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  1. Hey everybody, just a quick update on me. On Friday I had a joint C&P exam for my R ankle and hips for secondary claims. Ankle was found Dorsiflexion of 0-5 and Plantar flexion of 0-40 Hips were found flexion: 0-40 extension: 0-20 Abduction: 0-20 Adduction 0-20 Rotation, external 0-20 and internal 0-20. Examiner opined that the ankle was at least as likely as not caused by already SC L ankle, but the hips were found less likely as not caused by current SCDs. X-rays of hips showed nothing. Ok, now hear this...he suggested/advised that I call my PCP and request for an MRI for my hips for further evaluation and treatment. Is this his way of saying that my pain and reduced ROM are for real and should be further investegated that I may then be SCd? He also said in his opinion it seems more likely that the soft tissue of the pelvis/hip region is inflammed which is causing my pain and reduced ROM. And that I may need to see a Rheumatologist for treatment. Not sure what that is implying, but I have heard of rhuematoid arthritis, is this what he may be hinting at? Ok PTII, today I had a C&P for depression secondary to chronic pain... One of my worst ever exams!!! When he was done(VA phyc) I felt that I shouldn't have even filed that claim. He was very nice and polite, but every twist and turn he kept trying to lead me outside of my AD time and the years since. He kept asking about before I went in the Marines. I kept redirecting by saying these things and symptoms all started after my enlistment began. He kept repeating the same questions over and over, waiting for me to slip up. I knew what he was doing, and yet still felt like I was the one in the wrong. Then he went on some spiel about how 30% of the general population is depressed and most of them don't have suicide ideations and such. And that most of us are biologically predisposed to things like depression. He wanted me to try to explain why I think I don't have any friends, even though I had told him that my state of mind keeps me from doing that. I went into detail about my chronic sleep impairment and drinking, and he made it sound like it's the normal thing no big deal. I told him that I did not grow up with these things in my life or family. And that they all began to manifest after I was in the Marines. I told him that on my 5th day of boot camp, when I fell down the stairs, is the initiation point. Then he said he will have re-review my record to see if he really could find some way to SC this. Funny, it was supposed to be for secondary to chronic pain. He asked about current SCDs and I told him what they were and the ratings, several of which are listed as pain conditions. Is this normal? Or am I looking at a long road of NODs and BVA land??? I sure hope all that was just his way of trying to trip me up into screwing myself by saying the wrong thing. I did have a written statement covering things I wanted to make sure were covered, and I told him that a copy of same will be submitted into evidence for my claim, to ensure nothing from it gets left out. He made a funny face at that, but said it was a good idea to be prepared like that. Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on. Andyman
  2. Hello all, I got a phone call at the end of work yesterday afternoon, can I come down for a C&P exam on Tuesday, the 3rd of November...what is this for...my claim for depression, yes I will be there. Anyone go through an exam for depression as secondary to chronic pain? Or even just depression, that can give me some pointers? What should I not mention, besides life before my service? How much detail should I give? Should I mention my night sweats, and nightmares along with my chronic sleep impairment? How long will this type of exam take? 1 hour, 2 hours, or longer? Semper Fi. Andyman.
  3. So here it is going on 4 years since I was honorably discharged from the military. Since I have been out, I seem to hit these depressing slumps of missing the military, wishing I could go back in (unable to go back in on account of a medical issue), having adjustment issues to not having the structure in my life as well as I am always "military minded" about how I deal with stress, people, other issues. I expect everyone have the same mentality from my family to my friends. I was treated once for anger issues while in the military, but this depression crap has me completely off the wall at times. I lose control when people make simple mistakes as well as ask me what I consider to be simply self explainable question. Am I even able to explain this to a VA Counselor or psychiatrist and have it service connected? Any input or advice is welcome positive or negative it is appreciated.
  4. Back on the 14th I had my C&P Exam for my reopened exam. I must first say this is the first time I was asked in the claim form to identify stressors or past stressful events that I participated in while serving. I went in for the exam, it lasted about 2 hours, and I just recently downloaded his report. He marked no for ptsd, but identified three other mental disorders and found them to be more likely than not to be service connected, While strikes me as odd is, he says no to ptsd, but at the end of the report he checked almost every box indicating ptsd? Based on your experience, is this guy trying to help me out, or is he just refusing to find ptsd? also, I was asked nothing in the interview about social or occupational issues that have arisen due to the depression and anxiety. Should I write a letter explaining those issues that seem to be missing from the report, or should I just wait for the decision? Thanks for reading. I look forward to participating here.
  5. Can anyone tell me what specific form must I provide to my private mental health doctor to file with my TDIU claim? Or, does she need to provide a letter stating how my my SC mental health conditions has affected my unemployability and if so does a VA form DBQ still has to be completed as well? This all so confusing Thanks
  6. I wasn't sure what to title this and where to put it. timeline: November 2011, rated 70 % SC for MH. Including PTSD, Bipolar, yadda yadda. 2011-Present time, Lots of counselings and changing of Meds. About a month ago, I went to my regular physical doctor at VA. I told her that I still have suicidal thoughts. She made me see the counselor. I talked to counselor in October, and she made an appointment for me on Nov 10, 2014. She said I can bring my wife if I wanted to, and I did. We shot the bull and talked about how things were getting better for us, etc. I am trying to get back in shape and started walking/jogging a while back. Also, I need to add, that my VA psychiatrist changed my drugs from one thing to Lithium. I told the counselor that I believe the drugs were a good thing, so far. I noticed on my BlueButton MyHealtheVet, that she marked that I was doing better, etc, etc, etc.. Well, for one, I don't want to talk about all the bad stuff when my wife is sitting next to me. Because everything I say will be used against me (trust me). I get a call this Monday, (17 November) from the C&P people. They said I need to come in for a C&P re-evaluation or a yearly evaluation for my MH claim. 19 November, I showed up at this C&P reevaluation, and the Dr. asked, Do you know why you are here? I said no ma'am. And she explained that the VA was making sure that I was being properly taken care of, and that my benefits didn't need to be bumped up. When I was in the office with this Dr., my body felt like it was on fire. My chest started beating fast. My hands were shaking. I was crying, etc. She asked me to tell her what the following meant, "Don't Count your chickens before they hatch". I just repeated it like a fool like 5 or so times. I honestly believe that the new drug that they gave me started to kick in. She wanted to put me in the Mental Jail, But she kept asking me if I wanted to go there, but I told her, I prefer not. She said, what if I make you? I said, you got to do what you go to do, but I Prefer not. Those people in the mental ward are literally crazy people. I'm depressed and act all weird, but I'm not "crazy" like some of those. In the mental ward, there was this one guy that kept shitting on everything. I'm not like that. I'm glad that she seen me in my bad times, since it was a C&P exam. But, I am so Scared that they are going to re-evaluate me and say that I don't deserve the 70% that I get. I already feel as though I am using the system, and it makes me feel really bad for having to "prove" my insanity. I wish I could go back in time and not ever go to the VA. I want life to be like it was before I went to Afghanistan in 2011. Anyway, if these post are supposed to be in the form of a question, What is the chances of them downgrading my % ?
  7. Good morning. This is my first post here. This site has been very helpful since I started reading it. I applied for PTSD starting back in June 2013. I was in Sadr City, Iraq in 2004-2005. I waited 8 years to claim, but my wife and parents were pushing me to claim it. I was awarded last month 50% for MDD. While I was applying for compensation, I was fixated on just getting the PTSD/MDD taken care of. Now that is over with, I am considering filing for the patellar femoral syndrome that I was diagnosed with back in 2008. At that time, I was called up to re-activate from IRR. I was released from that due to my patellar femoral syndrome, which I believe is service connected. It is intermittent pain and causes me difficulty walking at times. I'm not sure how much success I will have though, considering I was never treated for it while I was active duty, and it comes and goes, so I'm not sure how a C&P exam would go. I do have medical records however from my civilian primary care giver and orthopedic specialist showing that I have PFS. Any thoughts or advice? I don't want to waste my time if I don't have a chance of getting a rating. Thanks
  8. Hi, I am in the process of starting an appeal. I have been denied an increase for ptsd and depression, and denied SC for my Neck and Back. I am currently at 30% for ptsd w/ Depression, unemployed, and on SSD. What is the best way to go from here? Should I file a NOD, or just a Formal Appeal? I submitted new information, including a personal statement, the last time I filed, but was still denied. I have documentation from the medical center from while I was enlisted for my neck and back, but it was not a chronic issue back then, but with the lack of proper care/treatment from the va, it has gotten to the point where I can no longer function. I have been diagnosed with Bulged Discs, Calcification of Ligaments, Loss of Curve. Have frequent Headaches. The Pain Medications I have been prescribed from the va don't help. I was misdiagnosed with Personality Disorder when discharged from the Army, and later diagnosed with PSTD and Depression. I filed a request for earlier effective date, due to the misdiagnosis, and that was also denied. I have documentation from my Psychiatrist stating that I have been under her treatment since "2012 until present for PTSD, Prolonged. Characterized by Chronic Anxiety, Depressed Mood, Social Isolation, Insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, hyper vigilance, startle response, avoidant behavior, and inability to deal with day to day stressors". She also states that my "chronic mental illness clearly interferes with my day to day functioning and ability to function in a work environment with other people." She adds that she does not see any symptoms of me having a Personality Disorder. This Is My Problem! They Double Talk Themselves. When I filed for an increase for PTSD, they denied it stating, "The examiner opined that my history of mood changes, sometimes several times a day, and pattern of conflicted relationships, is more consistent with a diagnosis of personality disorder than PTSD. The examiner again noted that my personality disorder was mostly the source of my occupational and social impairments, and that my clinical presentation is more consistent with a personality disorder than ptsd.! THEN, When I filed SC for Aggravated/Exacerbated Personality Disorder by my ptsd and military service, it was denied stating that my doctor did not see symptoms of Personality Disorder.! So, in one paragraph, I have a Personality Disorder, and not PTSD... and in the very Next paragraph, I have PTSD, and Not a Personality Disorder...? Please Help...
  9. A Gulf War veteran friend showed me this decision he just received: "1. Service connection for the purpose of establishing eligibility to treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and adjustment disorder with depressed mood is established." "2. The previous denial of service connection for post-traumatic stress disorder is confirmed and continued." "6. The previous denial of service connection for major depressive disorder is confirmed and continued." "9. The previous denial of service connection for anxiety disorder is confirmed and continued." We determined that the following conditions were not related to your military service so service connection remains denied Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Anxiety Disorder Major depressive disorder *Reasons For the Decision ( #1): A determination of service connection under 38 U.S.C.1 702 is for the purpose of providing eligibility for hospital and medical treatment for veterans of World War II, Korean Conflict, or Vietnam era; or for Gulf War veterans who develop an active psychosis or any active mental illness during or within two years from the date of separation from such service or within two years of the end of the war period, which ever is earlier. The veteran was discharged on May XX. 201l . A psychosis/mental illness was first diagnosed on June XX, 2012. Entitlement to treatment is established because a psychosis/mental illness was diagnosed within the required period of time. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It appears then that service connection for treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and adjustment disorder with depressed mood was OK'd, but, apparently denied for compensation purposes. Not even a 0% rating. Anyone ever heard of such a thing? Seems like a contradiction as 38 USC 1702 provides for a presumption of the mental illness disability being incurred from military service. The mental illness disability must therefore be service connected. No C&P exam(s) whatsoever were provided to this veteran. A claim for PTSD was denied even though his VA mental health doctor diagnosed it and provided a nexus letter which was mentioned in the decision but apparently not considered. -Any help appreciated
  10. Hi all. I'm new to the forum and this is my first post, hope it's in the right spot. I am a former Marine who is currently 40% SC for a spinal injury. I finally had my C&P for my PTSD and this is the note the examiner wrote. I'd appreciate any insight into the note, and how any potential award would combine with my existing 40%. Thanks. LOCAL TITLE: C&P EXAM STANDARD TITLE: C & P EXAMINATION NOTE DATE OF NOTE: JUL 14, 2014@08:00 ENTRY DATE: JUL 14, 2014@09:32:44 AUTHOR: XXX EXP COSIGNER: URGENCY: STATUS: COMPLETED Initial Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Disability Benefits Questionnaire * Internal VA or DoD Use Only * Name of patient/Veteran: XXX, JAMES L SECTION I: ---------- 1. Diagnostic Summary --------------------- Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD that conforms to DMS-5 criteria based on today's evaluation? [X] Yes [ ] No ICD code: 309.81 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD CHRONIC SEVERE ICD code: 309.81 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: MDD RECURRENT SEVERE WITH PSYCHOTIC FEATURES ICD code: 296.34 b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): NONE 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: This veteran's MDD is in response to and caused by his PTSD. c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not shown in records reviewed d. 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: SYMPTOM OVERLAP 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] Total occupational and social impairment 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: This veteran's MDD is in response to and caused by his PTSD. 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 [X] No [ ] No diagnosis of TBI 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: SYMPTOM OVERLAP 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 reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: C-FILE/VBMS/VIRTUAL-VA; CPRS 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 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): This veteran reports being raised in an abusive family. Pre-Military, he describes an active social life and engaging in many pleasurable leisure time activities. Post-Military, the veteran describes: Avoidance of People and Places, Social Isolation, Restricted Affect, Anhedonia, Episodes of Uncontrolled Anger and Rage, Depressed Mood, and Feelings of Worthlessness and Guilt. He reports few friends, limited leisure time activity, and a very limited social life. He is currently homeless, living in a VA domicile. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): This veteran last worked in IT in 2012. He reports losing more than 6 positions due to his psychiatric symptoms. He reports that the following symptoms have had a detrimental impact upon his ability to function in the workplace: Episodic Auditory Hallucinations, Flashbacks, Episodes of Anxiety and Panic, Social Isolation, Chronically Disturbed Sleep, Episodes of Uncontrolled Anger and Rage, Difficulty Concentrating, Obsessive Hypervigilance, Exaggerated Startle Response, and Depressed Mood. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and postmilitary): This veteran reports working in psychotherapy which he finds palliative. He reports taking medication at this time for these symptoms which he finds palliative. He reports the following psychological symptoms: Episodic Auditory Hallucinations, Flashbacks, Nightmares, Episodes of Anxiety and Panic, Avoidance of People and Places, Social Isolation, Restrict ed Affect, Anhedonia, Sense of Foreshortened Future, Chronically Disturbed Sleep, Episodes of Uncontrolled Anger and Rage, Difficulty Concentrating, Obsessive Hypervigilance, Exaggerated Startle Response, Depressed Mood, Fatigue, Psychomotor Sequelae, Passive Suicidal Ideation, Feelings of Worthlessness and Guilt, Suppressed Appetite, and Avoiding Thinking of Traumatic Events. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): This veteran reports behavioral and/or legal difficulties prior to and on leaving the military associated with the above noted psychiatric symptoms. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): This veteran reports heavy alcohol and or substance use prior to and on leaving military service in an attempt to manage the effects of the psychiatric symptoms noted above. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 3. Stressors ------------ a. Stressor #1: The veteran's location was the target of mortar, rocket, RPG and/or small arms fire. During these experiences the veteran was terrified for life and horrified by the aftermath of the experience. 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 b. Stressor #2: This veteran was engaged in return of fire with the enemy which was terrifying and horrifying. 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 c. Stressor #3: This veteran witnessed and broke up a gang rape on a young child who was seriously harmed. He found this terrifying and horrifying. 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 #6 - 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 (DMS-5). Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violatrion, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the tramuatic 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] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). [X] Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring. (Such reactions may occur on a continuum, with the most extreme expression being a complete loss of awareness of present surroundings). [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 and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., "I am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is completely dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently ruined"). [X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. [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] Reckless or self-destructive behavior. [X] Hypervigilance. [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. 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that apply to the Veterans diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Impairment of short- and long-term memory, for example, retention of only highly learned material, while forgetting to complete tasks [X] Flattened affect [X] Difficulty in understanding complex commands [X] Impaired judgment [X] Impaired abstract thinking [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting [X] Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships [X] Suicidal ideation [X] Obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities [X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence [X] Persistent delusions or hallucinations [X] Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- No response provided 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, if any ------------------ This veteran meets the criteria for DSM-IV and DSM-V Diagnoses of PTSD CHRONIC SEVERE and MDD RECURRENT SEVERE WITH PSYCHOTIC FEATURES. This veteran's MDD is in response to and caused by his PTSD. He reports the following psychological symptoms: Episodic Auditory Hallucinations, Flashbacks, Nightmares, Episodes of Anxiety and Panic, Avoidance of People and Places, Social Isolation, Restricted Affect, Anhedonia, Sense of Foreshortened Future, Chronically Disturbed Sleep, Episodes of Uncontrolled Anger and Rage, Difficulty Concentrating, Obsessive Hypervigilance, Exaggerated Startle Response, Depressed Mood, Fatigue, Psychomotor Sequelae, Passive Suicidal Ideation, Feelings of Worthlessness and Guilt, Suppressed Appetite, and Avoiding Thinking of Traumatic Events. This psychiatric condition was caused by the veteran's military experience and/or combat exposure. The reported stressors are directly related to the veteran's fear of hostile military and/or terrorist activity. This veteran's GAF score represents serious symptoms and deficits in social, work and personal functioning. (GAF: 42) Due to the level of the symptoms discussed above, and the manner in which they disrupt the veteran's ability to relate to superiors and coworkers; and the degree to which they impair the veteran's ability to accomplish tasks for which the veteran is being paid; it is at least as likely as not that this veteran would be unable to secure or maintain any kind of reasonable employment at this time. Despite having serious functional deficits, this veteran has been able to manage finances over the past year. The veteran demonstrated knowledge of financial resources and obligations, and the cognitive wherewithall to appropriately discharge financial obligations. This veteran is considered competent to continue independent financial management without the assistance of a conservator. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application. Thanks again for any thoughts.
  11. I'm looking for the best VA disability sleep loss and depression claims forum relating to SC tinnitus. Can you help me?
  12. Hello all! While I have referenced these forums before while filling out my paperwork, I haven't used them. My husband had his c&p exam today. I could use a little advice and perspective. We submitted the ptsd claim paperwork in January. [After much encouragement.] My husband is unable to maintain work, has difficulty in all social situations, has regular mood swings, trouble with anger, nightmares to name a few, very regular symptoms. Today, he had his c&p exam and I wasn't sure about the whole experience. The curator was gruff and very short. He told me that he needed to speak to my husband alone. [which I respected, assuming he would need to speak to me afterwards] My husband was with him for about 10-15 minutes. When my husband came back into the room he was really shaken. I understand this exam can be difficult, but my husband isn't very easily shaken. He was sweating, I mean like a lot. I realized after a few minutes that we were excused, the curator never came back into the waiting room. I asked the woman behind the desk to speak with him and he came into the waiting room to talk to me. [luckily there wasn't anyone else there] I could barely get out the things I wanted to make sure he knew. [Like the fact that my husband has such restless sleep that I have to sometimes lean on his chest while he is asleep until he calms down] Things my husband wouldn't know to tell him. He basically told me that my husband has severe depression. That we need to call the va to get him on different medication and they can look at his notes on the record. I understand that they have to be through to ensure they are giving to those who need it, I couldn't help but feel like this guy brushed us off. I couldn't get a whole sentence out. I am not a psychologist and I don't mean to questions someone who does this for a living but I am pretty sure my husband has ptsd not just depression, from all of the things I have read. My question is, is it common for the va to diagnose depression instead of ptsd? Is this how most c&p exams go? Also, do we have to fill out a second claim now for the depression? Thank you all for your help. This has been quite a process. I just want to make sure that my husband is able to get help and is taken care of in case anything were to ever happen to me. Thank you!
  13. My husband is a Vietnam era Marine Corp. veteran. He filed for disability for Membranous Glomerulonephritis /Stage 3 kidney disease, depression and tinnitus. The kidney disease was diagnosed through his private kidney doctor and the tinnitus through VA. The kidney disease we feel can be linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Everything was across the board, denied. This was filed through a veterans service officer who seemed a bit clueless to the proper way to do it. There was no Nexus letter included. My husband plans to appeal or whatever we need to do now (just not sure.) He hasn't asked his doctor to give him a letter yet but will do so this week. Trying to get enough supporting evidence together to show the doctor so he will understand but not overwhelm him. My husband has no other factors to cause the kidney disease. I wonder if it would be a good idea to make an appointment with a VA kidney doctor to review his records also. We probably will get an IMO done also. The tinnitus was VA diagnosed, so not sure why that was denied. My husband claimed depression because he just knew he was miserable in so many ways but didn't know why. Now, very recently, he has been diagnosed with PTSD with major depression (still amazed that this could happen so many years after the fact but looking back through the years, there were a lot of clues.) When he took the PTSD test, he was told that he was extremely bad. The diagnosis was made by a VA clinical nurse specialist and clinical social worker. Doesn't it need to be diagnosed by a psychologist or psychiatrist? The nurse said it needs to be someone specially trained in PTSD treatment such as the social worker. They want him to do drugs (which he hates) and therapy. Could PTSD now be added as part of the depression he originally claimed or would it need to be an entirely new claim with a new start date? I appreciate any thoughts you are able to give me on this. Thanks, Kate
  14. Hello Hadit Family. After reviewing my Navy Vet friend I'm assisting service treatment records (STR), I recommended he file several claims that are fully documented in his medical records, to include depression due to alcohol dependency (he is still in denial). BLUF he is a tractor-trailer trucker/driver and his spouse says he is still drinking and confirmed that he has been using 2 to 3 bottles of Nyquil a week for over the last 5 years or so when he is at home and not on the road (I suspect due to the alcohol content in the Nyquil, JMO, though). Some items in his STR during 11 years of Navy service, mostly at sea: enrolled in Track II due to drinking till he "pass out"; tried to commit suicide by taking "lots of pills" while deployed (had stomach pumped); a year or so later then enrolled in Track III; put on anti-buse meds, transferred from OCONUS ship location twice for impatient treatment at CONUS military hospitals; everything while inpatient states the diagnosis "alcohol dependency due to severe depression"; successfully completed AA program in service or equivalent program; ultimately he was honorably discharged 6 months after completion of treatment in the early 1990's. He recently had several C&Ps (same day) earlier this month; informed (MH) Doctor that he started back "drinking some" about 5 years ago when his father passed, but not to the point where he "passes out". So the VA decision stated this (which is confusing): 1. Service connection for treatment purposes only under 38 USC Chapter 17 for adjustment disorder with depressed mood and alcohol use disorder, in full sustained remission (38 USC Section 1702) is granted. 2. Service connection for adjustment disorder with depressed mood and alcohol use disorder, in full sustained remission is denied. Just trying to see what I need to do for him next as this has me stumped on their ruling; doesn't make sense to me; thanks. P.S. He has been diagnosed with sleep apnea by his private doctor and is on the cpap machine too.
  15. God been through hell and back twice.. not going to go into details. Brief history 10 years military 6 years honorable and 4 years OTh by admin board for a civilian conviction. I was not given a c p exam for any of my conditions, my wife has tricare and I have been seeing navy/ civilian phyc docs since seperation. Here is just some of my medical evidence, my honorable ended 2006. I was still on active duty 2008 had a sleep study done and this is what the front says. I have tried to upgrade it didn't work out. i think they can still use this plus i have conditions like this listed in my honorable period of service. Mr X came to louisiana sleep diagnostics for an evaluation. He presented complaints of loss of energy, irritability, and short temper, anxiety and depression, trouble concentrating, mood and behavior changes, heavy snoring daytime somnolence, heartburn, dry throat, and an irresistible urge to move his legs while falling asleep, leg jerking, waking feeling partially rested or completely unrefreshed, a deviated septum and heartburn. He is currently using Flonase. His Epworth Sleepines Scale score is 8.
  16. Seems the VA can on occasion consider obesity merely as a "symptom"* and perhaps even the type of symptom that the VA alleges is caused by the Veteran's own willful misconduct of overeating or being inactive so it can deny the claim. However, since the American Medical Association ( AMA ) recently in June of 2013 has officially declared that "obesity is a disease", might that allow disabled veterans whose service connected condition(s) led to excessive weight gain to now find more success claiming obesity as a ratable secondary medical condition or a disease aggravated by the Veteran's service connected condition(s)? *"Obesity Service connection is not warranted for obesity. Claiming service connection for obesity amounts to claiming service connection for a symptom, rather than for an underlying disease or injury which may have caused the symptom. In this respect, obesity, in and of itself, is not a disability for which service connection may be granted. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) has defined "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force." See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003), citing Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary 901 (29th Ed. 2000). Thus, obesity caused by overeating or lack of exercise is the result of the veteran's own behavior, and as such is not an "injury" as defined for VA purposes. See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (defining "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force"). The Federal Circuit also defined "disease" as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ, or system of the body." Terry, 340 F.3d at 1384, citing Dorland's at 511. Obesity that is not due to an underlying pathology cannot be considered to be due to "disease," defined as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ or system of the body." Id. The body's normal storage of calories for future use represents the body working at what it is designed to do. It is well settled that symptoms alone, without a finding of an underlying disorder, cannot be service-connected. See Sanchez-Benitez v. Principi, 259 F.3d 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2001)." - from a BVA 2009 Decision ---and--- "Obesity or being overweight, a particularity of body type, alone, is not considered a disability for which service connection may be granted. See generally 38 C.F.R. Part 4 (VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities) (2009) (does not contemplate a separate disability rating for obesity). Rather, applicable VA regulations use the term "disability" to refer to the average impairment in earning capacity resulting from diseases or injuries encountered as a result of or incident to military service. Allen v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439, 448 (1995); Hunt v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 292, 296 (1991); 38 C.F.R. § 4.1 (2009). The question is thus whether the current obesity is a disability-i.e. a condition causing impairment in earning capacity. In this case, there is no such evidence. The veteran has not asserted that obesity causes impairment of earning capacity; instead he asserts that his obesity has caused other disabilities to manifest. There is also no other evidence that the claimed obesity is a disability. Inasmuch as the Veteran does not have a disability manifested by obesity and obesity is not a disease or disability for which service connection may be granted, the Board concludes that obesity was not incurred in or aggravated by service and may not be presumed to have been so incurred. This claim is not in relative equipoise; therefore, the Veteran may not be afforded the benefit of the doubt in the resolution thereof. Rather, as a preponderance of the evidence is against the claim, it must be denied. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(b) (West 2002)" - from a 2010 BVA Decision But didn't the VA as early as 2006 already characterize obesity as a disease? "Obesity is a complex and chronic disease that develops from an interaction between the individual’s genotype and the environment." - http://www.healthquality.va.gov/obesity/obe06_final1.pdf "The AMA's decision essentially makes diagnosis and treatment of obesity a physician's professional obligation." - Los Angeles Times http://www.today.com/health/obesity-disease-doctors-group-says-6C10371394
  17. Hi to all. Appreciate all the good work the veterans here at Hadit are doing. I’m considering putting in a claim for depression. I’m wondering if I need to try to get a psych consult before filing a claim. Do I do this through my PCP? I am currently SC for DMII - 20%, IHD - 60% , PN - 4 X 10%, ED - SMC-K. So far nothing the Va has tried has helped my ED. My eGFR is at about 40 so kidney problems are probably not far off. That along with the pain, frustration and side effects of the meds has me down. Also, let me say I was diagnosed with DMII in the late 1980’s and had a heart attack in 1998. I’ve been dealing with this for quite a while. Does the prescribing of anti depressants and anti anxiety medications imply a diagnoses of those disorders? I am currently on 50 mg of Trazodone at betime and 1mg of Clonazepam twice a day. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Dave
  18. I'm doing some initial research regarding possible claims so I wanted to toss this out to the Hadit team to see if anyone has any advice or recommendations. I am SC for chronic allergies and depression secondary to chronic joint pain. Last year I started having problems with urticaria (hives), angioedema, and cellulitis. All of it began within a few weeks of each other and I have had problems since. Urticaria/Hives The hives start out as itchy areas on my torso, arms, legs, or in crevices (under arms, groin). Eventually I get raised whelps which are warm to touch and itch like crazy. They begin to expand and literally make their way across my body. Some are up to a foot in length. They subside after a few days, but usually pop back up and the cycle repeats again. Angioedema During or after the hive breakouts, I have had swelling of my fingers, hands, wrists, and my throat (landed me in intensive care for almost a week). Cellulitis So far, this has been limited to my groin area and has occurred a few times causing swelling and pain. I sought treatment from the VA allergy specialists and they took me off of a lot of my medications, upped my antihistamines, added prednisone, and I tested negative for hereditary angioedema. Even after being off the meds, the problems persist, so the docs are slowly working me back on my regular medications. My wife noticed that when I am stressed, which is mostly due to the chronic pain, I tend to have more episodes. We have been documenting the episodes and have taken photos. I know that if I wanted to file a claim, I would need a nexus from a doc saying these are related. I will need to go back through my service records to see if I have and related records. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations regarding claims for these issues? Thanks
  19. I apologise for the length of this post, I've never been good at condensing information. A little information about myself first. My name is Joshua I'm 31 years old I'm an OEF/OIF Veteran I was honorably discharged from active duty Army in 2005 I have a PTSD and depression diagnosis by civilian doctor after a suicide attempt earlier this year. I'm now alcohol and drug free after years of abuse and self medication. I have many physical and mental problems which I attribute to military service. I Started my VA Claim 2 years ago yet it's somehow still in the gathering of information stage. I recently received a letter from the VA stating that they can't find my medical records. Because the VA couldn't find them they told me that I should do it. I at first laughed and thought to myself, if the Military can't find my Military Records, how am I supposed to do it? This was insanity, but I tried anyway. I've called my last duty station and they don't have them. They don't know where my records went nor do they care. I've called The National Archives and sent them letters in St. Louis, they don't have them and don't give a damn. I've applied to receive my records online, they sent me dental records and an apology. I went in person to the records keeping of my last duty station and was politely asked to leave. Because my records are lost, they have asked for the following information which doesn't exist or is impossible for me to get: Buddy letters: It's been 7 damn years, all of my military friends are LONG gone I've had no contact with any of my old friends from the military. I do not have Buddy letters and I honestly have no means to get them, I've tried everything I can to get in contact with anyone that knew me in the service for many years. People move on, they leave the military, they PCS, they die, they disappear, this is a fact of life that the VA doesn't understand apparently. civilian medical records for the last 7 years: I have none, They do not exist. I was living under a bridge, I had no income, I was eating garbage out of dumpsters, going to a doctor was the least of my worries. Only recently this year (April) did I become registered in the VA medical system. (They haven't yet provided me with a PCM so I can't make non-mental health appointments), I've tried to make appointments and I get the same answer every time, NO. The only records I have are already in the VA medical system. Statements from military medical staff, I have none. If they exist they would be in my somehow non-existent records. State or local accident and police reports: None exist. Employment physical examinations: I don't have these because I've been unemployed since military service. Any jobs I've applied for haven't gone past the interview stage. (What is your address? Employment rejected) Letters written during service: The few I did write were destroyed by an angry ex-wife Photographs taken during service: None Pharmacy prescription records: please refer to the first point in this list. Insurance examinations: yeah, right... I went to a VSO to help me with my claim which proptly closed it's doors, shut down and destroyed all records and paperwork within a month of me signing over a power of attorney. The VA won't talk to me, they don't have my records, they won't let me see a VA provider, they won't send me any information about my claim. I've been scheduled 3 appointments with the VA in the last 3 months. EVERY SINGLE APPOINTMENT has been an intake class for people new to the VA system. These appointments have also been scheduled in a city 40 miles away from where I am, even though there is a VA clinic 2 blocks from my apartment. I've taken the same class and filled out the same paperwork 3 times. Yesterday I got a notice advising me of a new appointment. Guess what it's for? New patient intake... What the hell is the VA doing here? Am I going insane? Who is running this rag-tag system? What do I do here? Should I just give up? I'm running out of time here. I can't live in this apartment forever. They are starting to tape notices to my door asking for money I don't have. I'm about to head back under my bridge and say the hell with it. What a disaster.
  20. I have a diagnosis for Major Depression and currently rated at 30%. I have a C&P in the next month for an increase to my depression. I have 3 different doctors diagnosed me with this. My VA Psychiatrist who is treating me has me with a GAF of 50 on the last visit. 2 IMO doctors have me with GAF's of 30 and 35. When I review all of the compensation ratings I fall in the 70% to 100% categories. When I go to the C&P do I need to provide anything to the C&P Examiner? Any advice on a Depression C&P exam?
  21. I recently was honorably discharged and was advised to quick start my VA claim and did so. The VA on post has the following on my packet to get submitted for compensation: pseudofolliculitis barbae, asthma, allergic rhinitis, migraine headaches, cervical thoracic lumbar spine condition, sleep disorder (insomnia), nightmare disorder, adjustment disorder, and depression. I have two appointment, one physical and mental this week. After my appointments how long will it be before my benefits kick in and what percentage will each of my claims be or better yet be combined? thx for any answers or help...
  22. I am in the USAF. I have experienced depression since basic training in 2002. Never before. Everytime I experienced the depression was related to military. I got so bad in 2003-2004 that I over dosed on pills and cut myself, causing my heart to stop and was able to be revived. I'm just a reservist so the af had no idea. I had told them however that I had depression. I struggled thought my af career because of this. But slowly got better without pills. Eventually I was able to volunteer for a deployment. I had a talk with my commander about my depression and felt good about it all. I went to my deployment training for a month and did great. Then went on to my deployed location. Once there I started to struggle again. My wife had our son while there, and her dad was threatening to kill himself due to a failing marriage where his wife was cheating. My wife was very upset and stressed causing me more than I could handle alone. So I went to the pastor and til him I'm struggling and told him my past, noting I have no intention of hurting myself, but am feeling depressed. He said go to the doctor and tell him all Thai, which he also had done. He will give you some anti depressants and they help a lot. So I did. Once I told my past with the mil, the doc freaked. He profiled me and a week later I was in a phsyc ward on my way home. Never once did I do anything to hurt myself nor did I threaten to. I made it clear I wouldnt. And even said I want to stay deployed. Once home I was cleared by the docs at home station. After that my unit gave me an art 15 for saying I was good to go before hand. Took 500$, took a stripe, put me on no pay no points, and now will discharge me. All I want to do is serve my country and have come so far and worked so hard. I even lost 95 lbs to pass my pt test. Yes I was that big during my more depressed days. Can or will the VA help me with this. I feel betrayed by the air force. And all my unit can talk about is the money spent to fly me home. A week after I got home my wife's dad killed himself. I don't regret being here for my family during that. But I am very saddened that I was punished so harshly for having depression. All they say is talk to someone and we will help. Help kick you in the &$$ right out the door after taking all honor and pride is more like it. So again, is it worth going to the VA for help? What shoul I do?
  23. I recieved a yellow envelope from the San Diego, CA RO. In it was my award letter showing my award for increased evaluation and new claims. INCREASED EVALUATION TO 80% 1. Major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder - 70% 2. Allergic rhinitis - 10% 3. Patellafemoral pain syndrome, Right - 10% (continued) 4. Patellafemoral pain syndrome, Left - 10% (continued) 5. Left shoulder tendinitis - DEFERRED 6. Entitlement to Individual Unemployability - DEFERRED *Both backdated to Aug. 24, 2010 7. Left elbow strain - denied 8. Left wrist sprain - denied 9. Left Achilles tendinitis- denied *denied because the above mentioned items are not "CHRONIC". "A disability which began in service or was caused by some event in service must be considered "Chronic" before service connection can be granted. Although there is record of treatment in service.... There is no evidence of continuity fo treatment from the date of discharge from active duty to present." They didnt pay for my dependents on this RETRO, but I already sent in my forms to update my records and can see they are working on it on ebenefits. They put in the claim for IU on their own, does this mean it has a higher probability that it will be approved? Thanks everyone for your help. Its been a long time waiting, a lot of things lost over this period of waiting. I can now begin to plan for my future with my family again. I'm waiting to hopfully hear something today from a rental I applied for so I can move out on my own with my family. Keeping my fingers crossed. Although this is only a partial descision, I am hopeful that the remaining items on my claim will be resolved in my favor. Keeping my fingers crossed. The fight is not over yet! xpertshot San Diego, CA