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  1. This is what I would tell any veteran who had symptoms or events in the military involving psychological distress or a post service diagnosis of PTSD. Stay in therapy. Get a service officer and file a claim that results in the adjudication of every post service diagnosis of a mental condition. If the veteran is diagnosed with PTSD file a claim for PTSD. If the veteran has a dual diagnosis of PTSD and Major Depression, file a claim for PTSD and major depression. Make sure each individual diagnosis is adjudicated. If later the veteran is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder file yet another claim for schizoaffective disorder. Psychiatric symptoms need to be evaluated by a clinician. It is not the job of the service officer to play doctor. The service officer should file the claim and let the doctors figure it out. Also, consider that service officers will ask you if there are any treatment records or notes in your personnel file. If you say no they just might throw you out of there office. It happened to me. The problem is that doctors could have noted things and not even told you. File the claim and get the SMR and personnel file and read them before saying no to any potential records. After getting thrown out of the service officer’s office I got my SMR. When I got my treatment notes my angioedema had been diagnosed in the military and I did not even know it. Read BVA cases. Go to the BVA decision search site. Type in the name of a post service diagnosis and start reading cases. These claims can get complex. Multiple diagnoses, changing diagnoses, not properly supported diagnoses etc. Both the VA and the service officers are capable of dropping the ball. The BVA is full of decisions showing the diagnostic histories and logic used to win and lose claims that were denied by the regional offices.
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