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Found 1,075 results

  1. Anybody have any idea or know anything about the part of the PTSD criterion relating to derealization and or dissociation? I experienced them both during my multiple MST events...still do.
  2. My heart goes out to all of my fellow survivors of MST ... For me, I have found I can no longer suppress and manage the daily physical and emotional affects of the sexual assault that took place on December 25, 1985 while serving on active duty. In effort to find some help, relief and hopefully someday healing I am starting the uphill journey to deal with this and try to share some of the highlights of my battle. I will be the first to admit I have no idea what I am doing and can only hope that God the father.... will guide my feet day by day. First step locating documentation of the event. A few weeks ago I was able to locate the police dept. and requested a copy of the report. I received a copy of the 15 page report this past week and it makes me emotionally and physically sick just to look at the envelope it's in. I also tried to locate medical records over the years from prior mental health therapists and physicians that would have documented my history as it related to these events, but the practices were closed or my records were no longer available due to time. April I called the VA to inquire about mental health services for MST and hesitated to start the process because the MST would not be marked in my record for all my providers to see. This was a big hurdle mentally as I have always hid this event at all costs from my providers. I am sure this did not help my physicians treat me and fully understand my ongoing medical problems especially those in which are usually brought on by some big life event which I always adamantly denied when asked. May 2nd 2017, I submitted a "intent to file". May 4th 2017, I went to a VSO rep?? to asked questions about the process to file a claim related to MST. The rep was belittling, insulting, hurtful, rude and I walked out of that office with no more information and the psychological affects were pretty devastating. At the encouragement from my daughter to go straight to the patient advocate office and file a complaint....I did just that. I found myself have a total mental breakdown just trying to give the details of what just went down and was thankfully met with support and many reassurances that I would have a team of people helping moving forward and that person would be brought in...dealt with and re-trained. I will spare you all the details. My next step is hearing from the mental health dept. to set up an appt. to do some type of baseline evaluation of my symptoms etc. as it related to MST... I guess to get an official diagnosis on record and to get me the specific therapy I need started. I will likely opt for tele-therapy once I have a few sessions onsite at the VA. That's it for now
  3. Hello all. I had a c&p exam for my ptsd/mst claim on 1/19/17 at the VA Outpatient center in Fort Worth and just got the results back today. I was quite shocked by the notes. I feel that the c&p psychologist did not review the merits of my case properly and just opined hat I was exaggerating my symptoms based on a 15 question "MENT" test which consisted of me differentiating between happy, angry and sad faces. She also asked me to remember 5 items after 5 minutes (which she gave me the answer after I couldn't remember 2 of them). She asked me nothing about my symptoms or about the events of the trauma. She picked what parts of my VA medical records she included in the report (i.e., sleep disturbance). I feel like I have been shafted. She is basically refuting the diagnosis given by my TWO VA psychiatrists, VA psychologist and my VA social worker. I waited over 25 years to file my sexual assault claim due to me being extremely embarrassed and unable to bring myself to talk about the events that occurred while I served as a submariner in the Navy. The assault happened in 1988; back before don't ask, don't tell. Needless to say I was traumatized and afraid of being kicked out. Nonetheless, I was medically discharged a year later due to asthma brought on by anxiety and panic attacks while onboard my duty station. So, now I am at the point where I am finally seeking help and I spend 20 minutes with a c&p psychologist who seems to be indifferent about my condition. I almost feel like I should have just retreat back to my home in silence instead of being treated like a liar!!! What can I do about this? Here is my c&p exam: LOCAL TITLE: COMP & PEN MENTAL HEALTH/PSYCHOLOGY EXAM STANDARD TITLE: PSYCHOLOGY C & P EXAMINATION CONSULT DATE OF NOTE: JAN 19, 2017@09:30 ENTRY DATE: JAN 19, 2017@11:27:37 AUTHOR: EXP COSIGNER: URGENCY: STATUS: COMPLETED Initial Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Disability Benefits Questionnaire * Internal VA or DoD Use Only * Name of patient/Veteran: SECTION I: 1. Diagnostic Summary Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of PTSD that conforms to DSM-5 criteria based on today's evaluation? [ ] Yes [X] No 2. Current Diagnoses a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: No Diagnosis Comments, if any: Psychological Testing A test of response bias specifically related to PTSD symptoms was administered to the veteran during this examination to assess the credibility of his self-report. The name of this measure is withheld in this report in order to protect the integrity of the test. This test was specifically standardized on a sample of veterans applying for financial remuneration for a claim of disability resulting from PTSD. The veteran's score on this test was significantly above the established cutoff, indicating that his performance was not consistent with persons diagnosed with PTSD but was consistent with the test performances of disability claimants simulating symptoms of PTSD. As such, there is reason to suspect symptom exaggeration and a response style indicative of attempts to portray himself as worse off than he actually may be with regard to PTSD symptoms. Based on the Veteran's scores, additional testing was performed to further evaluate the possibility of overreporting or exaggeration of mental health symptoms. A second test of response bias was given that was specifically designed to assess the credibility of reported psychopathology symptoms of response bias related to mental illness. Each item on this test was designed to evaluate constructs and behaviors useful in identifying overreporting. This test was developed and validated using both simulation and known-groups designs to identify individuals attempting to overreport symptoms of mental illness. In addition, the validity of this exam has been generalized across various racial/ethnic groups, genders and settings. The Veteran's total score on this measure was above the cutoff, indicating that his responses were not consistent with persons diagnosed with any mental illness. In addition, the Veteran's scores on this interview indicate that his behavior was inconsistent with his reported symptoms and he endorsed very extreme and uncommon symptoms, symptom combinations that are both unlikely and inconsistent with common mood and psychotic disorders, and he had a tendency to endorse severe and unusual psychotic symptoms. He also endorsed an unusual course of illness that is inconsistent with the course of most psychiatric disorders recognized in clinical practice. It is possible that the veteran suffers from a mental illness. However, I am ethically unable to provide a diagnosis at this time given the veteran's response pattern of overreporting on three objective, reliable and valid psychological tests. Providing a diagnosis would require this examiner to resort to mere speculation and would violate the American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): Deferred to a physician 3. Differentiation of symptoms a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] 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] No mental disorder diagnosis 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 [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed 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 Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) [X] CPRS 2. History a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Family - Veteran was raised in a "normal" environment by his mother. "I wasn't that close to my father." Veteran has two brothers and two sisters. Veteran's mother was a kindergarten teacher and his father was a "mobile home constructor". Veteran denied any childhood medical/mental health problems. Veteran denied a family history of mental illness. Marital - Veteran has never been married. His last relationship ended around October of 2016 due to his "agitation." "She wanted to talk about stuff and I didn't want to discuss issues with her." Veteran has three sons (ages 16, 20 and 22). "My oldest two sons I don't really talk to since they're gone-one is overseas and the other I think moved up North. I call them every now and then and try to reach them but I hardly get in contact with them. I have a close relationship with my youngest son. He keeps me going." Social - "I had a lot of friends growing up but over the years they sort of fell to the wayside. I had friends going into the military and in boot camp but after sub school I stayed to myself. I had some associates but I didn't want to make any friends after sub school. Currently I have a few associates but I wouldn't call them friends." Prior to the military, the veteran enjoyed running track, playing football, singing in the choir and being in the art club ("I was the cartoonist for the school paper."), science and chess club. "During the military I didn't have any activities other than working on my rating. After I got out I got into oil painting, swimming, cycling and home renovation. I can no longer cycle or swim because of my back and respiratory issues. I haven't attended church in three years and my mother is now a pastor." b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Educational - Veteran earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1995 and a Master's Degree in Biomed Engineering in 2009. Veteran informed that he was a good student and denied a history of suspensions, expulsions or learning problems. Occupational - Veteran's job history prior to the military includes custodian and lawn care (self-employed). Veteran serve in the Navy from July 13, 1987- May 16,1989. Veteran was a college student from 1990-1997 and 2004-2009. Since being discharged from the military the veteran has worked as an RF engineer/consultant (1997-2004: "I got into an argument with my supervisor because he always wanted to include me on projects he was working on and I thought that was inappropriate. I thought he had an interest in me even though he didn't say it outright. He wanted to go out and do stuff outside of work hours."); and bioengineer/prosthetic designer for the Department of Commerce (2010-March of 2016: "I got in several arguments because of space and eventually withdrew and stopped producing. I had to share a small space with a coworker and he was constantly rolling back in his chair asking me questions and tapping me on the shoulder so it finally came to a head."). Occupational problems reported include poor social interaction ("Shouting at people and avoiding contact with guys in the office. I worked better with females."), difficulty concentrating ("Because I was focused on not being in a vulnerable position. I missed deadlines or didn't finish tasks because I couldn't focus. I asked to have my own office but you can't have one as a junior engineer."), difficulty following instructions ("If men tried to get close to me because it reminded me of sub school and the threat of not being advanced or promoted."), forgetfulness, and increased absenteeism ("In 2015 I couldn't deal with the office so I started working from home but my supervisor didn't want me to sever myself from the office totally. I had anxiety about going back and sharing an office with another male. I felt better working by myself because I was more productive."). In regards to reprimands, the veteran informed that he was written up for poor work performance, absenteeism, being AWOL and conflicts with his officemate. "The conflicts with my officemate led to me being fired." Veteran informed that he has applied for one job since being fired. When asked if he was a productive and reliable employee he stated, "As long as I was alone and no one was being touchy with me." Veteran denied the following occupational problems: assignment of different duties and tardiness An October 5, 2016 MH OUTPT NOTE states, "He is unemployed and uses income from renting rooms to pay living expenses." An October 5, 2016 MH Attending note states, "Lost his last job as a biomedical engineer in March 2016 after "tussling" with an older man in his office who would repeatedly come up behind him and touch/pat his shoulders which reminded him of his Navy experience...Owns home and rents out rooms for income." c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Mental Health Veteran began mental health treatment at the North Texas VA in August of 2016 and is compliant with his medication regimen of risperidone, prazosin and sertraline despite feeling "groggy and spaced-out." Veteran denied a history of psychiatric hospitalizations. An October 12, 2016 SLEEP TELEPHONE NOTE states, "I called the patient and explained their sleep test results in detail. I explained him that the study did not show significant sleep apnea despite his sleeping on his back. He is unable to sleep on his side due to his shoulder problems...Encouraged the patient to lose weight." A November 2, 2016 MH PTSD INDIVIDUAL NOTE states, "Veteran believes that gay men are going to hurt him. He also informed worker that he has experienced a lot of fear and worry this Halloween with people who are transgender, to the point that he is not sleeping for fear they will break into his home. Veteran is worried that he may have to "barricade" his home with bars on the windows." A November 3, 2016 MH Attending Note states, "Updates that since last appt, his GF ended their relationship, "she said I was over agitated." Last week, he describes an incident at a restaurant when a transgendered person was standing by him, he turned and saw the person, got so upset that he ran out of the restaurant and vomited. Since last week has felt progressively worse. "It's harder to tell which people to stay aware from.. it's a whole new ballgame with transgendered [people]...I don't know who my enemy is." He states he needs to set a perimeter on his house, put bars on his windows/doors, and update his security alarm. Reports poor sleep, gets out of bed 3-4x/night to check doors/windows and frequency of NMs has increased. Appetite is low. Feels that he cannot focus, "I'm constantly thinking how to avoid these people." Reports hearing male voices talking outside of his windows so he fears they will break in (reason for "setting perimeter"). When he is in public he has thoughts of "I need to get them before they get me" when he passes male strangers. Has not had any violence but does say he has had verbal arguments (told someone in the Wal-Mart line to back up and they argued with him, for example)...+ MST in Navy- unwanted taunts, suggestive remarks and genital contact and kissing from supervisor." A December 5, 2016 MH ATTENDING NOTE states, "Updates writer that he has spent ~$3000 since last visit adding bars to the outside of his first floor home window and installing a security system with cameras. Reports he still plans to add more cameras to monitor his roof because "maybe someday deterred by the barricade downstairs might want to get in up there." Reports vague AH of hearing footsteps on his second floor when he is down on the first floor. Denies hearing voices from upstairs or outside his window like he endorsed last visit. Reports nighttime is the hardest for him because "that's when they are outside...the enemy, the transsexuals." Denies actually seeing anyone outside of his house at night. Reports he is comfortable with certain people coming up to his house, like the mailman, but states he is not comfortable when strangers come up. States he is not aggressive but tells them to go away. Does not take his gun with him to the front door. States he now feels better with his house more protected. Is able to watch movies and enjoy them during the day. His security system is on his phone app and he checks it every 3 hours. At night he "secures the perimeter" every 2 hours, has an alarm set." d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Behavioral - "In 2005 I grabbed a guy that was dressed like a female. We were meeting for a date but his profile said he was a female. Two months ago a person behind me in line was transgender. I pushed him to the side and ran outside." Legal - Veteran denied a history of legal problems. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Substance Abuse - Veteran denied a history of substance abuse. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 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: MST February-April of 1988: CPRS states, "A male teacher began touching him during class and stepped over lines trying to get too close that made him feel very uncomfortable. Veteran says there was never genital contact because there was touching and kissing on the part of the instructor." Veteran's stressor statement states, "One trainer would come up behind me and massage my shoulders. He also grabbed my waist and pressed himself against me. I could feel his erect penis against my buttocks. He also made sexual innuendos and jokes. He also asked me if my nipples were hard because I was glad to see him. He then said, 'I bet you have a nice sized tool'. He then touched my left nipple and kissed my neck. When I confronted him he stated that if I didn't cooperate, I may not pass through with my classmates. He then grabbed my crotch and said, 'Pass or no pass. You make the determination.' My relationship with my long time high school sweetheart ended that summer (June of 1988) because I withdrew fro the relationship and was too ashamed to confide in her." Please note that this last statement is in contrast to the statement provided by his former girlfriend who stated that the veteran "mentioned that a sexual assault happened to him during training that changed him and that he needed time to work through it." 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? [ ] Yes [X] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, please describe the markers that may substantiate the stressor. Veteran's treatment records, buddy statement and stressor statement were reviewed. However, there are no markers in the veteran's STRs or personnel records which the VBA has confirmed. 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria No response provided. 5. Symptoms No response provided. 6. Behavioral Observations MENTAL STATUS EXAM - Appearance, Behavior, and Speech Veteran's appearance and dress were appropriate for the exam. His speech was normal in rate and tone. Veteran's response to the evaluation was guarded but engaged. Rapport was easily established with the Veteran who put forth a conscientious effort to answer all questions to the best of his ability. Thought Process - There was no evidence of loose associations, flight of ideas, circumstantial, or tangential thought process. Veteran completed similarities and interpreted proverbs accurately. Thought Content - Veteran denied having any obsessions or suicidal/homicidal ideations. However, delusions regarding the security of his home and transgenders were reported. "Transgenders are trying to get back at me because I grabbed the transgender that I was supposed to go on a date with. His profile said he was female. I have to hone in and decipher whether someone is male or female because my initial problems came with my sexual assault in training so I've distanced myself from males who are the enemy. The transgender caught me off guard and now they're trying to trick me. It's a whole new ball game." Perceptual Abnormalities - "I keep hearing my instructors voice in my head. Especially if I get around someone who has to make choices that involve me. I keep hearing 'pass or no pass' which is what he said to me. I hear a human voice outside my windows. When I go look there's nothing there so I don't know if they've run away or what. That's why I put up security cameras." Mood and Affect - Veteran's mood was "indifferent" and his affect was flat. Sensorium and Cognition - Sensorium was clear. Veteran was oriented to time, place and person. Immediate memory was good as he was able to repeat five of seven numbers forward and six of seven numbers in backwards sequence. Recent memory was fair as he recalled two of three items after five minutes. Remote memory was fair as he recalled the names of the last three presidents, the name of his high school, his youngest son's birthday, and his first job. Veteran was unable to recall the name of his elementary or junior high school nor his siblings or two oldest sons birthdays. In regards to concentration, Veteran spelled world forward and backwards and completed simple mathematics, serials 3's, and serial 7's. His intelligence appeared to be average. Judgment and Insight - Veteran's insight is good as he understands the outcome of his behavior and the choices he makes. His judgment is impaired but he informed that he would return a library book to the library if found, pull over for the police, and return a wallet he found to the owner. 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 Financial: "My brother pays any bills that I can't pay online." NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application.
  4. I just submitted my first claim for PTSD from MST. When I was overseas, I was on guard duty was an infantryman. When in a guard tower, he exposed his penis and started playing with it. He was looking at me and wanted to me "help" him out. We were locked and loaded so I was fearful on what this man was going to do next. I just froze. I told his SGT and he was detained and sent back to garrison. The rules changed and I was looked at a different way since the incident. There was no touching but this incident has impacted my life and my sense of security. I'm fearful of everything and what's worse is that it's now effecting my children and my marriage and that's why I'm now filing. I haven't talked about it openly with my friends and now I'm expected to talk about it with a stranger for my c&p appointments? Any advice on what to expect and how long the whole process take.
  5. Hi, This afternoon I have my C&P exam for PTSD secondary to MST, with a contracted provider. I found out Friday evening after work. Fed Ex had delivered the paperwork earlier, but I didn't get a chance to see it until I got home from work. To say that I am nervous would be the understatement of the year. I am desperately trying to hold myself together. My digestive system is all out of whack. I did spend an hour on the phone last night with a wonderful person from a non VSO group. She is a Marine and has trauma history, so that made the connection pretty easy. She gave me a lot of good tips, if I could only remember them when it's crunch time. One of my biggest fears is that this will be just like my previous mental health C&P...where that examiner, a VA employee, when straight for the jugular and ignored my heaps of physical evidence. I don't know why I am even doing this. I fully expect to get more of the same....nothing. If I do get granted SC, the shock of that may well kill me...because that goes against the grain of what the VA has given me over the years....tons of grief and denials. Anyway, just wanted to write this down as some kind of therapy... No body has to read it, or respond. I'm not here anyway.........
  6. I sent this to my service officer to clear up some of the continuing lies, from the VA, in my claims: I Steven *** have been trying to get this claim problem straightened out with the VA, since my first claims filed, since my first claims in the 1990's. There is either a misunderstanding, or the VA is a purposely refusing to acknowledge that I worked with and was sickened by all of the following chemicals on active duty. Gasoline (Leaded), Jet-Fuel, Diesel Fuel, Trichloroethylene. I worked as a Fuels Specialist, and worked with Gasoline (leaded), Jet-Fuel, Diesel Fuel daily. I was soaked in those chemicals daily. I was sickened by those chemicals, and the U.S.A.F. doctors determined they made me very sick. The command was notified, and I was removed from that job. I was placed in a new job, at a weather squadron, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. My duty had no chemical exposure. After a few weeks I was told to report to a new job. I was again working with petroleum chemicals (Trichloroethylene), which were used to clean printing presses. I again became very sick. I had no choice but to leave the U.S.A.F. because I had lost all jobs due to illnesses from chemicals. (5 years active duty). When I claimed for V.A. disability, I told the VA it was for all of the chemicals. Every decision the V.A. denies, they only deny Jet-Fuel related claims. They always fail to discuss all of the chemicals which made me sick. I told the V.A. so many times, I cannot count the times. At the DRO hearing (San Diego), I told them over and over about all of the chemicals. I told the DRO hearing that the other fuels were also a part of my every day contact, and that I was soaked in them every day. I was soaked in them from filling fuel tanks, with open and closed nozzles, distributing fuels, testing fuels, leaky valves, and more. My clothing and skin were soaked every day on active duty with these chemicals. I was then again soaked with Trichloroethylene from cleaning printing presses, the injuring continued from exposure (Repro-graphics specialist). The headaches, the extremely swollen skin and limbs. So swollen, that my limbs were bleeding from the skin unable to expand further. I want this part of the record. I have made printed and oral statements to correct the record with V.A. claims, but every attempt has been ignored. Please, finally make this part of the record. Add it to or find the records, if my earlier statement were destroyed, ignored, whatever. I am pleading for this to be done honestly and correctly, as this misunderstanding is from no-fault of my own, I am not a lawyer, and have no idea how to make sure these omissions by the V.A. can be corrected by any others way, except to make again one more statement, among many, about this huge problem with my claim not handled properly.
  7. Thank god for this community. I thought my military service was ancient history (NAVY 88-93), but it turns out I have lived longer than my capacity to continue running. May I ask for help here in navigating this? I've filed my claim and am on stabilizing medication, but I feel an almost adversarial relationship with the VA and my family is in crisis. Squatting in a falling apart rv on a now estranged friend's property. We have just received a VASH/HUD section 8 voucher and are hopefully getting into a place with plumbing in a few weeks, but our financial crisis will not be helped by our inexperience and naive handling of this claim, not to mention my current level of incapacity which is complete. About 7 years ago my life started to unravel. I was having difficulty with my job as a plant manager for a large bottled water company. I was missing easy things, forgetting important and essential deadlines and I was becoming less and less able to focus. I was prescribed adderal and that helped for a time, but by 2009 I had to resign. That began a downward slide into homelessness for me, my wife and 2 small kids as my capability was eaten away and replaced with panic, sudden bursts of anger and frustration and implacable feelings of it all ending very soon. I've become almost completely isolated and have been unable to support my family at all for 22 months now. I was hospitalized in december (st joes in tacoma) for 5 days due to suicidal thoughts and a comprehensive nervous breakdown. It was from here that I was able to see the events without conditioned filters and my wife (the absolute most patient woman in the world) helped me file a claim with the va. I've been diagnosed by a psychiatrist in Arizona, the staff at St Joe's and by the VA as having PTSD/MDD and am on a lot of stabilizing medication. During my active service while deployed to Diego Garcia in support of the gulf war effort I was told during a routine physical that I had blood in my urine. My flight surgeon was concerned because she did not have the necessary equipment on hand to rule out bladder cancer. The decision was made to take me off of flight status and medivac me to Japan for more detailed diagnostic testing. I was in Japan about a week and had several examinations that ruled out bladder cancer. During one exam, conducted alone and in an unprofessional manner by a naval officer I was sexually assaulted and it left me in a great deal of physical pain, feeling violated and deeply ashamed. When we were alone in the exam room, the doctor nodded at my wedding ring and asked if there was any ‘other’ reason that could be causing this problem. I said ‘No’. He pressed authoritatively, “You need to be honest with me, I’m your doctor, are you telling me that you have not fooled around on your wife on deployment?” I was concerned that there was evidence of something bad like HIV that needed my honesty to secure needed treatment and the truth was that I had cheated on my wife with a girl in my squadron. And though I was reasonably sure that the protection we had used and the time that had elapsed since our triste was enough to ensure that I was safe from such things, the doctor’s demand for complete honesty and the fact that I felt reasonably safe sharing the truth (he’s my doctor after all) had me answer his question in the affirmative with the explanation of why I didn’t think it material given the explanation of time and protection cited above. The doctor’s demeanor visibly changed. Like a mask had come off. He looked very disappointed, on the verge of open anger. His face grew red and his breathing changed, like he was trying to control his temper. “Now I’m going to need you to turn around and drop your drawers.” As a Naval air crewman, I’ve had over a half dozen prostate exams. Only one of them could be defined as digital sodomy. He held me forcefully and told me to, “BE QUIET” when I cried out from the shock and intense pain, begging him to stop or at least tell me what the hell he was doing. It felt like he was trying to force his entire hand inside of me in a procedure that lasted at least a full minute in which the doctor exerted a tremendous amount of effort, nearly lifting my feet from the ground several times. I started crying as he finished. He released my shoulder and told me to “HOLD STILL OR WE’RE GOING TO DO IT AGAIN” and he squeezed my prostate producing a burning and painful discharge of fluid from the tip of my penis that he collected on a glass slide. He removed his hand from me and said, “Get your clothes on and next time, keep your dick in your pants.” He did not answer me when I asked what he had done. The exam left me in a great deal of pain, feeling ashamed, punished and deeply violated. This proved to be a very destabilizing experience as I slowly began to realize through intense and intrusive flashbacks, that this was not the first time I had experienced this combination of emotions at the hands of an angry male authority figure. I began to withdraw from friends, I took myself off flight status, I was no longer able to shoot my bow, something that had always been effortless before. But now I was starting to unravel, unable to face the shame of the reality of what the doctor had done and the overlap it had with the, until now, completely repressed memory of being handcuffed and violently raped by my best friend’s uncle at the age of 7. By the time I was discharged from the service, I was suffering greatly. It was as though a plug had been pulled and I couldn’t stop the flow of effluent that was leaking out. And I couldn’t get away from it either. I desperately needed help. But I was terrified, confused, intensely embarrassed and depressed. Within a few months of discharge my increasingly impulsive and erratic behavior led to me causing a vehicle accident while street racing my car (something I had never done prior to the assault, but was now doing compulsively) that killed two elderly women returning home from church on a Sunday morning. My wife, pregnant at the time, lost the baby shortly thereafter and our relationship imploded. That KO'd me for a while. I shunned treatment, counseling anything associated or linked to the accident. My shame over having killed two people by my irresponsibility became a massive boulder that sealed everything associated with that event off like a tomb. I did not want to be seen as a victim myself and set out to become something. I worked my way up in a company willing to take a chance on a felon and went from a $10/hour night loader to the Plant manager and near 6 figures in 10 years without a degree. I started racing ATV's (I'd never ridden a motorcycle before) and in 4 years had climbed into the top 10 as a national pro. But my life chaos was increasing exponentially as was my self destructive behavior. after 13 years I again divorced. This coincided with resigning my position at the water company and and marrying my 3rd wife. From there we had our first child while we blew through my retirement trying to figure out what in the hell we were supposed to do. We moved in with friends and I got a job doing driveways for $12/hour. My degrading social skills put huge strains on the friendship status of the family that was good enough to help us. We ended up living in a small camper for 5 months with no plumbing. I called my old boss who now lived in Georgia and was running a consulting firm to the energy sector and asked for a job. This guy thought I walked on water at my last place of employment. We moved in late 2012 across the country. It was an unmitigated disaster. I lasted 18 months before I had to resign. the physical manifestations, panic attacks, loss of focus, inability to follow direction, intense and growing phobia for talking on the phone (it was phone sales job) and an increasing tendency to freeze in stressful situations. (on the phone or in person) just really weird long silence from me. We moved to Arizona to live with our in laws. My wife flew ahead and I met up with my father in law, who was only 6 years older than me in NM. 15 minutes after meeting up, he, died of a massive heart attack in front of me on the side of the road, I had to call my wife and tell her dad had died. the two years spent living in phoenix with a wrecked mother in law going through menopause and losing her mind over her grief now had me and my incapacity to focus her pain on. I started smoking pot heavily (I had not had a substance abuse issue prior to this) and my capability continued to recede. I was working in a tiny post office in a rural town for 4 hours a day. My beard hair fell out and my panic attacks were happening 3 - 12 times a day and everyone felt like the heart attack I saw my father in law have. My Daughter was born in August of 2015 The relationship with my mother in law deteriorated until she sold her house and bought us this little rv we are in now, early in 2016 I went to the doctor in phoenix for the first time in April of last year where he diagnosed me with PTSD and we picked up and moved back home here to washington to flee the intense stress from living in a dirt parking lot in July in Phoenix in an rv, not to mention the now open hostility directed toward me from my in laws who weren't buying any of it. By some miracle my wife was able to locate my Pink medical folder and it has the doctor's name in there and the dates, though he doesnt mention in the chart notes the procedure in question, at least from what I can tell. This guy was a ltcdr in the NAVY, I'm fairly confident I am not the only person he taught this lesson to. So now we are in process. My wife has done all the filing to date and has been as thorough as possible, but there is a lot of water left to cross and Im not entirely sure of the strength of our case and I dont want to learn on my own experience the lessons of those who have successfully navigated this. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  8. What impact do you think my MST/PTSD claim will have because I am not on any meds for anxiety or depression. The only medication I was on was Xanax for my anxiety and panic attacks and my neurologist told me to stop taking my Xanax because I have such severe memory and concentration issues. I am on a very low dose which he knows and that I needed to take the meds because it is the only thing to this point that helps my panic attacks or recover more quickly from one. I am not on any depression meds. because I will not take them due to having suicidal thoughts when I tried them two times in my past. I did think of killing myself...I had and "urge" to kill myself and that was the scariest thing to fight off for almost two days until my meds wore off. I vowed I would never take those meds again (or any other class of the meds) I'd rather have my anxiety and depression than to kill myself and my children have to live with that the rest of their lives. Now that I am filing for MST/PTSD I see the DBQ has many questions surrounding medications and it looks like in my situation the yes and no answers does not allow for the explanation above and my claim may be rejected despite my many issues I deal with daily that I am now in therapy for. Any advice on what to do to address this preemptively for my claim??
  9. Mailed off my PTSD secondary to MST on Monday. I don't know where to go from here. My life is falling apart around me. My marriage is on the rocks, my work is suffering. I've been in therapy at my VAMC for 2 years now. I don't know if I will survive. I got a letter that the VA wants to reduce my back...I can't deal with that, and this...and I'm at my breaking point. On January 23rd my life changed forever. I had sexual assault reporting and prevention training at work a few days earlier, which triggered my memories. They had been blocked. I had always thought what happened was consensual gay sexual activity...at least that's what that predator had told me he would say if I talked. And that he would kill me and hide my body in the woods. I have been having memories drown me ever since that time....I have 37!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! years of sexual, child sexual assault, physical assault, domestic violence abuse.....how the crap am I even still alive??????? I know I can't talk about anything that didn't happen during my service years. So that limits me to 4 sexual assaults, 2 by females and 2 by same male predator. The last was a drunk female Sailor while I was on deployment. She tackled me then began assaulting me. She was drunk off her butt, and I was automatically the perpatrator...sober male Marine, versus a drunk female Sailor...who do you think is guilty??? I can't comprehend...37 years of garbage history in the last 10 weeks....I am utterly worthless
  10. Good Evening Everyone! Okay I have a few questions regarding my Disability claim as well as my husband. First let me start off by listing all my service connected disabilities: 1.) PTSD-100% 2.) 60% Asthma 3.) 50% Migraines 4.) 50% Endometrosis with IBS 5.) 10% Eczema 6.) 10% Rt. Knee 7.) 10% Left Knee 8.) 0% scar left breast 9.) 0% hernia 10.) 0% rt breast scar I'm currently rated 100% SMC S and I'm paid at the housebound rate. I'm a little confused. Another veteran told me I should be rated L or L1/2 because I was getting paid the housebound rate prior to Migraines and Asthma being increased from 10% to now 50% and 60%. Is this true? I read on one forum (can't remember where) that I should receive the letter S and 3 K's which ultimately equals L. Just confused. Also, my husband was medically retired due to Lupus. He's currently rated at 100% for Lupus and 100% for Depression. I recently applied for Aid & Attendance because with two kids and my own disabilities (no family within 2 1/2) its extremely hard. When he has flares he can't do anything. He has flares anywhere from 2 to 3 times a month lasting anywhere from5 to 7 days. His civilian dr filled out the Aid & Attendance form and explained how bad he needed this benefit. Well of course the VA denied it. They stated Aid & Attendance is for someone in regular need of assistance. They also stated since he can walk with a cane 25 ft he doesn't need it as well. I'm really at the end of my rope with the VA. To add insult to injury, when I filed a claim for his kidenys (he has stage 3 kidney failure) they said that falls under Lupus. I understand if I opened a claim regarding back, joint or neck pain, but Kidney failure! We have a two young kids and we will make due, but I can't make it to my MST meetings unless I have someone here with my husband. Sorry, folks I had to vent. Please help
  11. rating guess??

    Hello, I am having my first kid in July so im sorta freaked out about finances right now. Had my C&P last week, here are the results. Also, below that are results from a private psychologist who did a DBQ for me in June of 2016. I am currently rated at 30% for Anxiety condition and 10% for tinitus. Thoughts? Electronic copy finally showed up on Myhealthevet. I'm pretty sure I'm over stressing the issue, but I have a kid coming in July/August. First child, so im sorta scared Sh*tless about finances right now. Getting atleast a picture of what I have to work with might reduce my stress. Additionally, below this last C&P result are DBQ's from May 2016 filled out by a private Psychologist. Deployed OIF 2008-2009.please help:SECTION I: ---------- 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: F43.12 2.Current Diagnoses--------------------a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD ICD code: F43.12 Comments, if any: associated with depressive and anxiety symptoms 3. Differentiation of symptoms ------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): as in other evaluations c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not shown in records reviewed 4. Occupational and social impairment ------------------------------------- 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 with reduced reliability and productivity 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 [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed 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 TBISECTION II:----------- Clinical Findings: ------------------ 1. Evidence Review ------------------ Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):[X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) Evidence Comments: all are contained in the veteran's claims folder reviewed electroncially through VBMS 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Veteran was last evaluated April 2, 2016. No history of emotional or psychiatric disorders/ predisposition during childhood years. Brother has been discharged from the military due to Schizophrenia. Veteran has been living in the country since July 2016. He met a gf last August and decided to move in together in October. Vet said his gf is generally good for her. She provides the care he is wants and uses it as rationalization why he is staying with her. He admits that he has some doubts why she is putting up with him and suspects that she might have some ulterior motives (e.g. getting a better life in the US). "I don’t mind, our relationship is neutral, she gets benefits and so do I." -Vet endorsed trust issues. Vet has a tendency to check her phones, he made her quit her job because of fear that if his gf is not by his side, she may be doing some other business that will put their relationship at risk. Vet admits that he doesn't trust her fully yet he is considering marrying her. Vet is expecting a child with her. Vet denied any close heterosexual relationship with anyone in the past. He had commercial sex to satisfy his need. He had one "relationship" back in 2014 but did not turned out well. He felt "used" for investing on her and it was not reciprocated. Veteran said he has problems with relating to others. "other people don’t listen... i don’t know how to talk to them." Vet said he cannot connect with servicemen's sense of humor, overall demeanor. He said he can act very aggressively, imposing and threatening. He has a high expectation of how things are supposed to be done and expected this on other people. When he does not get the things he expected, it frustrates him and can become very aggressive. Vet said this change of character around 2007-2009 when he was on his 2nd duty station. This kind of short temperedness was also endorsed outside of the military. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Noted Veteran's educational and occupational background as contained in VAE done April 2016. Veteran said he had a job after he was fired from his job in Qatar in April 2015. Doing sandwich delivery but did not last long because he had an accident that prevented him from continuing with that work. NO other kind of productive employment since that time. Vet is into using his GI bill (a benefit he started using back in 2012). Vet is pursuing a course in Culinary since Oct 2016. Vet said he likes cooking and knows how to cook, hence his desire to pursue a course in culinary. He however said the class is alienating because of the language barrier that made him cuss inside. He finds the teachers egotistical. He is pursuing this course as a possible opportunity that he can pursue in the future like a cake online business where he just bakes and take orders online without interacting with people. He anticipates the next school year in June. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Index event: combat deployment in 2008. There was an explosion that hit about 100meter from him when he felt terrified. Vet is aware of his how their hostile enemies are capable off and thought his life was really in danger. Vet froze up for about a minute but then realized that they have a job to do and powered up to prepare for retaliation. He related that it was only after about a day that they were told that it was not a missile that exploded rather an airplane accident that carried missiles that happened. Index event 2: veteran wrote a statement about his experience in public showers where he received being slapped at, touched in sensitive places that he did not like. Veteran endorsed that he had to deal with it at that time since it was a common thing to happen and didn’t really want to report the incident for fear of being alienated in the unit or get somebody in trouble. Vet endorsed feeling helpless that he cannot do anything to escape/ or address the situation that he was in at that time. He endorsed feeling embarrassed and some guilt for not having the courage to do anything at that time. Veteran endorsed overly accommodated thinking about taking future assignments/duty stations seriously and got easily pissed off with other members of his unit who just tend to jerk around and not take their duties seriously. He became short tempered. Vet endorsed developing startle reactions when he sees people with their hand on their side that has the potential of accidentally hitting his crotch area. People don’t care anyone but themselves. People are selfish, everything do things for a gain. This has led him to avoid them as far as possible. Social interaction has suffered and became more reclusive. Vet said that his motivation to go out and engage in social activities is no longer there. He identifies his best friend *FRIENDS NAME* as the person he can trust. He is trying his best to make his current relationship to work for him. He has a tendency to think that his life now has somewhat been "oriented" but cannot really say if he is already focused or goal oriented. He is considering a married life and being a responsible father. He admits having some anxieties with it at this time. Vet endorsed having dreams/ nightmares about the explosion and things that happened in the military that can happen 2-3 times per week, resulting to early morning waking up and feeling relieved that he was not there. Sleep impairment is endorsed having episodes of recollections of his index event usually triggered by stresses and events and cues that reminds him of it. It used to occur about 1x/week and more current only when reminded of it. Alcohol effect can trigger it, hence he tries to avoid it. Vet said he would feel sad about it and would want to isolate himself to deal with the memory. Vet self-esteem affected because he felt he didn’t have to freeze up at that time; Made him think that he had to be very diligent in his subsequent work ever since then because of the history of freezing up in his job when it happened. Vet endorsed some doubts about his abilities.... "I’m not good enough for a lot of things;" "maybe I’m not as good enough as i thought i am". Veteran said he easily gets nervous when feeling intimidated and verbally aggressive when having a hard time convincing other people of his stand especially when knows he is right. Vet said he can get easily wound up and anxious when meeting a deadline. Vet endorsed recurrent preoccupation about what is going to happen, what is his next move. etc. Panic attacks can happen sporadically as triggered by unexpected sounds or noise, or negative news on tv. Social situations that he is unfamiliar with also triggers it. Noted treatment records from *Florida VA facility* where he is maintained on Duloxetine, Trazodone and Prazosin. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Vet used to live close to his grandfather. He reported a volatile relationship with him due to difference in opinion. Vet endorsed that police has been called multiple times to settles down his temper that has a tendency to become really aggressive. NO charges has been filed against him. Vet had a intense altercation with a girl he met when he first moved in the country around August of 2016. The altercation came to the point of his antagonist pulling out a knife to threaten him. He said he was being aggressive and loud at that time. This was no police involved. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): no problematic use of alcohol; no history of using illicit drugs except using marijuana to calm him down when he is feeling edgy and panicky. said he self-medicated. he has not smoked marijuana ever since he got into the Philippines.f. Other, if any: No response provided. 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: experiencing an explosion while on combat duty station in 2008 that turned out to be an airplane accident 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 [ ] NoIs the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Stressor #2: unwanted sexual touching in the context of traditional military humor. Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] NoIs the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] NoIs the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [X] Yes [ ] Nof yes, please describe the markers that may substantiate the stressor. Veteran developed trust issues with people and became more reclusive in dealing with social situations. Veteran developed assimilated and overly accommodated thinking as a result of his index event. He also developed inability to relate to people after the event that had occupational and social negative impact. Self-esteem and self-worth has been questioned. 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 Criterion 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 Criterion 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 violence, in one or more of the following ways:[X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) 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] 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] 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 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. 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[X] Stressor #2 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [X] Chronic sleep impairment [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] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- Veteran came in alone, appropriately dressed for the interview. Generally cooperative with spontaneous and goal directed speech. Generally calm disposition. Mood was euthymic with a wide and appropriate range of affect Logical thoughts process (+) overly accommodated thinking as well as assimilated thinking as related to experience of the two index event disturbed motivation, arousal symptoms of irritability poor to fair impulse control, some insight to symptoms influenced judgement no suicidal ideations .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 -------------------------------------------------- The current diagnosis is the better description of the etiology of the vet's symptoms rather then broader and non-specific implication of his previous diagnosis of unspecified depressive disorder. This is a progression of the previous diagnosis as more symptoms about the current diagnosis became evident. Veteran exhibited cognitive symptoms consistent to a person who has suffered a trauma in his life and developed symptoms that fulfills the criteria for PTSD based on DSM V. All evidences on record considered and was built on. Veteran's current symptoms will likely affect successful social interaction that would make a typical employment environment challenging. Other forms of productive pursuits can be considered that does not place too much emphasis on social interaction to deliver its "products," NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Here are the additional DBQ's from a private Psychologist I went to for a few sessions before leaving the country.As far as I know, he was objective, I didn't know him like a PCP or anything.Here are the items checked on one for mid-2016 from my private Psychologist I was seeing for an extended time for treatment:X OCCUPATIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPAIRMENT WITH DEFICIENCIES IN MOST AREAS, SUCH AS WORK, SCHOOL, FAMILY RELATIONS, JUDGMENT, THINKING AND/OR MOOD X The Veteran experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others. X The Veteran's response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror. X Recurrent and distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts or perceptions. X Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. X Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring; this includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations and dissociative flashback episodes, including those that occur on awakening or when X intoxicated. X Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event. X The traumatic event is not persistently re-experienced. X Physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event. X Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma. X Efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of the trauma. X Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma. X Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. X Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others. X Restricted range of affection (e.g., unable to have loving feelings). X Difficulty falling or staying asleep. X Irritability or outbursts of anger. X Difficulty concentrating. X Hypervigilence. X Exaggerated startle response. X The duration of the symptoms described in Criteria B, C and D is more than 1 month. X The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning X Depressed mood X Anxiety X Suspiciousness X Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often X Panic attacks more than once a week X Chronic sleep impairment X Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events X Flattened affect X Impaired judgment X Disturbances of motivation and mood X Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships X Difficulty adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a work like setting X Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships X Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence X Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene
  12. I have been reading on this forum and am really nervous about the C&P exam that I have coming up this Thursday. It seems there are so many horror stories. I was triggered with PTSD summer of 2013 and had to call VA crisis line Nov 2013 when I was thinking of killing myself because I was becoming so unraveled and didn't understand why...hadn't been in the service since 1996 and didn't even know that MST existed...it wasn't until i talked to the crisis DR follow up the next day that he said it sounded like I had PTSD. I thought PtSD was just for people who saw war. I was out of on short term disability at work in Nov 2013, Dec 2013, March 2014, and haven't been able to work since June 2014. Since June 2014 I have been hospitalized 3 times for PTSD and Bipolar. The first hospitalization was at a VA facility and I was there only for the PTSD-MST. It wasn't until then that I found out that I could even get compensation for what happened to me in the military where I was gang raped. It took me until the end of Aug before I could even write a statement to file my claim. I have been suicidal since then a handful of times, disassociate, blah, blah, blah. I use to work full time, working on a Grad degree, second bachelors, and have two kids. I couldn't even keep my kids at home over christmas break and had to pay for daycare because I can't handle having them at home even though I dont' work. I even applied for the VA CWT program where they help you find a job and have a disability. They dropped me from the program saying I was "occupational maladjustment disorder". I'm concerned about the whole proof thing like many others who have posted here. I'm also afraid that they will think I am exagerating my symptoms, although my VA counselor has stated that I can't do CBT for the MST until I have sufficient coping skills which right now I do not. OK...proof...when the rape happened I was on shore duty and the perps where stationed on a submarine. When word got out they started an investigation on the submarine but nothing ever came from it. Shortly after I was asked to move off base and couple months later had to get tested for STD and turned out they left me with a parting gift. Is this enough? What I went through was so traumatic I don't know if I can take someone telling me it didn't happen. Second question. My VSO said that my statement should be enough since they should be able to pull records to cooberate my story. They have my VA hospitalization and treatment records since Nov 2013. Should I upload my hospital documents from the other two hospitalizations? My VSO thinks it will delay my claim and understands what a financial strain I am under now with not being able to work. What do you think? What can I expect? We are falling so far behind bills, I'm pulling my hair because I have gone from a someone to a nobody in a matter of a year. Anyhow any advice would help....thanks
  13. I saw the below on Stateside Legal's site and thought I'd share. Are you a man who has experienced unwanted sexual contact or touching? You are not alone. Join an anonymous online forum and hear from other men who have had experiences with unwanted sexual contact. See the attached handout and Safe HelpRoom for more information. http://statesidelegal.org/safe-helproom-sessions-military-men-0
  14. Male Mst

    I have a few questions that I hope this site can answer. Back in 2000 I joined the army national guard and was sent to AIT while there and living in the barracks we had what i guess is called hazing going on. I was the new guy who already had a unit patch, rank and a list of ribbons so i was already out of place in the barracks. At first stupid stuff like being called a FNG or a NUG and lifting my bunk off the ground while i was in it and slamming it to the ground, or a tossed bunk or my lock pooped and my locker tossed. Yes it pissed me off but nothing worth crying to the drill sergeants about. After a few weeks a couple of my class mates where standing around and laughing looking at pictures and one calls me over and ask me if i knew what Tea Bagging was i honestly had no clue and said making a cup of tea. Then the kids shows me a Polaroid picture of me asleep in my bunk and another male placing his private parts on my face. I was told that this had happened many times. I went down to the office and proceeded to inform our Senior drill sergeant/acting first sergeant who tell me he will look into it. I leave think of i reported shit is going to hit the fan. Instead the Senior Drill sergeant came upstairs into our bay and tells everyone to gather round. I was thinking her we go.. Instead he yells out that he understands some teas bagging on going on and that it was just gay to let another man put his bare nuts on your face and that he better not see any of that stuff going on. I was shocked and freaking out because I am not gay never was and never will be. After this i began getting threatened and call a blue falcon i was woken up one night to chem light being poured in my mouth and other night having actual pubic hair sprinkled over my face. Other times buckets of water would be thrown onto me in my bunk i was to hyper vigilant that if they could not get close enough to me to mess with me they would throw boots or other objects at me. I called and talked to my home unit PSNCO and told him what was going on and refereed me to contact our home SGM in charge of all training which i did. He told me to avoid them and he was making some calls. The next day i got called over to the base national Guard liaison SGM who proceeded to yell at me to suck it up and stop whining and that if i was such a xxxxx i never should have joined the Army. Again i reported it and WTF is going on. I left and called my home SGM and told him what had happened and he just said WTF and told me to keep my head down and avoid them at all cost that there was not much he could do from where he was. In the middle of all this i had slipped on some heavy ice and went down a flight of stairs and was on a profile and going through rehab for my knee and lower back. One mourning i got my Sick call slip signed before the battalion went on there run at 0400. The rule was no one is allowed up in the barracks during PT period which meant i had to go into the day room until my scheduled therapy time. I was the only on a profile at the time so it was just me. I screwed up and fell asleep and over slept (at this time i was barley sleeping so i crashed hard.) I woke up and saw the time was 0800 and freaked out ran up stairs changed uniforms and caught a cab to school. A few hours later one of our Drill Sergeants came and pulled me out of class and asked me why i missed my rehab appointment and i told him the truth. The next day at lunch time i was called into the office where the SR DS handed me a counseling statement and saying that i had forged a sick call slip to get out of PT. I said i never forged a slip and he said that i had filled out a slip and had them sign it and that i did not use the slip for it intended purpose and i was getting a AR15 i asked to see JAG and was told i would be taken within 3 days. 3 days went by and i asked one of the DS when i would be going to JAG and was told opps we forgot to schedule you. That afternoon i was called over to the SGM NGB Liaisons office again. Where he proceeded to yell at me for getting into trouble and pulled out another counseling statement and began writing that i had supposedly gotten 3 AR15's and that he was chaptering me out on a chapter 14. I said that i had not even received 1 yet that the only thing i got in trouble for i have not seen JAG for so 3 was impossible. At this point tons of yelling lots of curse words and a demand to shut the hell up and just sign the document i once again asked to see JAG and was told i would be scheduled. A few more days go by and i get called into the commanders office where he wants me to sign my chapter papers and i once again say i have not even seen JAG yet. He tells me it does not matter i am just being sent back to my unit with a Under Honorable Conditions and that as long as i do not get into any more trouble for 6 months it will convert to full Honorable. I get back to my unit and they place me on none reporting status and tell me to go to the VA for MH and to finish rehabbing my knee and back. I got turned away from the VA with them telling me that they had not received my medical files and that i did not have enough concurrent active duty time to qualify for services. I tell my unit and they hook me up with a civilian doc who ended up doing surgery on my knee less then a year later. During my recovery after surgery i get a letter in the mail that i was discharged from the National Guard and in the signature box just said soldier not available. I called my unit and they were just as shocked as i was and said that there was nothing they could do about it now. Years have gone by and i was diagnosed with severe anxiety and PTSD. This is the tricky part the Doctor who diagnosed me was a civilian i saw at his private practice but he also worked full time at a VA CBOC. I honestly tried to live in denial of what happend and began drinking and did some dumb things and that is all on me. I hit pretty low and began seeing a shrink who helped me quite drinking and helped me with some coping tools like caring a calendar around so i would stop forgetting stuff. About a year my counselor who was also a vet told me to apply to the VA for PTSD and i told him that i had tried back in 2002 and was denied because they could not locate any of my medical files or service files. I was told by a bunch of VFW guys that because i did not complete the training that i would never get approved anyway that i was technical never a soldier. MY counselor told me things have changed and to file again. So i did on my own we don't have and VSO's out where i live and they only come through once a month and they only alot 30 mins for you anyway. I am embarrassed that what happened to me did. I was supposed to be a soldier and stronger then that a defender to the weak how was i so weak that it happened to me. I chocked up my fear and filled out the 781 and sent it in. I submitted all my doctors and just last week got a letter in the mail telling me that what i wrote on my 781 was not enough they needed more. Also calling the 800 number they still can not find my medical file so that's a major problem. So i sit down a write out a 7 page explanation of before during and after and resubmit it. Can someone please tell me how this will work out and if denied then what. I was told that if they can not find proof they will not even give me a comp and penn appoint and just deny me. I do not know if i am strong enough to do a appeal and have to go tell my story in a court room... Can some please walk me through this process and help turn the crazy down in my brain a little bit please?
  15. VSO visit

    Ok! so........i went to my VSO this morning and we reviewed all the necessary C&P's and current stuff and she called the VARO....this is what she told me. the VARO was essentially looking for a nexus(medical opinion) for the PTSD/MST which they got and has been uploaded....they rated the bladder as secondary and don't need a nexus for the secondary condition.....the PA stated in her notes that it is more than likely (50% greater probability ) that the bladder is a comorbid to the PTSD, which in VA language is apparently the same thing as secondary condition. Everything has been uploaded and they are now waiting for the DRO. I feel a lot better about things now, but you never know. So........i am hopeful that its 100%.....if not, the VSO said we will do the NOD immediately about whatever i disagree with, but they believe it will be 100%......because i am already on SSDI and it is because of military service stuff. Now we wait! thanks for all the concern. Florida Nurse
  16. It's important to remember that MST is an experience. It is not a diagnosis or a mental health condition in and of itself. The claim you will file will mostly likely be for PTSD, MST is one of many causes of PTSD that our veterans face. Most likely a claim for PTSD, however it could be claim for Major Depressive Disorder MDD. Don't get yourself to wrapped up in labels while working your claim, 50% for PTSD pays the same as 50% for MDD. Remember the VA will compensate but they won't validate you. This forum was set up because when filing a claim for PTSD because of MST there are several very specific items to these claims as far what can be considered evidence and so on. My biggest concern is that some may come to this forum for some therapy work and it is not designed for that. There are other good sites out there http://www.vetwow.com and http://ptsdforum.org they deal more with the working through the trauma. We are ill equipped to help anyone work through their trauma, so if you need to do trauma work please seek a resource that has the tools to do this for you. A note about Validation versus Compensation Below: This is not meant to sound harsh, just a hard lesson I had to learn and it took me a long time. It's just the way it is. Validation you get from your therapists, your brothers and sisters here, your friends and your family. Compensation you get from the V.A. don't confuse the two, you can waste a lot of energy trying to get the V.A. to validate your feelings that you've been screwed, it's been my experience that it is not going to happen. Work on your claim for compensation in a methodical, detailed way, go to therapy, talk to your family, yell at the top of your lungs with your car windows closed. Then come back to your claim for compensation and it work it methodically, sharpening, sharpening, always sharpening your claim. The V.A. will hardly ever make you feel validated, I know sometimes we want to jam it down their throats until they get a taste of it themselves, metaphorically speaking, that is. It's a waste of energy I say. When working the claim focus on the mission at hand. The mission is to receive compensation for the disability that you incurred or was aggravated by your service. As for validation, you get it where you can, it never feels quite like anybody gets it to me, of course I'm still in therapy…so what do I know. If you really want to aggravate the V.A. help another veteran get their ducks in a row.
  17. Hey everyone I am new to this and I just filed my claim for PTSD/mst claim in january 2017 and I have been so stress out because I have been reading about claims being denied and low balled and such. My question is i just received my C&P exam which was done by VES. I got a copy of it from my Marine Core League organization. I had a question as to the exam results it says I am occupational and social impairments deficiencies in most area. and then it list the systems which I have symptoms from 70 50 and 30 percent and they are equal to each other. I am confused does that mean they are going to give me the 30 rating because there is no one percent more than another. I guess how can you be deficiencies in most area when I have symptoms from each percent. the exams stated that ptsd and mdd are aggravated from the military services. I guess do i not quality for the 70 or is pretty rare to be in 70 do you have to more on the 70 to be rated at that. he checked depressed mood, anxiety, near continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, flatten affect, disturbance motivation and mood, difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationship, and inability to establish and maintain effective relationship. but he put me under the MDD recurrent severe, and mst. could someone please let me know what they think. thanks tai
  18. Hello folks! First off, Thank you all - for this website, your time, and your passion towards helping fellow veterans both young and old. I was in a medical loop during active duty for nearly 2 years just trying to sort this out. It turns out that I ended up with the short stick due to omitted/neglected/accidental overlooking of my medical records/conditions - even though they were all provided in full. I am in question of the validity of these ratings, and have new evidence to support a new claim for a SC injury. (TBI specifically) I am having a very difficult time trying to concentrate to even post this. Fortunately, I have all my copied medical records handy, as I have memory loss, and issues concentrating. I have gone to the VA regularly at this point for semi-annual checkups. Form I currently have on hand: 21-526EZ Currently I have: Submitted an "intent to file". My story - First, I don't agree with the PEB findings, my goof was that I didn't argue them right then and there, but once the ball got rolling I found myself trying to back peddle with no such success. Reason being is that upon review of my PEB findings...they never rated me for the Ocular Migraines (and obviously not for a TBI, because at the time there was no medical evidence, only witnesses to my injury)...it wasn't even listed on the cover sheet for their review, however, it was addressed entirely by my Commanding Officer in his statements. I understand that clerical errors happen, but this seemed like too big of a thing to be simply overlooked. I suppose that after I get my TBI looked into, that with the new evidence (from future evaluations thru specialist appointments) I should try and do the correction to my naval records. I suppose that would be a bit more solid than having the couple of buddy statements I have regarding the circumstances of my different injuries. Again, thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do for all of us. Semper Fi !
  19. Hi, I am a victim of MST. I have a police report in graphic detail of the assault while I was serving active duty in the Army. The events (more than one) occurred 30 years ago, however, the images replay in my mind daily and to this day. I somehow managed to get through life and was married once and have three children. I have suffered internally (mentally) for years and have had a multitude of health problems including panic attacks and anxiety. I want to file for compensation, but also to get the mental help I know need through the VA I understand it there for me...if I can finally get myself to be able to talk about it with a counselor. I worked full time my entire life (now age 51) but was approved for SSD disability (civilian) for other medical conditions 3 years ago. When reading some of the blogs proving my MST is not a problem as I have the police report, however, how or what do they need to prove my suffering of panic attacks and PTSD to access if my life has been affected by the MST for compensation purposes. I have hid the MST events my entire life and even though I have taken anxiety medication on and off and even have seen a few counselors over the years I rarely talked about the MST and focused my sessions on other issues I think mostly so I didn't have to relive the events by talking about them. So again I am wondering if the proof is there for the MST what proof is needed that it had impaired my life in such a way that compensation would be awarded. I am not trying to find out how I can manipulate the system, but rather so that I can get an idea before putting myself through all the trauma of going through the application process if there is clearly no way I will even be awarded a disability rating if for example I do not have a trail of doctor's or psychiatry sessions stating I was talking about these events etc. to proved it has affected my life negatively.
  20. Hi, I am currently on civilian Soc. Sec. Disability and want to get feedback if my status of SSD will be held against me or exclude from being awarded compensation for MST if I file a claim? Any feedback on my SSD status being held against me in the C&P exam?
  21. hello i wanted to see what you guys think my rating for ptsd would be based off of my c&p exam for ptsd i am at 90% for other stuff and need 40% to put me over 100% SECTION I: ---------- 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: F43.12 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD ICD code: F43.12 Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Major depressive disorder Mental Disorder Diagnosis #3: Male erectile dysfunction (ED) Comments, if any: ED secondary to treatment for PTSD and depression (this is consistent as a well docuemted side effects of zoloft). b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): Chronic pain - see service connected conditions below 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? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not applicable (N/A) If yes, list which symptoms are attributable to each diagnosis and discuss whether there is any clinical association between these diagnoses: It is difficult if not impossible differentiate what portion of depression versus PTSD is attributable to each diagnoses. There is a high degree of overlap and comorbidity between the disorders. Erectile dysfunction is secondary to treatment for PTSD and depression. 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 with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking and/or mood 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? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed If yes, list which portion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairment is attributable to each diagnosis: It is difficult if not impossible differentiate what portion of depression versus PTSD is attributable to each diagnoses. There is a high degree of overlap and comorbidity between the disorders. Erectile dysfunction is secondary to treatment for PTSD and depression. 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 ------------------ Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) [X] CPRS 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Mr. Greene is currently married. He has one son. Grew up in Buffalo NY. He had step sibling growing up but outside of that was an only child. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): High school education US Army 1998-2016 5th group special forces supply 72 months deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq Recently started working as a deck hand on a boat. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): Currently in treatment counseling and 100mg of zoloft for depression. Experiencing erectile dysfunction as a side effect from the zoloft. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): No response provided. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): No response provided. f. Other, if any: No response provided. 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: Multiple combat situation (Bronze star with valor). Fear of IEDs, mortars and rockets. 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 Criterion 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 Criterion 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 violence, 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] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to 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] 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 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] 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. 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] Suspiciousness [X] Panic attacks more than once a week [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Flattened affect [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 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- Mr. Greene was early to his appointment. 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 -------------------------------------------------- PTSD and major depressive disorder would be considered a progression / worsening of the previously diagnosed insomnia disorder. This opinion is supported the presentation of Mr. Greene's symptoms as consistent with PTSD as well has his STRs that document over 70 months deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, having earned a bronze star with valor in the US Army special forces. Based on a review of the available records in VBMS, it is the writer's medical opinion that Mr. Greene's currently diagnosed PTSD is due to or a result of fear of hostile military activity from multiple combat deployments. This opinion is supported by the his exposure to threat of mortars and other explosive devices during deployment. The veteran continues to experience multiple symptoms that are consistent with combat related PTSD. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application.
  22. I have chronic back pain and I filed a ptsd claim and I was wondering if this looks like a approval for Low back pain and secondary ptsd?She mentioned The condition claimed is at least as likely as not (50% or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of the Veteran's service connected condition. 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 2. Current Diagnoses -------------------- a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: Major Depressive Disorder ICD code: F33.1 b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI): n/a 3. Differentiation of symptoms ------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed? [ ] Yes [X] No 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 with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking and/or mood 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 [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed 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 ------------------ Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) [X] CPRS 2. MENTAL STATUS: Appearance: casually dressed, adequately groomed Activity: normal, no psychomotor agitation or retardation Attitude: polite, cooperative Speech: fluent, coherent Mood: depressed Affect: appropriate, mood congruent Perception: no hallucinations Thought flow: logical, goal directed Thought content: no delusions Thoughts of harm: no suicidal/homicidal ideation Level of consciousness: alert Oriented: to all spheres Attention: good Current Suicide Risk Factors: _X____ Does not have thoughts of suicide or self harm at this time _X____ Does not express feelings of hopelessness or helplessness at this time Current Suicide Assessment: _X____ Low: Patient judged NOT to be at significant risk for self-harm d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Veteran has been arrested twice for domestic violence. He denied recent or pending charges. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): denied f. Other, if any: n/a 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: As an MP, Veteran was among those who responded to a suicide. The EMT's were already there and had taken him down and had him on the stretcher. His job was to interview the family. Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [ ] Yes [X] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [ ] Yes [X] 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 Criterion 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 Criterion 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 violence, in one or more of the following ways: [X] No criterion in this section met. 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: 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] No criterion in this section met. 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] No criterion in this section met. 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] No criterion in this section met. 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?: No response provided. 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent [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] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- depressed, low energy 7. Other symptoms ----------------- Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other mental disorders) that are not listed above? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe: irritability, reduced concentration, low energy and fatigue, reduced interest in activities, tearfulness, feeilngs of worthlessness, limited coping and isolativeness; "I try to stay away from people if I can...Sometimes when I am really angry I bite my hand. I do that a lot." 8. Competency ------------- Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes [ ] No 9. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any -------------------------------------------------- The CAPS-5 for the assessment of ptsd was utilized in this evaluation. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application. ****************************************************************************---------------------- Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [X] Examination via approved video telehealth Evidence Review --------------- Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) [X] CPRS MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY ----------------------- RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION: a. Opinion from general remarks: 1. MEDICAL OPINION REQUEST TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION REQUESTED: Direct service connection OPINION: Direct service connection Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of (a) PTSD, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY that is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by (the) MILITARY POLICE DUTIES during service? Rationale must be provided in the appropriate section. Additional remarks for the examiner: DD214 MOS MILITARY POLICE CAPRI ADJUSTMENT DISORDER ******************************************************************** 2. MEDICAL OPINION REQUEST TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION REQUESTED: Secondary Service connection. Secondary Service Connection. Is the Veteran's PTSD, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of low back pain? Rationale must be provided in the appropriate section. If more than one mental disorder is diagnosed please comment on their relationship to one another and, if possible, please state which symptoms are attributed to each disorder. 3. If your examination determines that the Veteran does not have diagnosis of PTSD and you diagnose another mental disorder, please provide an opinion as to whether it is at least as likely as not that the Veteran's diagnosed mental disorder is a result of an in-service stressor related event. Additional remarks for the examiner: CAPRI ADJUSTMENT DISORDER b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: DBQ PSYCH PTSD Initial TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR DIRECT SERVICE CONNECTION ] b. The condition claimed was less likely than not (less than 50% probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event or illness. c. Rationale: 1.& 3. There is no information to make a link or suggeat that the veteran's major depressive disorder was incurred in or caused by the MILITARY POLICE DUTIES during service or that it is a result of an in-service stressor related event. TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR SECONDARY SERVICE CONNECTION ] a. The condition claimed is at least as likely as not (50% or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of the Veteran's service connected condition. c. Rationale: 2.Veteran describes his back pain as having played a role in his depression while in the military and now. Hence, there is some suggestion by the veteran's statement only that his depressive disorder is linked to or a partial result of his low back pain. *************************************************************************
  23. My dad had a heart attack at an "exhibition jump" with the National Guard Reserve; to which family were invited, and a picnic was held. He had been told about two years ago he was ineligible for disability compensation due to his reserve status, so he didn't apply. Now, a person at DAV thinks he is, and has helped us with a Fully Developed Claim application. It seemed that the DAV person expected us to send in his work unread without going over it, but I strongly advised against it, after having read posts here. My mother then advocated delaying filing until more research could be done. Now, we have been advised by a DAV person it will be better for our application if it were filed within a week; and it has been about two weeks since our intent to file was filed. The circumstances of his injury are this: My dad was at this "exhibition jump," but the jump was into a river. He claims that water jumps were necessary for paratrooper training; and it was his first. I take it this is inactive duty, although I take it this does mean he was active at the event. He relates that when he hit the water, there was a significant undertow taking him off course, and he was exhausted trying to reel the parachute in. A boat engaged for the jump eventually picked him up. We didn't know when to expect him to join us at the picnic, so we waited a while, and then got some food and sat down at a table. He joined us shortly; but when he sat down, he didn't have food, and he complained of a sensation like a huge pressure on his chest. A doctor happened to be nearby, and affirmed that he thought it might be a heart attack, as I was suspecting. A helicopter carried him to a military hospital as per regulations, even though they had no cardiologist on staff. I could see that his EKG was very erratic. They could offer no treatment, other than an EKG and a saline drip. After he stabilized somewhat, they moved him to a city hospital where he received clotbusting drugs. Over a decade after that attack, he complained of pain in his chest while jogging. We urged him to go to a doctor. He was admitted to the city hospital, and ultimately received a dual coronary artery bypass graft as well as a pacemaker. After one of these two cardiac events, a doctor estimated he had a 50% loss of heart muscle due to ischemia (cell death due to oxygen starvation). It is now more than a decade since this second event. After his initial heart attack, he quit the Guard Reserve, out of concern for his heart. Some time before the second event, the open heart surgery, he reduced his civilian employment to part-time; but he did so at age 65, and doesn't feel he his heart attack was involved in this decreased employment. That being said, doctors who have read his EKG's all indicate them as abnormal, again, we remember being told of substantial heart muscle damage. I have a number of questions raised by this process: First and foremost, what moves can we make to file a stronger application? This site has reams of information, but I am trying to do other things in my life after helping him with his application process for some time. It is hard for me to have the time to do homework. He was under the mistaken impression that this site had mostly posts from one person, and hasn't utilized the forum for the first of the two weeks I imagined he would do research here. We seem to be OK on the nexus part; as we have a notarized statement from his jump safety official, myself and his wife; but it is unclear as to just how related his heart surgery years later is. What's the best way to approach this question? It seems likely to be related, IMHO. Do you believe that delaying his application by much more than another week will hurt his application? We supposedly have a year since filing an intent to file. It has been about two weeks since filing an intent to file. Should he have an examination for employability? We do know that he had curtailed his employment on heart concerns. Should this be a VA person? Should it be a private doctor, and if so, what kind? What form might we file regarding this? I realize this would be a separate examination from his formal VA examination. Where do I find out what criteria they use to determine percentage disability in cases of cardiac arrest as a duty-related injury? We have a friend whom the same DAV employee helped, and they were able to collect back disability resulting in a substantial lump sum. He and mom have had a lean time of it, and their savings has shrunk. One of the forms the VA sent us explains how intent to file protects us as to the start of disability, for a year. Do we need to do anything special to ask for back disability? I've read here that hearing loss can be a factor in disability. He has substantial hearing loss at some frequencies in one ear according to a test, which he attributes to firing rifles. He has difficulty understanding some things that seem to be clearly said, even repeatedly; where other times he seems to hear fine. He can't document exactly when it happened. His back was damaged by a trailer hitch while in the service, but he doesn't have documentation for that either. Should this factor into our claim? TIA for any and all help you guys would care to pass along.
  24. I had a transfer screen the other day as mt family and I had recently moved into VASH hud housing from homelessness and this VA was much closer than the old. While meeting with my psychiatrist and discussing my current condition, elevated blood pressure, throwing up, cant calm down unless Im in a dark quiet room. She asked what was going on to being stirring all of this up. I explained that this had developed into a service related claim and that I was having to go through and compile supporting evidence to support my claim. She seemed genuinely concerned. spent an hour with me, upped my meds and then asked if i would speak to their primary screening counselor really quick before going This doctor asked me to go over what happened. So I detailed the sexual battery perpetrated by the navy doctor in 92, how that experience had been compartmentalized as corporal punishment in my mind and I just tried to get away from it. I described the ensuing chaos returning home from deployment. Of nightmares of something that had happened to a really young kid. Constant anxiety, never being able to be still, or to be myself around people. She listened politely. months left when I got home from deployment before I got out. I told her I couldnt be around my old friends after returning from deployment and I no longer found any comfort in my previous hobbies. I described how my behavior and relationships changed in 2 years after the sexual assault and how that new recklessness caused a car accident in early 94 that killed two people and to which I plead gulty to manslaughter without fighting and the devastation that had caused and she kept listening And then I told her that shortly after the accident I had full recall of being handcuffed and raped at 7 years of age and that the assault by the doctor had, in effect, lanced a deep and infected boil whose effluent had leaked out and soiled my life irreparably . She grabbed a pen and paper and leaned forward. "This is important, I have to report this, what was his name? I have to disclose to you that I must notify the police in all cases of sexual assault" I told her that i didn't know the guy's name, that it was a relative of my best friend in second grade. She seemed a bit disappointed. "Well, we won't be able to do anything without a name" And she put the pad and pen down. "Would you like to write down the doctor's name?" I've never seen a mouth honestly hang agape like that. There was no cleverness in my question. No tone, it was honest, and she had no answer. After ten seconds of stunned silence, she replied, "I don't know the answer to that, can I get back to you?" there was more silence. "I am entering into your file that you are here today being treated for Military Sexual Trauma, it's going to change a few things for you" She was very kind. how impactful is something like this to my claim? Do I need to continue to compile evidence for a C&P or is a note from a VA mental health provider make some of that redundant? Thanks
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