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Found 59 results

  1. What is depressive disorder (SCT 59212011)? I found that code in my healthevet record. Also I requested a hard copy of my medical record and part of it was blank. It was pertaining to a psychiatric admission back in 2011 it's part of my HealtheVet is also blank. I think at one time I had access to the information because I have a stack of papers from back then in a file somewhere.
  2. I was scheduled for a C and P exam recently and this is what happened and what I submitted to the VA asking to be placed in my file also. Have you seen this before and does anyone have any clue as to why a doc would act this way? Does this make sense? I have no idea what the outcome will be yet. The claim is in preparation for decision now. On 6/28/2019 I showed up to an appointment with xxxxxxxxxxx in Horn Lake, MS for a VA requested C and P exam for what I was advised to be Anxiety and depression that was setup through VES contracting. Upon entering the room the doctor advised that I was there for a C and P exam for anxiety and depression and explained that the reason they do these exams sometimes is to be sure veterans are not lying about their claims. This struck me as an odd way to begin an exam and then the Dr. proceeded to look over my C-File and advised that it appeared that I had someone else's records that had served from somewhere around 1958 to 1964 and asked if that was me. I of course stated no. I was not even born yet. She then went on to say that sometimes these files are put in our veterans records by the VA accidentally. I asked if that is what they base my claim on and she stated that there were disagreements in my file about dates by raters and that this file was causing confusion. She stated that she would let them know that they should remove it. After the appointment I called the VA and spoke to an operator that stated that the record mentioned above was never in my file and she had no idea what the doctor was talking about. As the appointment continued it seemed as if the Dr. was continuing to try to discredit anything wrong with me by asking if I thought I had biological depression and could have had it all my life. I advised her that I had a great childhood and after joining the service I started noticing my anxiety and depression becoming worse. The doctor also advised that I must have made my previous boss mad and that is why I was fired which should have nothing to do with why I am at a anxiety and depression C and P exam 2 years later than the termination. The doctor also asked if I was mad because I was released from the military when I stated that to my knowledge I was released from the service due to sleep apnea, anxiety and depression. I stated life goes on. Which it does. We are soldiers and we learn to keep going no matter how much it hurts emotionally or physically, or at least we try even though appointments like this one remind me that evidently, possibly not everyone has our best interest at heart. I miss the people I served with as an M1A1 Tanker. I miss serving and I love my country even though my body is worn because of it. I do not regret serving by any means. I feel as though this exam was more of an inquisition and have had more anxiety due to the unsettling nature of the exam since it unfortunately. Thank you for taking the time to read this if you do. I just wanted someone to hear my side. I am attaching the C and P request also to this letter so that you will have their information also.
  3. Hello fellow veterans. I had an experience over years- each Spring, feel a lot better after the much worse Winter. A chronic, physical, neurological, pain condition means the normal forces of life get multiplied or muted. This year, worst Winter, but Spring brought a good day- so I went out, Motrin augmented, and used tractor to fix dirt road that was like a moonscape of potholes. People came out along the stretch. Some angered, some wondering, some wanting to talk, and one person offered 600 for gravel in front of their place. While placing the gravel (showing where to dump it) someone else wanted gravel next door on the road- I saw to it. Soon, 10,000 dollars of gravel spread over a mile- and all I had to do was show people the gravel was appropriate for their investment, the results were obvious. So, eventually, over a month passed, 60 truckloads (30 trips) and the road was done. Some complained, others angry, others reassuring, others with critical useful information (how to make the road). I went home when someone took a tractor and dug up the gravel in a sort of angry move. When I went home, wondered how I worked for a month plus past the much worse pain, pain from Motrin harming kidneys, yet when I got home, was unwilling to do laundry, clean house, vacuum, Spring cleaning... I thought hard. The answer? The Placebo Effect. No, I took no sugar pills- but when one goes to be tested with a sugar pill it is always a PERSON saying the pill helped. A PERSON that one meets up with to see the results.. It is the PERSON not the PILL that makes a significant percentage feel their symptoms improve temporarily. So, I realized, this year the Spring improvement was augmented by leaving the home- Nature always guides with discomfort if doing the wrong thing, pleasure if doing the right thing- moving back towards being near others- mean, angry, helpful, reassuring, no matter- just be near the (if you will) herd. Disability isolates, insulates, makes one away from others, more so with time. I avoid getting help from family- over decades it just hurts em to see it. I avoid the VA because they very, very, often do more harm than good if not extremely vigilant. Disability alters sleep-wake time. It makes people get introverted. It makes ordinary pleasures- eating at a restaurant- unpleasant. Makes having a mate problematic (in a few senses). But aside from all this, merely being NEAR OTHERS in a physical, not just online way (I am pretty much a spider on the web, dispensing solutions wherever inspired, since the days of Compuserve, Netscape, and Prodigy). I can explain how this probably works. In each persons gut (mouth to tail) there are microbes, bacteria like, much or most of your body weight is not you. This means much of what makes a human operate or inoperable is the microbes NOT suffering from your disability- but from isolation from OTHER HUMANS and their microbiome. Just being near a person (not necessarily that close!) means your microbiome matches up with other peoples- and a silent equalizing happens. This explains why pain is so depressing, why depression is so isolating, and why isolating is so pandemic to the disabled. This explains how the Placebo Effect works. This explains why young people join terrorist groups- and how to fix it- get a non terror group for them to join. This explains in part why people laugh more, louder, at jokes if in a room of people This explains how people suspend disbelief much more in a theater than alone watching a show Altogether, a solution offered for those in misery and won't even let that word (and others) pop to the surface of their awareness is to just get near other people. Try this... Go to a grocery store or similar venue. Walk slow, be fairly dressed, not unkempt. Shop. When you see someone with another person, just walk up real discreet and comment on their purchase. See how they light up? Do it again. And again. Maybe crack a joke. Now, go to the checkstand. Pay for what you bought. When the checker (forced) says ...would you like to donate your money or change to ... you say ...Nah, I am trying to quit... or tell them another joke (Do these GMO free eggs come with free HBO?) When you leave, look how you feel- do you feel better mentally despite the possible pain from ambulating about? Seems plain we vets should try to meet up with other, very near, vets for a bite to eat, a pizza party, a regularly recurring thing. Something like a 12 step group without the ...stuff that has creeped into that movement over decades... Maybe call it a Half Step movement? At Ease? Ah. Not good at naming things. Let me know if this resonates with you. Try to please Nature by getting near others even if you usually wait to feel better to get out- instead, feel better by meeting up, even hold a meet at your place if practical. Hot dogs and a loaf of bread and ketchup probably is enough. Consider the reward from being selfless. If you want a smile, see this video and if you identify with its meme about pain and being trapped. Notice the hero is not alone. Spidey
  4. Hello everyone and thank you for accepting me in to the forum. Last year I filed a new claim for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. For the past 3 years, I have been seeing a civilian psychiatrist for my anxiety and depression. She had already diagnosed me with GAD and Major Depression, and I have been on anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and sleep medication. I was on differing types of the same medications since coming out of the service, but it wasn't until about 3 years ago, that I admitted to myself that I needed mental help, and that is when I started seeing my civilian psychiatrist, and that is when I first heard of GAD and Major Depression, when she said she had diagnosed me with them. It was at her suggestion, that I file a claim with the VA for GAD and Major Depression. She said she very much felt like my conditions were associated with my time in the service. When it was finally time to have my C&P exam, I was interviewed by a VA psychologist. I told her about my civilian psychiatrist, and her diagnosis for me, and the medications she had me on. I also talked to her about my time in the service, me being overseas in the Gulf War, and me being in a humanitarian mission in Ecuador. I told her about my friend who was with me during basic training. And how he was shot and killed right in front of me, in a horrible accident, during one of our live ammunition training exercises. I told her how all this had affected me from those moments on, all the way until now. At the end of our meeting, she told me that she felt like my condition was more PTSD, rather than Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. At the time I didn't think anything of what she said; that is until I was sent my denial letter. In my denial, it stated that my 2 claims for GAD and Major Depression, was changed to GAD (to include PTSD) and Major Depression (to include PTSD). So the VA psychiatrist did what she said she would. She essentially changed what I had claimed, and added (to include PTSD) on each of my 2 claims. So, for the basis of PTSD, there has to be a proven stressor. The VA used what I had talked to the psychiatrist about the death of my friend during boot camp, as my stressor. The VA said they searched records during the time I was at boot camp, and found no incidents related to what I was saying. So, because the VA psychiatrist took it upon herself, to change my claimed conditions from GAD and Major Depression, to GAD (to include PTSD) and Major Depression (to include PTSD), now it was up to me to prove a stressor, because with claims associated with PTSD, you must prove your stressor. I knew from talking to other Army buddies of mine, how difficult it could be sometimes to find old records of deaths. The death of my friend during boot camp happened in 1962 at Ft. Jackson, SC. My civilian psychiatrist never suggested to me that I had PTSD. She always said it was Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. If I had wanted to file a claim for PTSD, I would have done so. But I knew how difficult it would be for the VA to search for and find any record of the death of my friend at boot camp. So I filed GAD and Major Depression, because I was told those claims did not require a specific stressor (exact time, place, person, etc). I was told that GAD and Major Depression, could be claims based on your entire military career, with everything you've done and everything you've experienced, all amounting to intense anxiety and depression. So that is why I claimed GAD and Major Depression, over that of PTSD. But because the VA psychiatrist took it upon herself to change my 2 claimed conditions, and added the words (to include PTSD) to each of my claimed conditions, it was not just GAD and Major Depression any longer; it includes PTSD, which requires a specific and provable stressor. I had a stressor, and very specific one - the death of my friend during live ammunition exercises during our time at Ft. Jackson, SC boot camp in the summer of 1962. But the VA said neither they nor the JSRRC could find any record of that taking place. If my 2 claims had remained what they were suppose to be, simply GAD and simply Major Depression, I do not think I would have been denied. But because the VA psychiatrist added PTSD to each of my conditions, the VA asked for my stressor, the VA and JSRRC said they could find no record of my stressor, so my claims were denied. I believe I would have been approved if not for the VA psychiatrist adding PTSD to my 2 claimed conditions. So with all that said (and I apologize for the length of it), is there any hope for me, if I appeal my denial? And do any of you know how I would go about appealing it? Would I simply say to the VA that I disagree with the VA psychiatrist adding PTSD to my 2 claims, when I never claimed PTSD myself?; that that was her decision entirely. I have had a VA Disability Representative for the past couple of years, but he was utterly useless. He never answered my calls or emails. He basically never helped me at all. I did most all myself over eBenefits. But now, since I've had this recent denial, I have considered hiring a VA Disability Law Firm to take my case. I've spoken with 2 so far. They both told me I had a very strong case and that I could win. But they also said they couldn't take my case because of their huge client load. I think it was simply that they could probably win my case, but there wouldn't have been much in the line of backpay, so they wouldn't have gotten much compensation for their work for me. So I guess I will continue searching for other VA Disability Lawyers, or I may have to appeal my denied claim myself over eBenefits. Could any of you, please help me with this? I have read many questions on here regarding GAD and Major Depression, but I haven't come across one yet, where they filed a claim for GAD and Major Depression, and then the VA psychiatrist during the C&P exam, decided to change the claim (to include PTSD), thereby changing the criteria for acceptance, by now making me prove a specific stressor, instead of it she had just left my 2 claimed conditions alone, without including PTSD to them, then no specific stressor was required - it would simply go by your overall experiences while in service. I am a 20 year Veteran by the way, with most of my time served in the National Guard. But I was activated numerous times during my 20 years, including during the Gulf War. It isn't my fault that the death of my friend during boot camp, isn't something the VA or JSRRC can locate in records. If the VA psychiatrist had just left my 2 claimed conditions alone, instead of tacking on (to include PTSD), then the VA wouldn't have even had to search for a specific incident, they would have just based my conditions on my overall military experiences. Thank you for any help, assistance, or advice you might be able to give. Donald
  5. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/waV5t0HPtbM Today we are joined by Thomas Wendel, DAV National area supervisor for West Cost Region. Thomas E. Wendel served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1983 until 1997. Since 1999, Tom has worked assisting veterans in processing various entitlement claims on the local, state and federal levels; first in Clare County as a county service officer and then when he came to work for the Disabled American Veterans in 2000. In 2008 he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV Service Office in Detroit and later he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV National area for West Cost Region. DAV is America’s largest, most effective veterans service organizations dedicated to the needs of those injured, ill or wounded in service. We have more than 1,300 Chapters in communities nationwide to help make sure veterans from all generations and their families get the benefits and support they deserve. Today, nearly 1.3 million veterans belong to DAV, and we encourage you to add your voice to the cause. Our programs and free services help all veterans get the health, disability and financial benefits they earned. Take advantage of our benefits claims assistance, medical transportation and employment resources. Your local DAV Chapter is a great way to connect with fellow veterans in your area. ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/VETOVET2 ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/VETOVET2 ▶ youtube.com/c/VETOVET2 ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  6. Good Day All Just a question: I am presently rated at 80%, and was recently by my outside PSYCH doctor with Depression Disorder and Anxiety Disorder and was wondering how this would affect my overall 80% disability rating?
  7. Seems the VA can on occasion consider obesity merely as a "symptom"* and perhaps even the type of symptom that the VA alleges is caused by the Veteran's own willful misconduct of overeating or being inactive so it can deny the claim. However, since the American Medical Association ( AMA ) recently in June of 2013 has officially declared that "obesity is a disease", might that allow disabled veterans whose service connected condition(s) led to excessive weight gain to now find more success claiming obesity as a ratable secondary medical condition or a disease aggravated by the Veteran's service connected condition(s)? *"Obesity Service connection is not warranted for obesity. Claiming service connection for obesity amounts to claiming service connection for a symptom, rather than for an underlying disease or injury which may have caused the symptom. In this respect, obesity, in and of itself, is not a disability for which service connection may be granted. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) has defined "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force." See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003), citing Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary 901 (29th Ed. 2000). Thus, obesity caused by overeating or lack of exercise is the result of the veteran's own behavior, and as such is not an "injury" as defined for VA purposes. See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (defining "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force"). The Federal Circuit also defined "disease" as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ, or system of the body." Terry, 340 F.3d at 1384, citing Dorland's at 511. Obesity that is not due to an underlying pathology cannot be considered to be due to "disease," defined as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ or system of the body." Id. The body's normal storage of calories for future use represents the body working at what it is designed to do. It is well settled that symptoms alone, without a finding of an underlying disorder, cannot be service-connected. See Sanchez-Benitez v. Principi, 259 F.3d 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2001)." - from a BVA 2009 Decision ---and--- "Obesity or being overweight, a particularity of body type, alone, is not considered a disability for which service connection may be granted. See generally 38 C.F.R. Part 4 (VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities) (2009) (does not contemplate a separate disability rating for obesity). Rather, applicable VA regulations use the term "disability" to refer to the average impairment in earning capacity resulting from diseases or injuries encountered as a result of or incident to military service. Allen v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439, 448 (1995); Hunt v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 292, 296 (1991); 38 C.F.R. § 4.1 (2009). The question is thus whether the current obesity is a disability-i.e. a condition causing impairment in earning capacity. In this case, there is no such evidence. The veteran has not asserted that obesity causes impairment of earning capacity; instead he asserts that his obesity has caused other disabilities to manifest. There is also no other evidence that the claimed obesity is a disability. Inasmuch as the Veteran does not have a disability manifested by obesity and obesity is not a disease or disability for which service connection may be granted, the Board concludes that obesity was not incurred in or aggravated by service and may not be presumed to have been so incurred. This claim is not in relative equipoise; therefore, the Veteran may not be afforded the benefit of the doubt in the resolution thereof. Rather, as a preponderance of the evidence is against the claim, it must be denied. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(b) (West 2002)" - from a 2010 BVA Decision But didn't the VA as early as 2006 already characterize obesity as a disease? "Obesity is a complex and chronic disease that develops from an interaction between the individual’s genotype and the environment." - http://www.healthquality.va.gov/obesity/obe06_final1.pdf "The AMA's decision essentially makes diagnosis and treatment of obesity a physician's professional obligation." - Los Angeles Times http://www.today.com/health/obesity-disease-doctors-group-says-6C10371394
  8. Hadit community, I've found many of the information provided by individuals here very helpful. I feel optimistic about future claims for chronic sinusitis, which has had a significant impact on my daily life. In regards to other possible claims, I curious to hear the opinion of some of you seasoned veterans that have been through the claims process. My concern is in regards to a potential depression claim. First, i'll add that I'm a reservist, which may be more difficult to prove connection. I currently don't have any "documented" event, but I feel that an event that happened contributed, in part, to my depression. I was at training and I was in a toxic vehicle, with poor leadership. I had a crew member who, during gunnery, kicked me in the head repeatedly. Nothing was documented, but I did approach my PL about the issue and he noted that if I felt that it was harassing behavior, and I desired to do something, he would act. I soldiered on, and the physical contact didn't continue. I'll note that at the time, my significant other had a legitimate fear that her ex-husband was going to kill her. I feel that this was the major source of stress, which put me on edge. I was formally diagnosed with depression three months later and have struggled with it for four years. My question is, do you hadit'ers feel that I should pursue a claim? Thanks!
  9. I am SC 70 for anxiety. Can I file a claim for depression secondary to my sc lower back issues? Thanks for the help.
  10. I was discharged from the military December of 2004 due to multiple convalescent for Right Knee issues (4 Knee Surgery's). I am Service Connected for Right Knee Medial Meniscal Tear with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and Degenerative Arthritis that has been getting worse over time. Due to the nature of the pain, I am submitting a (Secondary) claim for Depression due to Chronic Pain. Any advise on what I should do before/after submittal to support my claim? Example: Should I see a Counselor about my Depression First or wait for the VA C&P Exam? Thanks in Advance!
  11. I am still active duty. Having a number of mental health issues due to my health (heart arrhythmia) and the results of an IG Investigation. No charges but substantiated claims and my next rank that I was selected for was removed. My record now has me as a FTS (fail to select - basically passed over) and I have put in to retire (27 Yrs, 1 mo). I am seeing a military shrink and military therapist, each weekly and have been doing so for the past 6 weeks. Lots of paper in my record and a variety of diagnosis - PTSD, MDD, but mainly anxiety disorder. Question: Should I ask to have more psychological testing completed and get that in my record. I am think the MMPI-2 test (567 question so it is not little test). I would think that would help establish more firmly the service connection nexus and give a stronger diagnosis. It couldn't hurt right?
  12. I separated from active duty service in the Air Force with in 2010 and had undiagnosed non-combat military connected PTSD with alcohol use in remission (According to my VA disability paperwork which puts me at 50% for ptsd.) This was granted the beginning of last year. I recently put in to have my discharge upgraded to honorable from general and have yet to hear back from them. (E-benefits say maybe I'll hear about it early February 2018.) There were a few selfmedicated incidents with alcohol that happened while I was active duty that resulted in going into a civilian rehabilitation facility, a perscription to an antidepressant, and a lot of suicidal ideation I recently admitted in my paperwork to the review board that I was afraid to admit to my command because they would do things like write someone up for a sunburn (destruction of government property), or purposefully keep spouses apart by writing one up for something they didn't do and keep them from going during their significant others' PCS (because someone else did it to them for five years and "they turned out fine"(There was no way to prove otherwise.)). I was recently reading about medical retirement from the military. It's a little confusing. I was wondering if there was a way to submit for reconsideration and medically retire from the military after separation?
  13. 2010 - Discharge 40% memory problems, status post head injury 30% Major depressive disorder with history of Insomnia 2011 added seizure disorder to memory problems, status post head injury. (remained at 40%) 2012 I had a diagnosis of seizures because they showed up on two sleep studies and one EEG. I did not have a "frequency" to report because they were nocturnal seizures. They added seizures 10% only because I was prescribed medication for seizures. 2015 had a C&P for possible PTSD. PTSD denied and they basically increased my Major Depressive Disorder to 70% but dropped off the memory problems, post status head injury. They explained that they combined them. What is your thoughts on me being able to challenge this now that it is years later? I really thought that my depression had increased to 70% and TBI remained at 40%. It reads that way on ebenefits and my 90% rating did not change.
  14. I received my C&P over the weekend. My exam was nearly three hours and I think the report is accurate and fair and represents how things are. I was as honest as I could be with the examiner and despite being nervous to the point of an anxiety attack about it the day before calmed down a bit and was OK during the visit. The doctor did a good job asking questions and made me feel at ease which is saying something. The report ended up being 18 pages which surprised me. I had PMd the results to a handful of people here on HADIT and a couple recommended I post it for more input. I was hesitant to do so but decided my desire for more information is more important than my paranoia of posting it. I'd really like to get the opinions of some senior HADIT posters like Berta and others. I'm thinking this is a good C&P for my claim but would like a more seasoned opinion than my own completely inexperienced one. I've posted the opinion and rationale below. . Thank you. JW. ___________________________________ 5. Symptoms For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Suicidal ideation REQUESTED OPINION: Based on information from the clinical interview, review of records (C-file and VA medical records), and psychological assessment measures, It is my opinion that the veteran meets DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for (1) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to childhood sexual trauma with delayed onset, and (2) Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Recurrent, with Mood-Congruent Psychotic Features secondary to PTSD. While his PTSD and MDD were less likely than not to have been caused by an in-service stressor, both conditions were more likely than not incurred in service (i.e., delayed onset with clinically significant symptom presentation beginning while on active duty). PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT / OBJECTIVE TESTING: Objective psychological assessment measures administered: -- Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI): valid profile without any evidence to suggest inattention, inconsistency, or negative/positive impression management; primary code type - DEP/ARD (97T/85T) * Summary/interpretation of results: Briefly, the veteran's responses on the PAI were suggestive of significant tension, unhappiness, and pessimism, with various stressors (past and/or present) contributing to low mood and self-esteem. Individuals with similar profiles often see themselves as ineffectual and powerless to change the direction of their lives and feel uncertain about goals, priorities, and what the future may hold. In addition to depression, the veteran endorsed significant distress on measures of suicidal thoughts, traumatic stress, and social discomfort or detachment. His profile was most consistent with major depression, and while some traumatic stress concerns were indicated, he did not endorse the full range of concerns typically seen among individuals with PTSD. RATIONALE FOR OPINION: 1. The veteran's symptoms meet DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD due to childhood sexual trauma. The veteran's history of childhood sexual abuse is well-documented across multiple sources and during the current evaluation, he endorsed the full range of trauma-related symptoms meeting criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD. He was first diagnosed with PTSD while on active duty in xxxx by a DOD psychiatrist and mental health records (private and VA) dating back to xxxx also show that multiple mental Health providers have diagnosed and treated PTSD. Although the veteran experienced some symptoms immediately following the assault (bed wetting, night terrors), these symptoms largely resolved by the time he was in middle school due to reported "traumatic amnesia." His only residual symptoms throughout the remainder of middle school and high school were associated with a chronic mistrust of others and related social detachment. His enlistment exam was silent for any relevant concerns, as were STRs from the time of his enlistment in xxxx until the first disclosure of the assault and associated symptoms in xxxx and xxxx. Thus, there is no evidence to suggest that the veteran was experiencing clinically significant symptoms of PTSD prior to his enlistment and thus the question of aggravation is moot. Records clearly document onset of symptoms while the veteran was on active duty and indicate chronic trauma-related symptoms and impairments since then. 2. The veteran's current mental health symptoms also meet DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Recurrent, with Mood-Congruent Psychotic Features, secondary to underlying PTSD. His current depressive symptoms are a continuation of those first diagnosed in service as Dysthymic Disorder, and the veteran has been treated for MDD by multiple mental health providers (private and VA) since at least xxxx. As indicated above (Rationale #1), there is no evidence to suggest Clinically significant symptoms of depression prior to military service, and he was first diagnosed with a depressive disorder while psychiatrically hospitalized in service (xxxx). Subsequent records indicate chronic problems with depression since his discharge from active duty. 3. The veteran's history is suggestive of some underlying Personality features which are likely contributing to some of his on-going concerns (e.g., schizoid and avoidant features). Although he was diagnosed with a personality disorder in service, there is insufficient evidence to warrant a personality disorder diagnosis at present, as some of his on-going symptoms can be attributed to underlying PTSD (e.g., mistrust of others, social/interpersonal detachment, avoidance of intimate relationships). 4. The veteran showed no signs of significant exaggeration/feigning or minimization of mental health symptoms on objective testing, during the interview, or when comparing his self-report to the evidence in the record. As such, information from this evaluation is believed to be an accurate reflection of the veteran's current mental health concerns and relevant background.
  15. I was given a medical discharge for depression from the service about 20 years ago and have a 20 year history of ongoing mental health treatment. I finally decided to file for VA benefits (I've always worked) and had my C&P exam a couple weeks ago and wondered if this was a normal experience. The exam lasted almost three hours and I had to take a long test of a couple hundred questions. The doctor (psychologist) was very nice and he seemed interested in my case but asked a lot of questions about my childhood. My case involved childhood MST and repressed memories of it until a flashback while I was on active duty brought everything out. I was tossed in the hospital and given a medical discharge for depression, existing prior to entry, service aggravated condition per the medical board. I'm a bit worried the doctors focus on my childhood means he was trying to say I was depressed prior to the service which isn't the case. With the repressed memory of the rape I had a pretty normal growing up experience after the event and had friends and a stable family. He seemed to be trying to get me to say my current problems with trusting people were related to what happened then. Obviously they are but I was concerned he spent hardly any time on the in-service stressor that led to the flashback or the fact I've been pretty miserable since then. I had a friend tell me not to worry that it's normal and he may be trying to figure out what percentage of my disability was existing prior to entry versus how much was service aggravated. I've got the service connection thing taken care of with the "service aggravated" note on the medical board and my private psychiatrist wrote a nexus letter and completed a DBQ stating my conditions are related to my service. I'm thinking I have enough medical evidence to show it but I'm concerned about the C&P examiners report. Do you think I need to worry about this? (I have anxiety issues too). Is a three hour exam normal? Do you think the examiner was just being detailed and it'll be OK? He said it would be a couple weeks to view his report and I'm still waiting but I'm a nervous wreck. JW in MN
  16. I didn't go through what most of you real military went through. But, I am going through alot physically now at the age of 32. I been out of the military since Aug of 2014. I only did about 3 years before getting medically separated. I just filed my first claim increase for both knees, major depression, both wrist, headaches, lower back, and left foot for several conditions. Im sooo nervous. Im soooo paranoid. I keep thinking that everything and anything will be used against me. There are days where I can't leave bed...I feel like that will be used against me. "Ohhhh...so you just want to get a check? We're taking away your benifts." There are days where I refuse to let my depression and accompanying ailments beat me and I try to work somehow to ease the financial burden on my wife. "Oh....you're working...let me take away your benifits. Im not looking for a free ride. Im just trying to be wise. I hear the stories from many veterans about how bad their condition gets in 10 years. Then they are left high and dry and can't work, and can't improve themselves, and people end up leaving their life cause of the burden. I have a Va rep filing for an increase in my conditions. My C&P is not dated yet...but Im sooo anxious and paranoid thinking that everything will be used against me to take the little I do make a month to contribute towards my wife paying bills. Please share some, or direct me to some experiences of people filing their first claim increase stories...and leading to c&p . Please help me understand this process better. My va rep says I have a shot at 100 percent. Im so worried. I have red and met people who have been screwed. I can't take yet another thing going bad. I think i'll kill myself if it does.
  17. Hello All, Put in 1 claim for anxiety and depression and 1 for ptsd(noncombat). Had QTC exam today.. Doctor said I have signs of ptsd but dont meet full criteria for it. Definitely have anxiety and depression. But he couldnt say if my issues are more of the ptsd or the depression, but I needed to continue counseling. So is this good or bad?
  18. First of all wanted to start this out by saying thank you to all the members on this site. I have been doing all my own research and very often arrived here. Today I decided it might be better to get direct contact instead of lurking in the shadows. The short version is that I have not been able to find work after separating, I'm currently on unemployment to keep myself out of debt while I figure this all out. I was in school for a few months and while I was struggling a bit I did my best to push through which was kind of working out for awhile. Eventually I started getting to the point where I could only manage to push myself to get to class and landed right back in bed afterwards. This effect snowballed and now I have just been medically withdrawn from university after missing 2 weeks of class. Those two weeks I could not get out of bed almost the entire time, I have been taking my meds and everything but sometimes depression just decides its going to mess your life up and you don't have the will or energy strong enough to overcome and keep going. But back to the point, the VA awarded me 30% for depression, anxiety and insomnia combined into one rating. Trying to figure out how I am going to get by and what I can do to survive brought me to the vets group on campus where one of the other guys after hearing what was going on suggested trying to get my rating increased and possibly seeing if I am eligible for individual unemployability. After reading how the VA scores depression I believe I might be in the 70% range but I'm not sure how to go about this. I've got the NOD paperwork but didn't want to fire off half cocked. I look to you all for some help with this as time and again I've seen this community help each other navigate the labyrinth that is the VA. My question here is multifaceted, which I will break down for easier reading and responding. 1. When filing a NOD should I go for DRO or traditional? 2. What evidence should I include with this to increase the likelihood of conveying my situation properly? 3. Should I talk to my doctor about trying to raise my percentage or keep the two separate? 4. Should I focus on the depression or give information on insomnia and anxiety as well/ would they all go together? 5. Lastly What sort of timeframe should I expect, I've seen people saying a few months and others waiting years later. Thank you all for any help you can provide and if you need any more information or clarification I will gladly supply it. (There are other things in my disability claim but they are much minor to the mental health issues and I believe the ratings I received for the others were fair or fair enough.)
  19. I have 4 months left into the navy . I've been seeing a psychologist at Behavior Health for the passed 3 years for adhd , social anxiety , and what I thought until now ... depression . I've been diagnosed as having MMD like 2 years ago but it isn't current but every other time I have a appointment I told to fill out that questionnaire that shows I wasn't doing well mentally . Apparently my doc didn't feel the need to order any meds for depression so I trusted his judgement even though I expressed verbally and on the questionnaires I wasn't good to go . Now doing some research of want I can claim , I see the depression symptoms for 50% and they line up perfectly for what i'm going through for the past 3 years . I guess what i'm trying to ask is Do I have to be prescribe medication for depression to claim any benefit from it ? And what can I do to lock in my depression claim from here ?
  20. so my claim was submitted on 12/12/2016. I submitted for bipolar/depression (reopen) and tinnitus (new). I sent it in as an FDC with all my evidence. I checked ebenefits on 12/21/2016 and the status is already showing preparation for decision. Is this normal? I haven't even gone to a c&p exam, I haven't recieved any correspondences or anything. For the bipolar depression it is a reopen because when i first filed in 2011, I missed my appointment. After I missed my appointment, the VA sent me papers (back in 2011) saying that they see that i was treated for depression during active duty. but since i failed to show up to the appointment, it was denied. So now i've sent a ton of new evidence that supports my claim and they've reopened the case. But does the speed with which this is progressing means that i am being denied? As noted below, ebennies is showing that the va rep has already made a decision, in less than two weeks. With no exams or anything... What does this mean... Is this normal? have i been denied? Is there a phone number i can call?? im freaking out. Here's what ebenefits show: Estimated Completion: 01/24/2017 - 03/04/2017 STATUS: Preparation For Decision The Veterans Service Representative has recommended a decision, and is preparing required documents detailing that decision. If more evidence is required, the claim will be sent back in the process for more information or evidence
  21. I noticed that the VA didn't award me anything for my anxiety. I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety and MDD all at the same time. I looked through my records and see where it's all listed. It has been less than a year since I received my award. Can anyone tell me how to go about getting my anxiety added into my disabilities. Do I file an appeal or..........
  22. I have asked a lot of questions and i continue to ask alot of questions to learn even more. I think this may be my final question before i file. So i am currently service connected at 80% 60% asthma 30% allergic rhinitus 10% carpal tunnel 10% cystic acne (due to jet fumes) Now here's my question. Back in 2009 i began seeing a shrink for depression. ive been on pills and have gone to a counselor very often ever since. It is believed that my depression came from the 3 plane crashes that i witnessed. And another 1 that i didnt witness, but i was apart of the HR (human remains) team that shipped the 6 recovered bodies home. It is also believed that my depression has come as a result of the severe asthma and allergy pains. Recent my therapist marked me down as bipolar I, fyi. My question is, do you think i would have a better chance claiming bipolar/depression as secondary to the asthma and allergies. Or should i just say that ive been depressed from the plane crashes and hr missions. Or should i just claim depression as its own issue. please help. Thanks.
  23. Hello all. I am looking for some thoughts on how much of an impact a VA psychiatrist note in my record. I am filing for aggravation of mental conditions the pre-existed prior to service. I had a special waiver signed prior to joining where the military doctor granted me permission to enter because I had been taking lithium trials. The psychiatrist note from 2016 therapy session that states "In brief, -------- has contended with depression, anxiety, and anger as far back as teenage years. There were aggravating circumstances during his time in the Army (1988-96), though he was not in combat, and for quite a period of time alcohol misuse exacerbated his symptoms, but he says today he's been sober since 2011, when he went through treatment in the VA hospital. He doesn't attend AA; he just knows he's better off not drinking. -------- has contended with hostility and paranoid perceptions and ideation for many years. When it's been bad he'll use Abilify to counteract those symptoms. I have been seeing the VA doctors for mental health problems since 2009 and have an extensive history in my VA records of meds and groups etc. Do I have a nexus? I have been appealing this for years. Happy to provide more info if needed. Thank you
  24. back in 2011 I filed for a plethora of disabilities that i received during my time in the air force as a load master. I was given an 80% rating. One of the claims was for depression an ptsd. However, I missed that c&p appt (i forget everything) and i obviously was not given a rating. However, I was sent a letter that says: "You were denied service connection for depression/anxiety/stress because you did not report for the scheduled exam in order to determine if the current disability began on active duty and to obtain sufficient information for evaluation of the disability. Although there is a record of treatment in service for anxiety/depression/stress, no permanent residual or chronic subject to service connection is shown by the service medical records or demonstrated by evidence following the service." Now this was sent to me in 2011. Since then ive received a ton of treatment but ive also have had some unfortunate events happen as a result of the depression, anxiety, anger etc (jail, a stint at the mental health clinic, even a broken hand twice on two separate occasions on 2 separate faces, and few more incidents. i am working so hard on controlling my frustrations with the world and i am taking my meds and getting counseling - i hate living like this because i physically cant control it. And i was never like that prior to 06' my join date). so my question is what exactly does that quote from the va mean? does it mean that they recognize i was treated for depression during active duty but due to me missing the appointment, they need more information? And if i were to file a claim for depression and ptsd - and i were to receive the 80% I need in order to be rated 100%, how would the back pay work? Would the date go bak to my initial 2011 date? Or would they back pay me from the current date of filing? Sorry for the long post - thanks for the help. Also am i correct in saying that they would only be paying the difference between the 80% pay and the 100% pay right??
  25. Sort of Long I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in July of 1986, and received an honorable discharge in July of 1994. For approximately 45 days in early October of 1986 until late November of 1986, I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC with the Warehouse Unit (3051) for training (ACDUTRA). Several years after my separation from service in approximately 1993, I really began to experience the effects of consuming the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. My mood changed drastically and I began to have major panic attacks. At one point in 1995 I was even taken by ambulance to the hospital for shortness of breath and the fear that I was having a massive heart attack. During this same year, I was formally diagnosed with suffering from Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression. The strange thing about it is that I have never suffered from any psychological issues prior to my service at Camp Lejeune and do not have a family history of any psychiatric disorders. Over the next nineteen years, I took medication and occasional psychotherapy for my psychiatric condition. In spite of this my condition never really improved to the point that I felt normal. Since approximately 1992, I have had literally dozens of jobs. This is true, because my psychiatric condition makes it nearly impossible to hold down a job for any considerable amount of time. I have real trouble concentrating and focusing on things for long periods of time. Due to my educational background, I have been afforded some really good and high paying jobs like the Social Security Administration and school teaching. However, because of my lack of ability to focus, I am unable to sustain meaningful employment for more than a few months at a time. The stress of the workload and my inability to handle authority make it very difficult to remain on any job for very long; as a result, I ultimately quit. I reason that I can do better working alone and for myself and that I’ll earn a lot more working for myself, but that never seems to manifest either. I would say that most of my family members and close friends believe that there is seriously something wrong with me. I have been out of work for a year and a half and drive for Uber from time to time to earn money for gas and auto insurance. I prefer to spend most of my time alone and have pretty much cut off all contact with friends. I no longer have good health insurance like I did when I was married. Since it is difficult for me to maintain employment, I don’t have regular insurance coverage. As a result, I have not the taken much needed psychiatric medication for approximately four years. Consequently, my alcohol consumption has increased greatly and I weigh more than I ever have in my life. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that my condition is the direct result of my exposure to the contaminated water that I consumed while at Camp Lejeune, NC. According to the EPA, the levels of PCE, TCE and other chemicals at Camp Lejeune were at least 1000 times higher than normal. Apparently the Marine Corps was aware of this situation and did nothing to correct it. Hundreds of thousands of Marines and their families have been victimized by this situation. In 2012, President Obama signed into law the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-154), which guarantees those veterans who served at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 for a minimum of 30 days and suffer from any of fifteen identified conditions, free treatment through the VA. I content that I suffer from Neurobehavioral Effects, which is one of the identified conditions. Depression falls within the realm of Neurobehavioral Effects. Perhaps there is a “light at the end of this long tunnel,” because, a Veterans Law Judge, in his appeal letter stated that my service record confirms that I was stationed at Camp Lejeune for training, which falls within the range of subjects identified as potentially exposed to VOCs during my service and that my VA treatment record shows that I have a history of depression and that I have received treatment from the VA for such. Aside from this I also show a history of being treated for years by outside psychiatrist. As a result, I will be afforded the elusive P&C examination as part of my case; I am finally going to receive the due process that I deserve. I keep getting denied! What would you do?
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