a VA clinical psychologist next week to see what's going on. Will he diagnose me after the first meeting or do I need to go to multiple appointments to see what's going on with me? Just not sure what to look for.
  10. I've been advised by my private doctor and my wife to schedule and appointment with mental health at the VA to determine if I have PTSD. I've always been embarrassed to go get checked out and have this on my record. But at this point I don't care. Long story short. I was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom to the desert in 2009 before I got out of the Air Force. During that deployment I worked 10am-10pm 130 days in a row without a day off. I was responsible for over 3,000 combat sorties and 110,000 passengers/soldiers during that time. This is also noted in my Commendation Medal. I was in intelligence briefings every day and saw dead bodies, carnage, etc that I contributed to. (I was in charge of the communications devices, without me, they couldn't fly and I feel responsible). It's now 7 years later and life isn't good. I rarely sleep, gained tons of weight, and lay in bed half the day for the last 5 years. I'm SC'd for my lower back and blood pressure from my time in. I think I may have PTSD but I don't know. I definitely experience depression, etc. I don't know if my back is causing it, if I don't deal with past issues well, etc. I'm The thing is, I do not want to file a claim before I know what's wrong with me. My VSO is recommending I file before being seen and to just let them do a C&P to determine the problems. Wouldn't it be smarter to just have my local VA doctor refer me for a psychological evaluation and take the tests to see what's really going on whether it's truly PTSD, depression, or whatever? At least then, if something IS wrong with me, it's in my records, documented and a done deal when I DO apply for benefits plus I get help. Please help, what would you do? Thanks
  11. Thanks for the reply! So would it be smarter to have my M.D. write a NEXUS letter letting them know that I have depression and it's because of the back pain? Or would I need to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional, get evaluated and go that route?
  12. I’m 40% service connected for chronic lumbosacral strain. I want to add a “Secondary” claim as I have extreme chronic pain on a daily basis that affects my life big time. My chronic lumbosacral strain CAUSED my chronic pain and I have a doctor that will write “Is due to” for my NEXUS letter. If I understand correctly, they will most likely put this under “9421 Somatic symptom disorder”. A few questions about this... 1. Is my thinking above correct? 2. If my Doctor, a certified MD, writes that I have chronic pain that is DUE TO my service connected chronic lumbosacral strain, is this good enough or should we expand on that and talk about all the ways the pain affects my life like sleep, social life, can't play with kids, etc? 3. Do they rate this under the “General Rating Formula For Mental Disorders” at the 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, 100 rates? Thanks so much!
  13. I'm currently at 40% for my lower back since 2010. But now I have insomnia (Can't fall asleep until 3 or 4am) and my daily chronic pain makes it to where I can't sit or stand long and even though I work at home, it affects my work and stops me from working. And even though I don't want to admit it, it does cause depression at times. My question is, what should I do at this point? I currently work with a VSO locally but I'd like to just submit my claim on eBenefits as a fully developed claim so I can speed the process up. I have a private Doctor that can verify everything I just said and will write a letter creating a Nexus. Any thoughts on the best way to go about this? I've never done a secondary claim before. Thanks so much to everyone here, I really enjoy the forums.

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