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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
C&P(Compensation and Pension)Exams Sub-post, Mental Health/PTSD Exams (means you'll see a Psychologist or MH "Expert") Most of us here on Hadit.com LOVE to see C&P's. it is practically a GUARANTEE that we never see exams that are exactly the same. i believe the reason most of us look at these things is to help you all ease your own tensions, waiting for the Results of a C&P is no where near as intense as waiting for the Rating decision based of said exams. when you all come here, asking us to look, we do it for you, and us, because we are all still fighting as well. we learn, from your flaws and chaotic whirlpool of hope and despair, but we try to calm that storm for you. it's really rather sad that only us Veteran Civilians can give as much support and attention unlike those programs that claim to be lookin out for us. if Hadit.com was where ALL Veterans came to get the help they needed i believe our Veteran Community as a whole would be a lot better,but that isn't the case, so we make do with what we have. and what do we have you ask? Each other, that's it. just to the left and right of each one of us is someone still fighting a horrible system that seems not only to benefit, but THRIVE on denying a majority of us the Compensation's we've been guaranteed by Law. So, what's the point of this little post you may ask? well, look at it this way, those of us here, those of us who fight, not just for ourselves, but for each other, we have limited time. we DO have to fight our own cases as well, and we have to garner enough Information as we can.....so i despise when people waste my phukin time. and even more, i despise how they waste my fellow Shield brethren's time, it seriously feels to me as those who waste our time, literally waste moments of our Life. you know, that highly limited thing that we have so little of. Why am i posting this in the C&P Forum you may ask? Because, it is HERE, where it is the SIMPLEST to weed out the Scum.....those who would manipulate and twist all that WE do, for their own gains. How is it so simple you may be asking yourselves? well, lets take a look see at what exactly a C&P exam actually IS. and no i don't mean the fancy VA tracking numbers and Military-ish style jargon. i mean, what as LAYPEOPLE we must understand it as. Compensation and Pension- The underlined really only deals with us Vets here on Hadit.com, it's for those of us, who were broken, but since we signed a Contract, held up our Right Hand, and Swore an Oath, we are COMPENSATED for Damages that are based on a wonky azz math system that pretty much guarantees that you'll be Compensated, no matter how Slight or All Encompassing your injuries are. Mental Health Exams are ALWAYS conducted by MH professionals, personally, i wouldn't accept anything less than a PhD holding Psychologist, they actually get their Doctorates in Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders. most of us have been to them, SEVERAL times, always poking, prodding, asking questions that we deem unnecessary, and lots of times the Exams themselves seem to be rather scatterbrained. what one Doc does in St. Louis Mo is not even close to the tests ran by old Doc in Seattle Wa.....why is this? who knows? but the general theory of ALL MH medical evaluations is the same. they're not Medical Exams, they are FORENSIC Exams. which means, that PhD Doc ain't your buddy, he's a COP. they need to shock you, destabilize you, rile you up and see what is REALLY in there, if you're such a GOOD faker that you can fool a well trained Doc, then that is in and of itself another form of Psychosis, you all wonder why sooooo few cases of Fraud cause the termination of Compensation Benefits? because most of these "shifty" Docs are REALLY good at their jobs. even the way you react to how they react tells them many things. there is a common misconception of "buiding to deny" a case or something of that order, but for MH, not quite so. when it comes to MH, the VA HAS to be sure, it HAS to base all their decisions off of the Law, and MH is one area, where i believe we get very very very little Frauding of the system. the VA needs it's own Doc's, because lets face a solid fact, as a Treating Doc your own personal Doc is caught up in your well being and health, a VA Rating Officer has to know that what Information they get is 100% legit. i don't blame them, MH is only Treatable, not Curable. pretty much translates to benefits for life, i.e. Compensation on a Tax Free Check if you come here, and post your C&P Exam, and you think we're gonna sugar coat it and say try harder, you're sadly mistaken. this is my Callout, if you come here, looking to waste my time, and the time of the Veterans who kept me sane, who filled me with Hope, and even more, gave me the Knowledge i needed to win my Claims, i'm gonna shame you into Obscurity. we don't have time for you, if you post a C&P that you even THINK may cause some of us to think you're a liar, you better go find a Lawyer to look at your Shite, because you are NOT welcome here. i will find you, you can't lie to me, if you post your information, as i have done, as i have opened and bared my soul to my fellow Vets, and i see your Cancerous lies, i will call you out, and haunt your Posts. the few Rotten Apples such as yourself have caused a backlash against Broken Veterans on orders of magnitude that are both offensive and onerous in themselves. i would rather see a piece of Shite like you get your benefits, if it meant EVERY Vet who needed them right now got them, but that isn't how our System works, so you ain't gettin Shite from me..... Carry on Shield Siblings....
I have seen my new psych 4 times total and each time he has added new meds, or increased the dosage of existing ones. appt 1: sertraline 50mg. (Now @100) appt 2: Seroquil (quetiapine fumarade) 50mg (Now @100). appt 4: bupropion 100mg. Long story short I don't want to take All of these. At my old VA I was prescribed 1 pill, Adderall, for 8 years. It did not fix my issues, but it made me happen when I took it. New VA, new Psych stopped the adderall and gives me these pills that make me feel zombified during the day and also haven't fixed my issues. I'm still angry at random and distrust people, still have days where Im so sad with my life I want to jump in a lake, still hear bad voices, still sleep 4 hours a night. I feel even worse than before. Has anyone else had a similar reaction to this combo? I mentioned this at my last appointment; brain fog for hours after waking, pysically drained, sad and sexually useless (I dont know how to make new relationships, and all my old ones are gone). Saying that got me the Bupropion rx, my issues written off with lines like "worry it will get better eventually." Instead of seeing me as an individual I think my doc has blind faith in his own personal process. My next appointment is in 2 weeks and Im worried that when I bring this stuff up I'll get another pill added to the regimen. My personal beliefs are that all these meds aren't working on me. Maybe I'm missing something about myself, something I can't see that is the root cause of my problems. That plus my scholiosis (I seen the x-ray from PMRS and it horrified me). Seroquil does keep me asleep - first few nights it knocked me out but no longer does that. I still stay up late, and wake feeling slow and weak. More than once my arms were shaking to the point where it was effecting my morning pages (writing 2 freehand pages each morning as therapy - these are actually fun and helpful). It felt like extreme fatigue. As far as the other 2 meds they have had literally no effect on my mood, the sertraline Ive been taking 3 months already. Welbutrin doesnt lift the brain fog. Coffee is more helpful. Thank you, if you read this lengthy post. I now realize how much this topic has been bothering me and I think that Had-it is the best place to get it out. Can't wait to read responses.