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Mark D Worthen PsyD

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Mark D Worthen PsyD last won the day on April 3 2019

Mark D Worthen PsyD had the most liked content!

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About Mark D Worthen PsyD

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  • Military Rank
  • Location
    Park City, Utah
  • Interests
    Improving the reliability and validity of C&P exams for PTSD and other mental disorders.

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  1. It is definitely confusing! I suggest that in almost all instances you communicate via U.S. Postal Service mail, sending all correspondence via Certified Mail, Return Receipt requested: Certified Mail - Prove you sent it. See when it was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made, and get the signature of the person who accepts the mailing when combined with Return Receipt. $3.55 Return Receipt - Get an electronic or hardcopy delivery record showing the recipient’s signature. $2.85 for mail receipt. $1.70 for email receipt. Detailed info on this USPS web page - Insuranc
  2. Information from a non-VA clinician (physician, psychologist, audiologist, etc.) supporting a veteran's disability claim can be divided into two types: (1) A report of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, progress notes, etc. from a treating clinician, without an opinion regarding causation (nexus). For PTSD and other mental disorder claims, which is what I know best, medical records from treating clinicians are very important. VBA—and a VA examiner—should have access to your VHA (Veterans Health Administration) medical records. They should also have access to your STRs (service treatmen
  3. Were you diagnosed with a thyroid condition in service? If not, did you display hypothyroidism symptoms during your military service, in addition to the weight issue? If you have all your military medical records ("STRs" or service treatment records), ask a Registered Nurse, physician, or other knowledgeable medical professional to review your labs for any indicators of hypothyroidism (or any thyroid problem). I am not a physician. These are simply ideas based on my knowledge of the VA disability program in general. Both of my brothers have hypothyroidism so I know it's no fu
  4. That looks like very sound advice, dajoker12. I have not yet seen scientific evidence that PTSD causes obstructive sleep apnea (I have read all the articles you posted), but: (1) scientific evidence and legal evidence are not the same; and (2) it could be that there is such a causal relationship but research has simply not identified it yet. There is also the question of aggravation, as you (dajoker12) discuss in your post. I think aggravation is more likely than causation. There has not been much research on the aggravation question, but a sleep medicine physician might (
  5. Just to make sure I understand correctly, you are currently receiving disability compensation for PTSD at the 70% level. Is that correct? If so, I am wondering if the letter asking you for more details on your stressors might be a mistake. Verifying stressors is something that happens before a veteran is service connected for PTSD. Once you are service connected why would they go back to the service connection question? It's like them saying, "You are service connected for PTSD, so we want to confirm that you have PTSD." As Spock would say, "that does not compute."
  6. People that exploit veterans directly or indirectly deserve harsh punishment. Theresa - I love what you told the reporter: “Your service to your country shouldn’t be shilled by some carnival barker on the corner.” Amen. ~ Mark P.S. I used to do a lot of forensic psych evaluations in North Carolina (criminal cases) so I'm pretty familiar with the judicial system there and how to obtain (publicly-available) information. The perp in this case, Daniel D. James was on the docket for 1 Apr 2019 as the article indicated. For these initial arraignment hearings there usually isn't
  7. Congratulations SwiftSig! I admire your hard work, willingness to ask for help (which takes guts in my book), and discipline to do your part, like organizing everything per your service officer's suggestion. Not an easy task when you are, after all, having to cope with several disabilities and the added stress of the arduous claims process. And it is heartening to hear that 83% of the VA examiners you saw did their homework and treated you with the respect you deserve. Of course, 83% means there's room for improvement, but really that's not too bad for a huge bureaucracy like the VA, and
  8. This isn't a crucial point as I'm sure Dr. Valette is up to date on VBA regulations and policies. But just as an FYI for everyone, see this part of the M21-1: M21-1 Adjudicative Procedures Manual, III.iv.3.D.2.c. Telehealth and Telemental Health Examinations ... A mental health DBQ submitted by a private provider and based on a telephone interview with a Veteran is not acceptable or actionable for rating purposes under any circumstances. VHA has determined that, in order to assess a Veteran’s mental health via telemental protocol, examiners must be able to see clearly, and fully apprec
  9. Bluebonnie - I feel sad and angry (toward VA) reading your denial letter. You have serious, painful psychological disorders caused by sexual assault which occurred when you were serving our country. A VA psychologist even said so! But because your painful, debilitating symptom do not match with the precise diagnostic criteria for the one-and-only diagnosis that counts, oh gosh sorry you're horrific experience and resulting years and years of suffering don't count. The problem here is not the VA examiner, or the VBA rater, or any of the front-line VA staff who work in the disability claims
  10. Excellent points broncovet & JKWilliamsSr. I've studied mental health C&P exam issues intensively for 8 years, and I continue to learn important details by reading this forum. Y'all are awesome.
  11. Mark D Worthen. I had a question concerning the new Ketamine drug Johnson and Johnson is coming out with. If you can find the time please email me @ Haasume@yahoo.com.  I don't know how to work private chat "if there even is one" .   Thank You.  J

  12. Have you had your C&P exam for PTSD yet? Folks with ADHD, which is a disorder with an onset during childhood (although it can continue into adulthood), are probably more likely to develop PTSD. I can certainly see PTSD aggravating pre-existing ADHD beyond its normal course and progression. From a VA disability benefits perspective, this is the most important relationship between the disorders. If an examiner concludes, and VBA agrees, that PTSD exacerbated your ADHD, and that this exacerbation (aggravation) led to even more social & occupational impairment than the PTSD alo
  13. In addition to the excellent advice you've received from your fellow vets, I'll briefly share from an examiner's perspective. I learned from my friends who are veterans and from the many veterans I evaluated over the years that the "rules of the game" change dramatically when services members leave the military and enter the world of being a veteran. In the military, seeing the doc for anything that's serious or chronic will likely hurt your career and you'll go from "Awesome member of the team" to "Potential liability". Then, when you enter the world of being a veteran all of
  14. As a C&P examiner, I took letters from spouses seriously. And, if a vet was accompanied by his or her spouse and asked me to speak with him or her, I would always do so as it often helped me to better understand the frequency, intensity, and duration of mental disorder symptoms and associated functional impairment. Unfortunately, VA does not require examiners to interview family members, and there are not any specific requirements for examiners about how to regard letters from family members. Nonetheless, letters from "lay witnesses" could help, even help a lot, and they're unl
  15. My guess would be that yours is not a difficult claim to adjudicate so they were able to get it (almost) finished faster than expected. Based on the info you shared, there's no way they'll reduce your rating. Regarding the term "moderate to severe", it's important to put it in perspective. 90% to 95% of the country is not suffering from two serious debilitating mental disorders at the same time. Here's Dr. Mark's off-the-cuff, unscientific, for-illustrative-purposes only, 11-point "severity scale" that I just typed out as a "thought experiment" to give you a sense of where "moderate
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