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Found 32 results

  1. I have PTSD and diagnosed as bi-polar too. Personally, I think the bi-polar is not correct but, hey, I'm not a doctor. I missed my C&P exam in Houston TX in Oct 2011 (I moved back to Florida in August 2011 and did not get the notice). ANyway, I got notice in Dec 2011 that my claim for PTSD had been denied because I missed the exam. I went to my county VA office and the "&D&&" filed to wrong request -- he filed an appeal instead of requesting my case be reopened and requesting a new C&P date. Fast forward 3 years and here I am. I had my C&P exam this last Wednesday and personally don't know how it went. The doc was very straight laced with no personality (I think that's the way they're supposed to be). Hadn't slept well in about two-three days and only got about 1 hour on Tuesday night before the exam at 8:00am. I muddled through with the doc -- lasted about 45 min. and the took the mmpi2. The mmpi test results were "questionable validity with some validity scales elevated to the extent that profile interpretation is of limited utility". " Veteran endorsed many psychological symptons on a variety of clinical scales, often reporting moderate to severe levels of intensity. Overall this response pattern may indicate a sense of feeling overwhelmed, though exaggeration of psychological distress cannot be ruled out." Here's the summary of my C&P exam and I'd appreciate any feedback. Semper Fi. 1. Diagnostic Summary --------------------- Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD that conforms to DSM-5 criteria based on today's evaluation? [X] Yes [ ] No ICD code: 309.28 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: ALCOHOL USE DISORDER Comments, if any: moderate Mental Disorder Diagnosis #3: MOOD DISORDER, NOS b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): SEE CPRS 3. Differentiation of symptoms ------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [X] Yes [ ] No b. Is it possible to differentiate what symptom(s) is/are attributable to each diagnosis? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnosis and discuss whether there is any clinical association between these diagnoses: SYMPTOMS OVERLAP c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not shown in records reviewed 4. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only one) [X] Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or; symptoms controlled by medication b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate what portion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis: SYMPTOMS OVERLAP c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by the TBI? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No diagnosis of TBI SECTION II: ----------- Clinical Findings: ------------------ 1. Evidence review ------------------ In order to provide an accurate medical opinion, the Veteran's claims folder must be reviewed. a. Medical record review: ------------------------- Was the Veteran's VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No Was the Veteran's VA claims file (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: ALL RELEVANT RECORDS REVIEWED If no, check all records reviewed: [ ] Military service treatment records [ ] Military service personnel records [ ] Military enlistment examination [ ] Military separation examination [ ] Military post-deployment questionnaire [ ] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents [ ] Veterans Health Administration medical records (VA treatment records)[ ] Civilian medical records [ ] Interviews with collateral witnesses (family and others who have known the Veteran before and after military service) [ ] No records were reviewed [ ] Other: b. Was pertinent information from collateral sources reviewed? [ ] Yes [X] No f. Other, if any: MILITARY HISTORY Service Discharge Type (Last): HONORABLE Service Branch (Last): MARINE CORPS 1967- 69, 69-79 Service Discharge Type (NTL): HONORABLE Service Branch (NTL): MARINE CORPS Service Entry Date (NTL): Did the veteran have combat experience: YES Combat service location: Vietnam 1968-69 Duties: Were combat wounds sustained: no Any mental health tx: NONE 3. Stressors ------------ Describe one or more specific stressor event(s) the Veteran considers traumatic (may be pre-military, military, or post-military): a. Stressor #1: SEE MILTARY HISTORY Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criteria A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other things should be noted under #7 - Other symptoms. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, referred to as Criteria A-H, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) [X] Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they occurred to others Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion Symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to Internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). [X] Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the Traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s)(typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs). [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger,guilt, or shame). [X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings.) Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. [X] Exaggerated startle response. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. Criterion I: Which stressor(s) contributed to the Veteran's PTSD diagnosis?: [X] Stressor #1 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- OTHER PSYCHIATRIC SYMPTOMS Today the veteran reports "I'm very agitated, didn't sleep well. Nerves raw" Current stressors: health The veteran described/endorsed the following symptoms associated with depression: Withdrawn, isolation, anhedonia, depressed mood, low energy, poor sleep, poor attention and concentration, forgetfulness, change in appetite, crying spells, guilt, helpless, hopeless, and worthless. Frequency of Symptoms: 4-5 days a week Duration of Symptoms: hours Onset of Symptoms: years Severity of Symptoms: mild to moderate The veteran described/endorsed the following symptoms associated with anxiety: restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge, easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, excessive worrying, second guesses, what if?, difficulties with decisions Frequency of Symptoms: frequently Duration of Symptoms: minutes Onset of Symptoms: years Severity of Symptoms: mild to moderate The veteran described/endorsed the following symptoms associated with Mania: inflated self esteem, decreased need for sleep, pressured speech, FOI, distractibility, increased goal-directed activities, reckless behaviors Frequency of Symptoms: no recent manic episdoes, often has bouts of depression Duration of Symptoms: hours Onset of Symptoms:years Severity of Symptoms:mild to moderate Denies psychosis MENTAL STATUS EXAM: Appearance: clean, neatly groomed, casually dressed Orientation: AOX4 Mood: subdued, mildly agitated Affect: constricted Attitude: cooperative Speech rate and tone: Unremarkable Language: Good Thought content and progression: Unimpaired Tangentiality: none Circumstantiality: none Loose associations: none Flight of ideas: none Delusional: none Difficulty in understanding complex commands: none Gross impairment in thought processes or communication: none Hallucinations: not present Delusions: not present Grossly inappropriate behavior: none Memory: Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events Attention and concentration: "its shot" Fund of knowledge: Good Intelligence: average Insight and judgment: fair Abstract Reasoning: wnl and a function of intelligence not reduced by mood Obsessive-compulsive: used to be organized , now less so. Sleep impairment: chronic difficulties with delayed onset, has sleep apnea ADLs: no impact from mental disorder Suicidal ideation: in past Homicidal ideation: none Persistent danger of hurting self or others: none Relationships: limited to partner (see social history for details) Has difficulty with people, easily irritated in dealing with others. 7. Other symptoms ----------------- Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other mental disorders) that are not listed above? [ ] Yes [X] No 8. Competency ------------- Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes [ ] No 9. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any -------------------------------------------------- MMPI2 RF- profile of questionable validity with some validity scales elevated to the extent that profile interpretation is of limited utility. Veteran endorsed many psychological symptoms on a variety of clinical scales, often reporting moderate to severe levels of intensity. Overall this response pattern may indicate a sense of feeling overwhelmed, though exaggeration of psychological distress cannot be ruled out. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application. =========================================================================
  2. I would like to pass along info i learned about the VA OPC in Manila. First some general info i had my first C and P Exam for my first time FDC claim. Phone number for appointment C and P 02318-8358 or 02-318-8308 to cancel appointment call 02-318-8309 48 hours before or ASAP. toll free number 1-800-1888-8782.You must have an appointment to be seen.You will not get in period outherwise. Travel benifits are POV travel is at 41.5 cent a mile (1KM is 0.62 miles or 1 mile =1.62 KM) Lodging limited to $30 USD.Meals are $3.00 breakfast $5.00 for Lunch and $5.00 for Dinner. Total of $13.00 a day. Must have receipts for all above items. You will be paid in Peso at the daily rate for that day ie the day you filed your claim. I had 3 days of C and P exams all days were filled checked in at 0745 left at 4 PM each day. I have to go back next week to Manila i have appointments at Sto tomas university hospital and the VA OPC any one ever been to Sto Tomas any places to eat close by. The VA staff were great i had no issues at all. Not one single problem. i have heard the stories from friends who deal with QTC contracters in the U.S some good some not so mush. I filed my claim 30Sept 2013 C&P exams in late Nov and early DEC is very fast i know for a fact from friends of mine it is 6 to 9 months waiting on a C&P exam . not in Manila. Myself finish mine in a little over 2 months very good time. The only problem i had in manila were the Taxi cabs not wanting to use the meter and use bond rate only. I got out off over half the cabs in Manila due to this. 500 pesos from the Airport to the VA i got out of the cab right away. There has to be something said about the lack of honesty of half the white Taxi Cab Drivers in Manila it is a shame when half the taxi cab drivers try to steal from people by trying to charge 500 peso for a 100 peso ride. The white taxi cab drivers that use the meter i thanked them for there honesty. Yes i did this is what needed to be done. I used the white cabs only. Half the taxi cabs do not like it when you take a picture of there plates next time i will take a pic of them and if they try to rip me off put it on face book an see what happens. Update 2 I just finished up my C&P exams with the Manila OPC had to go to St Tomas for 5 tests from my last C&P exams in late Nov. The staff at St tomas(STU) was great billing just stamped my loa no questions no problems. The staff that did my test were very knowlageable and professional at all times. There english was spot on no comms problems at all. My thinking on it is that if the VA uses St Tomas why cant tricare and the VA approve hospitals that can be certifed by both VA and tricare oh yea i got in trouble just one time (not realy) in the Navy for common sences thinking that would save time and money of the U.S taxpayer. The only downside is the Manila OPC WILL NOT SEE YOU UNLESS IT IS SC/ Or C&P Exam NO IF ANDS OR BUTS ABOUT IT. I was just thinking it is not the VA that is bad at some places it is some people that give . the VA a bad name you will always hear about the bad ones but the Great and Good not so mush. so that is why i posted this. Take Care Charles
  3. How will it take to get a decision after the C&P Exam?
  4. Hi everyone, I have been reading through several posts from people with similar issues. I have a few specific questions that I would love to get feedback on, though I also know that each and every claim is unique and there is no such thing as time frames or standards associated with a VA Disability Claim. However, any advise or personal experience you can share would go a very long way! Background on my story: I was medically separated from the US Air Force after a little over three years, honorably, after being found to be Axis 1 bipolar 2, Axis 2 personality disorder, self-defeating traits, and ADHD by a medical review board at Lackland Air Force Base in 2007. My separation paperwork clearly states that my condition was found to be NOT EXISTING PRIOR TO SERVICE and/or PERMANENTLY AGGITATED BY MILITARY SERVICE. This, I know, is in my favor. I didn't file a claim right away because I was unsure of how to go about it, then later found out that it can be done online, so that is what I did. I opened my claim for bipolar 2/ADHD along with degenerative disk disease (also diagnosed during service,) back in June of 2011 with the Chicago, IL Regional Office. We are coming up on a full year now and I have supplied more than sufficient documentation (including medical records during service, medical records for current treatment, letters of support from family and friends etc.,) and the VA has had it on file now since my claim entered "Review of Evidence" status on October 24, 2011, yet I have had ZERO correspondance from the VA. I have called on several occassions inquiring on the status to no avail. I continue to receive notifications stating that "We continue to review your claim and it will be processed as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience." I understand that the VA is very far behind due to being under-staffed, and the explosion of claims coming in from soldiers returning home from overseas (God bless them all.) I am not complaining about how long it has taken to this point, but I would like to know if there is a light at the end of this tunnell. Anyone shared in a similar claim that has any insight as to where it will go from here would be fantastic (i.e. will I need to have a C&P Exam since I was diagnosed while in the military and it was found to be not existing prior to service? How much longer might this go? What kind of rating can I expect? etc.) I believe I am at least 50% disabled due to this condition. I am writing this long post because I am going through yet another manic episode, shaking from the Adderall I have to take daily just to remain focused on my job and family. This condition has caused me to distance myself from those who care about me, contributed to several episodes of infidelity with my previous wife (obviously we divorced,) a loss of employment (working again, but was laid off due to work related issues,) extreme mood swings, sleep deprivation, mild memory loss, panic attacks, impussive spending, alcohol abuse, increase in narcasistic tendencies, eating disorders, drug abuse (not illicit drugs, but stimulants,) severe depression and self loathing, self-defeating traits etc. It has been terrible to deal with, needless to say. Not only for me, but for my family as well. I had a really rough experience while in the Air Force and I was both physically and verbally abused quite often, starting in basic training and all the way through my three + years. I began to lash out and fight back which made matters much worse. To this day, while I have fewer stressors, I continue to battle tendencies caused by this disease. I have documented all of these issues for the VA so that is all part of my claim. If you have read my entire rant and haven't run for the hills yet, I applaud you and sincerely appreciate you hearing me out. Like I said earlier, if anyone has any first-hand knowledge as to what I can expect moving forward, it would be wonderful. Here are the questions I would like to get some "best guesses" on: 1. Considering the evidence I have mentioned above, what would be a "reasonable" rating percentage in your best opinion? 2. How much longer can I expect to wait to hear about a C&P Exam, or my claim entering the prep for decision phase (considering the thoroughness of my claim and assuming they have everything they need to make a decision, of course.)? Once again, thank you in advance for any help you may be able to offer. Best Regards.
  5. Like so many vets, I found this site while trying to gain some intel about what to expect from our guys at the VA....... looks promising.....
  6. I have a copy of my mental health C&P exam FINALLY and the diagnoses is as follows; 296.33 Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Severe without psychotic features. Memory Remote Memory: Normal Recent Memory: Mildly Impaired Immediate Memory: Mildly Impaired MMPI-2 was administered - It is noteworthy for extreme elevations on scales 1, 2, and 3. This pattern is often referred to as "conversion V" referring to the tendency of the individual to "convert" psychological disturbances into a preoccupation with physical functioning (huh?), to a degree which exceeds what might be a normal focus in the possible presence of very significant medical issues. In addition to the significant elevation on scale 2 (depression scale), this profile reveals the presence of a sorely depleted reservoir of emotional energy (Man, that sure is true). This scale configuration is associated with a diagnosis of a major depressive disorder. This configuration also indicates the presence of disturbed, ruminative thought processes, as well as vulnerability to excessive use of alcohol. Individuals producing this profile acknowledge that life is a strain, and admit to feelings of depression and despair. They report difficulties with concentration and memory (absolutely) and acknowledge that they worry excessively... Comment on validity of results: Valid. GAF score: 53. Is there total occupational and social impairment due to mental disorder signs and symptoms? No. If there is not total occupational and social impairment, do mental disorder signs and symptoms result in deficiencies in the following areas; Judgment, thinking, family relations, work, mood or school? No. (SERIOUSLY???) Is there reduced reliability and productivity due to mental disorder symptoms? Yes. Examples and pertinent symptoms: The service member is vulnerable to impairments of attention, concentration and short-term memory. He is frequently preoccupied with disturbed, ruminative thought processes. His preoccupation with physical symptoms and concern about his future fuel his depressed mood. Does the patient have panic attacks? Yes. Frequency, severity, duration and effects of functioning; The patient reports periodic panic attacks. More than once per week. Is there presence of suicidal thoughts? Yes. Attention: Attention disturbance (Easily distracted), attention disturbance (Short attention span). Based on the VASRD, I'm not sure if this means a rating of 30% or 50%. Any feedback or questions are welcome. Thanks in advance for your help.
  7. I finally got a copy of my C&P exam and I am trying to interpret the results. I'm hoping to get some help understanding what I'm looking at so any and all feedback is appreciated. The ROM results are as follows; Cervical Spine ROM Flexion: 0 to 30 degrees. Extension: 0 to 39 degrees. Left Lateral Flexion: 0 to 30 degrees. Left Lateral Rotation: 0 to 60 degrees. Right Lateral Flexion: 0 to 30 degrees. Right Lateral Rotation: 0 to 60 degrees. Is there objective evidence of pain on active ROM? No. Additional limitation with repetitive motion; Is there objective evidence of pain following repetitive motion? No. Are there additional limitations after three repetitions of range of motion? No. Thoracolumbar Spine ROM Flexion: 0 to 60 degrees. Extension: 0 to 20 degrees. Left Lateral Flexion: 0 to 20 degrees. Left Lateral Rotation: 0 to 20 degrees. Right Lateral Flexion: 0 to 25 degrees. Right Lateral Rotation: 0 to 20 degrees. Is there objective evidence of pain on active ROM? Yes. Additional limitation with repetitive motion; Is there objective evidence of pain following repetitive motion? Yes. Are there additional limitations after three repetitions of range of motion? Yes. What is the most important factor? Pain. ROM After Repetitive Motion Flexion: 0 to 55 degrees. Extension: 0 to 25 degrees. Left Lateral Flexion: 0 to 15 degrees. Left Lateral Rotation: 0 to 5 degrees. Right Lateral Flexion: 0 to 20 degrees. Right Lateral Rotation: 0 to 5 degrees. Time lost from work during last 12-month period: 8 weeks. Cause: Con leave from back surgery. I didn't type every last word, I just wrote what I think matters. If I missed something or you have a question, please ask. The information regarding my cervical spine seems correct as I haven't had any issues with that part of my back until just recently. I'm getting epidural shots now and may need another surgery but that occurred after the C&P exam. If I'm reading the Thoracolumbar part correct, it seems that I should get a rating of 20% based on the Flexion ROM of 55 degrees or would it be; "Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine......50?" But, since I had spinal fusion of T7-T8, I should get 60% because I missed 8 weeks of work and the VASRD states; "With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 6 weeks during the past 12 months ..... 60" It seems quite confusing to me, I hope someone can clear things up for me...thanks.
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