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Ray_USMC_1968

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About Ray_USMC_1968

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  1. Thank you to doc25 for your well-reasoned response. When I filed my NOD, I indicated a reference to being in sound condition upon enlistment; because I was given a misdiagnosed discharge for "Personality Disorder", during the C&P exam, the examiner and I even discussed this topic. I pointed out to her my pre-enlistment physical documents and explained to her why I disputed the PD disagnosis. She is aware of the paperwork; she SHOULD have known the difference when she filed her DBQ. After pursuing this disability claim since July 2016, I can clearly recognize how Veterans get frustrated with "the system." After having 3 separate C&P examinations for the same disability, and not having even one examiner to agree with either of the other two, and none of the 3 to be in agreement with my VHA psychiatrist or Vet Center counselor... The frustration continues to build. For me, the frustration is in not having any one at VBA to speak directly with - in not having a warm set of eyes to point out the apparent discrepancy between the documented reality of STR, and connecting the dots between those records and a DBQ. If the current examiner has only submitted her DBQ without a medical opinion and rationale, she would have submitted the perfect supporting examination for me... When she submitted the opinion and rationale, she chose to use conflicting terminology. Using her terminology, I feel the DRO will be justified in denying my claim. I realize how many other Veterans are in my age group, and I also realize the odds are significantly against me being around another 5 - 7 years while my claim is appealed. This is what makes the frustration level nearly unbearable. Again, I thank everyone who has offered their insight to my posting. Thank you for helping me, and a huge thank you for being here as you continue to help others!!!! Ray
  2. Thank you to Vync and Vetquest for taking your time to reply to my original posting. Some additional information that may be helpful: This was the 3rd C&P for the same claimed disability. The first two were done by 3rd party examiners (LHI and QTC). I challenged each of them based on having used DSM-IV instead of DSM-V. The cut and paste shown in my posting is directly from the latest C&P, examiner is a VHA Psychologist. Her diagnosis matches the diagnosis my VHA Psychiatrist has in my VHA treatment records... Both of those also match what is in my Vet Center counselor's clinic notes... I have zero combat assignments; my stressors were non-combat related; they occurred in-service and are supported by 3 buddy statements plus in-service treatement records showing diagnosis of "Anxiety" and "Depression." I received psychiatric treatment as well as prescriptions for treatment in-service... My discharge (in 1969) was for a mental health disorder though they tagged me with a personality disorder (PD) discharge. Since PTSD wasn't recognized in 1969, my current counselors have appeared to overcome that PD misdiagnosis. Personality disorders apparently don't just 'go away.' I am probably not going to be able to contest this C&P examiner's credentials since she was at one of the VAMCs. I also want to believe she knows what she is doing. I don't understand how she would have written an excellent (in my view) DBQ for PTSD, but then fail to tie it to the conceded stressors... I don't have a preference whether she chooses "PTSD" or the (diagnosed) "Major Depressive Disorder with Anxiety Distress" as my disability. I remain confused why she would state an "Opinion", yet in the next sentence indicate she doesn't have enough evidence to connect to in-service stressors. I continue to appreciate any one who can help me to understand what I preceive to be conflicting statements in the report. I would also appreciate any advice/suggestions/recommendations regarding what steps I should anticipate taking. With genuine thanks for all who help other Veterans on this site!!! Ray
  3. I am concerned the "Diagnosis and Rationale" section are going to be the stumbling block for a DRO; in MY opinion, they are contradictory. The examiner wrote out a DBQ that I would have paid an independent examiner to write. The wording the examiner used could not have been any more favorable to my claim, at all! If I had chosen the words to use in my behalf, I would have fallen short of her submitted DBQ. However, the examiner left the diagnosis and rationale sections open to intrepretation. Does any one here on this forum have insight that will be helpful in explaining what I am seeing? Basically, am I looking at a blanket denial, or is there the possibility of a "reasonable doubt" situation? The following is a cut and paste from a C&P for mental health. I am not currently rated for any service-connected disability. I also have a current VHA psychiatrist diagnosis which matches the C&P examiner's diagnosis (Major Depressive Disorder). I read the request for the recent C&P, the rater did request two separate issues to be addressed: 1) Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or other mental disorder that was at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed stressors?2) Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or other mental disorder that clearly and unmistakably existed prior to his military service, and that was at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) aggravated beyond its natural progression by the claimed stressors?"Taken as a whole, in this examiner's opinion, the evidence available at this time is most supportive of a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder With Anxious Distress, and is insufficient to determine whether this condition was incurred during the Veteran's military service, or was aggravated by it. To make such a determination would require evidence regarding his pre-military history which has direct bearing on the question of the onset and etiology of his mental health difficulties, and which was not available to the present examiner." I claimed 3 stressors, applied for PTSD, or other MH diagnosis. The DBQ was well written, addressing each of the stressors. The examiners tied each of the stressors to DSM-V. Then, as part of her narrative, she included the following: "Consequently, for the purpose of the present examination, the claimed stressors are considered to be corroborated. For the purpose of this examination, the claimed stressors are also considered to be sufficient to cause PTSD as specified by DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, a clinical judgment which is inherently and unavoidably subjective to some extent."However, instead of a PTSD diagnosis, she chose "Major Depressive Disorder with Anxious Distress." Now, I am most concerned about her "Diagnosis and Rationale": She used the same wording to answer both of the rater's questions. "OPINION: It is this examiner's opinion that the Veteran DOES NOT have a diagnosis of PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or other mental disorder that was at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed stressors. RATIONALE: The evidence available is insufficient to determine whether the Veteran's diagnosed mental disorder was incurred during his military service. To make such a determination would require evidence regarding his pre-military history which has direct bearing on the question of the onset and etiology of his mental health difficulties, and which was not available to the present examiner."
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