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Found 5,837 results

  1. Hello Hadit Helpers, I feel like I am stumbling around blind. I hope someone can help me see. I was service connected in 2011 severe anxiety due to mst and a bladder condition. I have not had gainful employment since ETSing in 2004. I was re-evaluated for an increase and received an overall 70 - 40 -10 but started being payed at 80% in 2016. In June of 2019 I applied for TDIU. I hit the make a decision now button on ebenefits, which was like shooting my own foot for lack of patience, not realizing that this meant the VA could not request any further info from me. In August I was denied, and obtained an attorney. The attorney took over and ebenefits is showing the privacy act starting on October 4th and my claim is now in the evidence gathering/decision making process. Estimated end date of April 2020, the attorney says 3 years, but I know there are new systems in place to make things move a little quicker. I am looking for any information that you all would have about what is actually happening. I don't know if this is a NOD or what. My case manager acts like I am a major pain and won't give me any info and I fear she has no idea what she is actually doing. =( I assume it is not an actual appeal yet, because my case manager said they would have to wait for my c-file before they would appeal on the next denial from the VA. I am so confused, If any of you experts could find the time to help me I would greatly appreciate it. I have always dealt with the VA on my own with no previous denials, but never fully understood what I was doing. I thought hiring an attorney would change this, but I still feel just as blind as before.
  2. I am new here. I was in the Army from 1959-1969, Artillery for the first three years, and a Neuro-Psychiatric Specialist after that. I spent almost 5 years at Valley Forge General Hospital, and was scheduled to Go to Walter Reed when my marriage fell apart and i had to get out to take care of my kids. In 1967, I volunteered as a "Medical Volunteer" at Edgewood Arsenal. I do not have a clue what the hell they gave me there, but it damn sure changed my personality permanently. I lost my marriage, my career in the Army, and had (and still do have) all of the symptoms of PTSD, except for excessive drug/alcohol use. I just learned in September of this year, that I was cleared for them to use "psycho chems" on me. I used my GI Bill to get my Masters in both Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling. Between 1987 and 2005, I worked as a Vocational Expert in Social Security Disability/SSI Hearings before Administrative Law Judges. I hope I can help some of you with your Social Security issues. I'd like to hear from other Vets that were "volunteers" at Edgewood Arsenal. I'd especially like to know if anyone has successfully gotten a claim for PTSD throught the VA, based on their experiences at Edgewood? Medic
  3. Moderator, you might want to Pin this somewhere, as this seems to be a recurring trend. I have given out this information to others, but I will post it here so that others can find it rather than searching through the forum. First and foremost, claiming and getting sleep apnea secondary to PTSD or Mental disorder is not easy. I have personally seen more lost than won, however, it can be obtained and I myself have personally received it. If you had sleep apnea diagnosed while in active duty, it is usually a slam dunk........for the rest of those trying to get it, it could require a lot of work. I suggest trying to get it both direct and secondary service connected. It is easier to get sleep apnea as a direct service connection obviously, however, most Veterans do not get it diagnosed while in service. Best way to get that resolved is through buddy statements. I suggest getting 3-4 (I personally had 7-8) or more. Do not have them only say that they saw you snoring.......that is great and all, but that is not a symptom of sleep apnea.......it is incidental. They would need to say that they saw you gasping for air, choking, etc. Preferably roommates. If you were deployed, it would be easy to have many people saying that they saw/heard this as you would have more than likely been in an open bay setting at some point in time. You can also have your spouse write up a statement. This all needs to be during active duty periods of times and dates need to be included. M21-1 reference III.iii.2.E.2.b "Types of Evidence VA May Use To Supplement or as a Substitute for STRs" allows for buddy statements to act as STRs for medical evidence.........if they are certified "buddy" statements or affidavits.............having them written on VA Form 21-4138 solves this issue as it has the appropriate verbiage written near the bottom. Under M21-1 reference III.iii.1.B.7.a and 38 CFR 3.200, it meets the certification criteria..........problem solved. From my experience, getting all of the buddy statements needed can take longer than you originally anticipate....plan ahead. Now, for secondary criteria. Have you ever been diagnosed with alcohol abuse (it is frequently written as "ETOH")? If so, has it been attributed to your mental disorder or did it exist prior to that and is it considered willful? If you have been diagnosed with alcohol abuse, and it is attributable to your mental disorder, guess what, alcohol consumption is attributable to sleep apnea. would suggest that you start doing your own academic research. You might be able to locate peer-reviewed academic journal articles (those are the types of articles that you want to submit) through https://www.researchgate.net/. If not, another alternative is using a college database to search academic journals through. Ah, but you need to be a college student to use the database to search academic journals through. One might make an argument that you could register for classes at a local community college (you can even register online nowadays without even stepping foot on campus) and even register for "late start" classes, and have access to the aforementioned database immediately (hint hint, look in the academic journal Chest); one could easily find within a 60 minute search at least 5 appropriate and recent journal articles clearly establishing a link between specific mental disorders and sleep apnea; there is a clear link between PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, and especially schizophrenia. One might make an argument that you could simply then disenroll from the classes that you enrolled in by the date specified in order to get a full refund, thereby being charged nothing. Save the academic journal articles as pdf files, and create a work cited page (bibliography) for them in APA format (google is your friend.) You now have a choice........... Submit your claim with the buddy statements, mental health notes from a private provider, and evidence that you have and go with either a VA exam or vendor exam (whichever is given) or you can get an IME and IMO from private providers. If go the latter route, I would schedule one with a sleep specialist, why, because sleep apnea is their specialty. Pulmonologists also fall within this scope as well, though I suspect that you will have better luck finding a sleep specialist believing there to be a link between mental disorders and sleep apnea. You will get a Sleep Apnea DBQ and an IMO. Make sure that you have your C - File first as an examiner is required to have access to it and state that they have seen it on the DBQ for it to acceptable proof to the VA. I would also get one from your psychologists/psychiatrist (Make sure that they are a psychiatrist or a psychologist.....if a psychologist, they need to be PsyD or Ph.D., or under the observation of a Ph.D.). Make sure before you solicit those medical opinions, that you acquire "buddy statements" from 3-4 (or even more) people with whom you served. Roommates would be best, or people who slept in close proximity to you.........again, this is only if you believe that sleep apnea developed while you were in Active Duty service. Make sure that they are written on VA Form 21-4138. Make sure they say that they witnessed clear symptoms of sleep apnea i.e. gasping for air, choking sounds, moments where they visibly or auditorily could determine that you ceased breathing etc. Remember, you will want the sleep specialist and the psych professional to have your academic journal articles and buddy statements. Once you have all of them, solicit your medical opinions from the two aforementioned providers. Ideally, you would love for the IMOs to say that they believe that you could be both direct service connected for sleep apnea or secondary due to mental disorder, possibly even say that the mental disorder and sleep apnea aggravate one another (which there is medical evidence to support.) If you opt to go the route of getting the private IMO and IME, you will obviously submit those with your claim, and all medical records from private providers pertinent to sleep apnea and your mental health treatment, buddy statements, academic journal articles, and a nicely written statement written by yourself on a VA Form 21-4138 talking about the issue at hand and summarizing everything concisely. Mention everything that you are providing that you wont to be considered for the claim, and when the issue first manifested.
  4. I met with a VSO on Feb 8th 2019 and started my MST/PTSD claim. To be totally honest I am scared to death. The incidents happened during my Navy duty 88-89. I had hid it from everyone including my wife until this past December. I had went to a VSO to talk about other claims when it slipped out and I was offered help to form a claim. We filed an intent to claim in Dec 2018. She suggested I talk with my wife and make an appointment with my doctor. After sitting and having a very emotional talk with my wife and with her support I made an appointment with my personal doctor. I am very lucky to have a great doctor who sat with me and after many tears I was able to explain in detail what had happened. He diagnosed me with extreme anxiety mostly when dealing with other Males ( Authority Figures or when confronted), and PTSD/MST and prescribed an anxiety as needed. What we submitted: A two page statement from me ( Timeline form) A statement from my wife A statement from from my 20 yr old son detailing my issues with examples of my issues with male authority figures A Nexus statement from my Doctor saying he feels that my anxiety and PTSD is definitely caused by what happened while I served. The VSO said that it was the best written Nexus statement she has ever seen in her 10 years in doing Veteran claims. My Questions: After submitting a claim to the VSO how long before it shows up on ebenefits? Mine still shows as intent to file. The VSO says it has been submitted. What can I expect at my C & P exam? How can I prepare myself for the exam? This is what I dread/fear most. Is it ok if I post my journey? I also want to thank all the men and women who have submitted to the MST forum. I now know I am not alone. Being a male and reading that similar things has happened to other males and reading their journeys has prepared me to start my journey and start the healing process.
  5. Hello, I'm new to this site and this is my first post.. My question is how many members of the Gulf War or any War for that matter got the skin condition Vitiligo during or after deployment??? If so has anyone won benefits for this condition? I have had this since I was deployed back in 91 however I blew it off and didn't think nothing of it because it started with two small patches.. Over the years after my deployment is has spread all over my body. My VA doctor said it is a autoimmune disease and could be the cause of my arthritus which is getting worse by the day.. I'm certain this had something to do with my deployment, but the VA doesn't seem to think so they stated in my denial letter there were no cases of Gulf War Vets getting this condition??? I find it hard to believe.. I currently filed a reconsideration for this condition and for PTSD and Arthritus. After the reconsideration was denied Instead appealing I refiled for PTSD only. It was denied because the diagnosis was not documented in my medical records and has since been corrected.. Then a few weeks ago I noticed all of the prior conditions filed for the first claim were added to the second claim of PTSD only... Man this whole process in confusing... Thanks in advance..
  6. I am 100% disabled and working. I was given the rating of 100% during my comp hearing, while working at the VA. Is there any problem with this. I spoke with the American Legion and it does not say Individual Unemployable.
  7. Tbird has very good info at the hadit Home page on IMOs. I reworked a topic I posted here some time ago.and maybe it can be found better now: Independent Medical Opinions can often be the only way a veteran or widow can succeed on a VA claim. VA plays a war game called the War of the Words. The proper wording of an IMO is critical to VA's acceptance of it, as probative evidence. Opinions obtained from private treating doctors are often free yet most independent medical opinions are needed from doctors with full expertise in the field of the disability and can be very costly. However an award can easily absorb this cost with a few comp checks or the increases in comp that the claimant might never obtain without an IMO. A Valid IMO must contain the following: The doctor must have all medical records available and refer to them directly in the opinion. In cases involving an in-service nexus- the doctor needs to read and refer to the SMRs. Also the doc needs to have all prior SOC decisions from VA ,particularly those referencing any VA medical opinions and a copy of the actual C & P results is even better. The SOC or SSOC could parse or manipulate critical statements in the actual C & P exam. The IMO doctor should define their medical expertise as to how their background makes their opinion valid. They should be willing to attach to the IMO their CV (Curriculum Vitae that contains their medical background and any other info pertinent ,such as any symposiums they attended, articles they had published etc etc,if possible, that show their expertise .) A psychiatrist cannot really opine on a cardiovascular disease. An internist cannot really opine on a depression claim. They need to have expertise in the field of the disability you have claimed to make their IMO valid. They should rule out any other potential etiology if they can-but for service as causing the disability. They should briefly quote from and cite any established medical principles or treatises that support their opinion. They should point out any discrepancies in any VA examiner’s opinion-such as the VA doctor not considering pertinent evidence of record in the veteran’s SMRs or Clinical record. They should fully provide medical rationale to rebutt anything that is not medically sound nor relevant or appropriate in the VA doctor’s opinion. They should then refer to specific medical evidence to support their conclusion. They must use these terms: (VA is familiar with these terms) "Is due to- 100% More likely than not- Greater than 50% At least as likely as not- 50% (Benefit of doubt goes to Vet) Not at least as likely as not- Less than 50% Is not due to- 0% from an post by carlie “ It helps considerably to identify pertinent documents in your SMRs and medical records with easily seen labels as well as to list and identify these specific documents in a cover letter that requests the medical opinion. A good IMO doctor reads everything you send but this makes it a little easier for them to prepare the IMO as to referencing specific records. Send the VA and your vet rep copies of the signed IMO. And make sure your rep sends them a 21-4138 in support of it- you also- can send this form (available at the VA web site) as a cover letter highlighting this evidence. PS- Mental disabilities- make sure the doctor states that you are competent to handle your own funds- otherwise, if a big retro award is due-the VA might attempt to declare you incompetent and it takes times to find and have the VA approve of a payee. (unfortunately many PTSD claims these days depend on a VA MH professionals diagnosis of PTSD and an IMO diagnosing PTSD will not be accepted by the VA. See our PTSD forum for the 2010 regs on that. I need to add here that a secondary condition to an established SC condition wold not need the IMO doctor to read all of the SMRs. They just have to state with medical rationale why the second claimed disabilty is due to (secondary to) the initial SC disability. IMO docs must avoid words like 'maybe', 'possibly', 'could ' or 'might' be related to, or any other wording that VA could construe as speculative and then disregard the IMO for that reason. On the other hand the IMO doc should look for any purely speculative statements in the C & P exam report or in the C & P and overcome those statements by stating they are mere speculation and have no medical basis. DIC claims IMOs are different and the IMO doctor needs the death certificate and any autopsy findings and any past C & Ps as well as the entire clinical record (to include SMRs in some cases) and copies of any and all private records. They need the rating info on the vet and what his or her SCs were for. If the immediate cause of death is NSC but a service connected disability substantially contributes to death, the VA should award DIC. Often this type of DIC claim definitely needs an IMO to clarify a substantial contribution to a NSC death. 1151 IMOs are different too. The IMO doctor must identify the exact nature of the negligence with direct referrals to the med recs. Then the IMO doctor must make a strong medical statement with a full medical rationale that the veteran has a documented disability that is directly due to the VA's negligence and give a full medical rational for that. It is a good idea for a 1151 IMO doc to also add abstracts or citations from known medical practices in the 'standard medical community' to bolster a 1151 claim. What I mean is showing the VA proof that non VA doctors (the standard medical community) would have taken different steps to diagnose and treat the veteran and the VA's “omission” of these proper medical steps caused the veteran's additional and documented disability. Hope this all helps someone.
  8. 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: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ICD code: F43.12 Comments, if More likely than not secondary to military combat trauma. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Persistent Depressive Disorder, with persistent Major Depressive Episode ICD code: F34.1 Comments, if any: More likely than not incurred during active duty military service. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #3: Alcohol Use Disorder ICD code: F10.20 Comments, if any: More likely than not secondary to diagnoses 1 and 2. b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the mental health disorder (to include TBI): Obesity 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: The veteran's symptoms can be partially differentiated. The symptoms specifically attributable to PTSD include those that reflect a reexperiencing of trauma (for example, nightmares, flashbacks, and intrusive memories), hyper arousal (for example, exaggerated startle reflex and hypervigilance), and avoidance of trauma reminders. Other symptoms are nonspecific and may reflect PTSD and/or depression. These symptoms include irritability, depressed mood, negative cognitions about self and others, sleep disturbance, diminished participation in significant activities, and disconnection from other people. The veteran's excessive use of alcohol can be understood as reflective of the avoidance symptoms of PTSD; the effect of the alcohol is to cause intoxication that allows the veteran to temporarily avoid other PTSD symptoms through alcohol "self-medication." 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] Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking and/or mood b. For the indicated occupational and social impairment, is it possible to differentiate which impairment is caused by each mental disorder? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Not Applicable (N/A) If no, provide reason: The impact of the veteran's mental conditions on social and occupational functioning is interrelated and overlapping, and therefore it is not possible to reliably differentiate the independent impact of each one on the veteran's functioning. c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate which occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by the TBI? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not Applicable (N/A) SECTION II: ----------- Clinical Findings: ------------------ 1. Evidence Review ------------------ Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder [X] CPRS Evidence Comments: The veteran's electronic claims file and VA records were reviewed. The veteran's claims file includes a DD 214 document showing entry into the US Army on November 17, 2009 with an honorable discharge at a rank of E4 on July 22, 2014. The reason for separation is listed as weight control failure. A separation medical examination dated April 20, 2014 is marked "normal" for psychiatric clinical evaluation. In support of the veterans claim for PTSD he provided written statements describing 2 stressful incidents as follows: 1) artillery attack in Afghanistan in January or February 2011, 2) Suicide of best friend on Christmas Day 2013. The veteran's VA records show that he was seen at the Newburg CBOC by the primary care mental health integration staff on July 27, 2016 at which time he was reporting symptoms including depression, feelings of worthlessness, sleep disturbance, and frustration. The diagnoses listed were "anger, anxiety." Records do not indicate the veteran followed up this appointments with additional sessions. The veteran was seen on January 17, 2019 at the Dayton VA Medical Ctr Prime care mental health integration program, where his chief complaint related to depressive symptoms that had begun shortly after his grandfather's death in 2011. He also reported the loss of 2 friends to suicide in 2012 and 2013. He reported symptoms including anergia, amotivation, depressed mood, irritability, and increased appetite as well as some anxiety symptoms that began in 2014 after separating from the military and included wanting to leave crowded situations and vague hypervigilance symptoms. The veteran reported that his depressive symptoms were his primary concern. He was diagnosed with unspecified depressive disorder (with rule out for major depressive disorder versus persistent depressive disorder) and unspecified anxiety disorder, (with rule out for generalized anxiety disorder versus PTSD). Records show the veteran was scheduled for group treatment following the initial assessment, but did not show, and has not returned to the VA for mental health treatment since then. 2. History a. Relevant social/marital/family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): The veteran reported that he was raised in a small town in Ohio, living with his mother and grandparents until about age 10. His natural father was not in the picture. The veteran's stepfather entered his life when he was about 8, and later adopted him. The veteran also has 3 younge r sisters. He reported that he was treated very well by his parents and grandparents. He was involved in baseball and other sports, and had no significant academic problems. He graduated high school on time then briefly attended college. The veteran was married to his first wife before entering the military, but she left him when he was deployed to Afghanistan. That marriage never produced children. The veteran and his current wife have been married 7 years, and they have 2 children, ages 4 and 2. The veteran stated the relationship is "shitty" right now because he doesn't talk to his wife and he pushes her away. He said that she has talked about separating, and it was in January of this year that he finally sought treatment because she threatened to leave and take the children. The veteran stated the children are the only thing that brings a smile to his face. b. Relevant occupational and educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Prior to entering the military, the veteran briefly attended college, and then went to NASCAR tech school in North Carolina, but "it wasn't for me." He joined the military approximately at age 22. He was trained in artillery and deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. The veteran's duty in Afghanistan included providing FOB security, and tell her guard duty. Occasionally, they shot artillery. Military trauma: Stressor #1: Early in his tour while stationed in Bagram, the base was attacked with artillery fire. The veteran stated he was terrified and petrified. He was out smoking near the command post when the shells started hitting. He dove between some barriers and other people dove on top of him. He could hear the shells hitting and recalled turning over to see them flying overhead. After the shelling stopped, the veteran was frozen. His Sgt. slapped him. They had taken many incoming that day, and though nobody was killed in his platoon, the veteran doesn't know if others on the base were harmed. After that day, he remained always on alert and tried not to think about it. Stressor #2: Later, he was stationed in Salerno, Afghanistan when another artillery strike occurred. Again, the veteran froze. Stressor #3: A third incident occurred when he was stationed at COB Zormat - they took incoming artillery and returned artillery in response. Once again, the veteran froze, and was taken aside by his Sgt. who chewed him out, shamed him, and told him to hide his fear. The veteran stated he was afraid to say anything to anyone because he feared he looked like "a xxxxx." While in Afghanistan, the veteran received word from his wife that she wanted a divorce. The veteran stated that his friend helped him through his distress. In 2013, on Christmas day, his friend committed suicide. The veteran stated that when he heard of this, he was angry, including anger at himself for not seeing the warning signs. Veteran stated that his friend's suicide has ruined Christmas for him ever since. Post military occupational functioning: The veteran has been unable to maintain employment since his military discharge. In the first few years post discharge he held 4 to 5 different jobs, the longest being less than a year. Then, he found work as a corrections officer in a prison in Kentucky. However, the veteran's depression, drinking, calling off work, anxiety, and irritability, resulted in him being terminated after about 2 years. He got into trouble for losing his temper with the captain and cussing her out. In May 2018, he moved to Ohio having landed another job as a corrections officer with a prison in London. He was there less than 6 months before being terminated. Again, he was having difficulty due to anxiety, irritability, depression, poor attendance, and drinking. He briefly worked at the Post Office as a mail carrier after that, but couldn't get enough sleep, felt depressed, and felt that everyone who worked there was from the military. He couldn't stand it. The veteran has been unemployed for some months now. He wishes to return to school and earned his bachelor's degree. Even at school, he had difficulty because people wanted to ask him about his military service and he always wanted to avoid it. c. Relevant mental health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): The veteran stated that he was never the same after his deployment. He has felt fearful, depressed, and worthless. He experienced the loss of his grandfather while he was deployed, and the loss of his friend to suicide in 2013. The veteran stated he sleeps poorly, waking up many times throughout the night, and dreaming about artillery attacks. He has intrusive thoughts about his military trauma and other negative military experiences, and at times has physical symptoms including rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, and trembling. He drinks excessively as an apparent avoidance technique. He has problems with anger outbursts and irritability. He has hypervigilance, problems concentrating, exaggerated startle reflex, feelings of guilt, feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, inability to connect with others, and wonders if others would be better off if he were dead. The veteran second-guesses his actions in Afghanistan and thinks he could've done better and "I should've manned up." He said he feels worthless. He wonders why he cowered when his base was attacked. He shakes when he hears loud noises, and can't tolerate fireworks. He rarely does activities unless he must, and generally just wants to be by himself. He sees others as threatening, and feels disconnected from everyone including his wife, with the exception of his children, and more recently, his therapist Dr. Ward. The veteran stated he has lost interest in things he used to enjoy, most notably sports. He overeats and drinks excessively. He avoids his friends because he doesn't want to talk about the military. He dropped out of school because people kept asking about his military service. He hates going to his parents home because his mother has erected a "shrine" to him in their living room, and he is to fearful of disappointing his parents to tell them how much he hates it. The veteran sought treatment earlier this year, and has now been working with a psychologist in Spring field, Dr. Ward, for 4-5 months. He stated that Dr. Ward is the one person he feels close to. They recently began EMDR therapy. The veteran has been referred for medication, but is awaiting his first appointment. d. Relevant legal and behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): The veteran has no history of legal problems. e. Relevant substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): The veteran has been drinking excessively since his return from Afghanistan. He estimates that he was drinking a bottle of hard liquor per day at his peak. It has decreased somewhat recently as he has been engaged in therapy, but he continues to drink quite heavily. 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: Artillery attacks at Bagram and Salerno, Afghanistan 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 --------------------------- Note: 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] 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 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 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] 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 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] 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 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- The veteran arrived on time for his scheduled examination. His identity was confirmed by having him provide his full name and date of birth. The veteran presents as a tall, obese, Caucasian male who appears the stated age. He was dressed casually and exhibited good grooming and hygiene. He had tattoos visible on his lower and upper extremities. His posture, gait, and psychomotor activity were within normal limits. His manner of interaction was cooperative, courteous, and friendly. His speech was normal in rate, rhythm, tone, and volume. His thought processes were clear, logical, coherent, and goal-directed. Veteran reported his mood to be depressed, with affect congruent. He denied suicidal ideation, but admitted to thoughts of death and wondering if others would be better off without him. He denied homicidal ideation as well as auditory and visual hallucinations. 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 -------------------------------------------------- In my opinion, the veteran meets DSM 5 diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, which is more likely than not secondary to military trauma. In this veteran's case, there is a strong component of shame that is also associated with his military service and is foundationally related to his depressive disorder. His experience of freezing during 3 artillery attacks is something that is associated with feelings of overwhelming shame, worthlessness, helplessness, and inadequacy for the veteran. These thoughts and feelings contribute significantly to his depressive condition, and contribute meaningfully to his PTSD symptoms as well. The veteran also experienced significant losses during military service that have likely aggravated his PTSD and depressive conditions. Notably, the veteran's grandfather died in 2011 when the veteran was deployed to Afghanistan, and his best friend committed suicide on Christmas day in 2013. Both losses were experienced by the veteran as emotionally traumatic and contribute to his symptomatology. The veteran has developed a dysfunctional coping mechanism of excessive alcohol intake in his efforts to suppress negative feelings associated with his traumas. As his excessive alcohol use appears to be largely in the service of avoidance of distress and suppression of intrusive/reexperiencing symptoms, it is my opinion that his alcohol use disorder is secondary to his PTSD and depressive disorders. The veteran's mental health symptoms have severely impaired his functional capacity. He is socially disengaged and avoidant. He has difficulty expressing himself emotionally, showing empathy, or forming emotional bonds with others. Occupationally, the veteran has exhibited significant dysfunction as he has been unable to maintain employment due to anxiety, depression, avoidance, alcohol abuse, irritability, shame. Hs shame about his reactions of freezing during artillery attacks prompts him to avoid interpersonal interactions as much as possible as he fears that the topic of his military service will arise. Recently, the veteran has begun outpatient mental health treatment in the form of individual counseling, and he is awaiting an appointment for trial of medication.
  9. Everyone needs to understand these people are not our friends...I felt I was in court fighting a case..Be prepared and ready for all kinds of traps and loaded questions...they are out to stop giving IU to us veterans.and this guy said he was a vet...I noticed at the very end he wanted me to sign a statement saying how good he was.He even beat up my IMO on the record....Just "Beware"when going for these exams........
  10. A friend recently diag with cancer of lung and throat/esophagus and PTSD...VA keeps asking for proof...HEY VA you diag PTSD and now keep asking for stressors?? WHAT GIVES?? Vet is Viet Nam, medic has Bronze star"V", and another one too, some commendations too and went through the ranks pretty fast too...5 promotions during original enlistment...Have received all diagnoses from Dr and specialists, Cancer treatment regimen, including chemo(started already), radiation(started already),and all have been given to VA directly...yet the stupid computer generated letters continue, and the VA did write/tell VSO WHERE IS THE PROOF? SEND US THE SMR's TOO! SSDI approved claim in 2 1/2 weeks from start of claim to granting approval, but waiting time began last mth... He is utalizing a VSO not the same I have, but it does appear the guy is trying to push everything through fast, minus the BS the VA is putting him through too. The guy worked for the govt too up until this point too. I tried to tell them how the VA conviently looses vets papers, and how the computer keeps generating the same info out over and over...but I realize they have an enormous amount of anxiety regarding his diagnoses, on top of the unknown VA processes, and the mistrust already evidenced by the VA's actions/ or lack of correct actions. SO does anyone have an idea/or personal experience on the expedience requested on a claim with some of the diagnoses being 2 different types of cancer? I know all claims are treated on a different time frame, but have always read with terminal illinesses they are suppose to move them along faster. Here we have another vet who has attempted to deal with PTSD on his own, and the stressors have taken the ultimate toll on his body, and his health. He is being treated by private Dr's and in a private hosp too, to get things going faster. Any thoughts, comments, advice, suggestions, and prayers are so welcomed from all of my fellow hadit friend's for this genuine brave man. Thank you, halos2.
  11. I'm a Gulf War veteran with 90% S/C for various conditions. Some conditions that have been denied have been frustrating since I'm still suffering with symptoms. How can I create a Nexus for sinusitis and sleep apnea? I'm 30% for asthma and tried to create a relation between sleep apnea and asthma, but that was a no go. I was thinking trying again and tying my PTSD to that. Any thoughts? I was also shot down on sinusitis from the get go, but I thought all I had to do was tie my gulf war time to that condition. I guess I was wrong.
  12. So I pretty much have my statements together. I feel pretty confident especially since I do have a CAB. However, I am already diagnosed with Chronic PTSD by my psychiatrist who works for the VA. I am also being treated by him with medication. And it helps me out alot. Will the doctor who I see during the examination judge me off of how he see's me in my current condition and say I am fine even though I am medication to help with PTSD? I typed up a very lengthy paragraph in the remarks section of the 21-0781 and stated two incidents like directed. Surely they wouldnt judge on my current well being because I am being treated. Also it has been 1 year and 3 months since I got out, and I have been on medication for about 2 and a half months. Also, one of my parents committed suicide a day after I got back from deployment. I was on the fence about bringing this up, but I would be lying through my teeth if I brought up all the things that happened since I was 19 and didnt bring this up. Will this hurt my case in any way?
  13. I filed a claim in october of 2018 for ptsd and TDIU, long story short I tried to do everything myself and didn't have the proper diagnosis so I was service connected for anxiety based on having a medical marijuana card diagnosis for anxiety but the rating was 30% and I much worse off then that. So I obtained a referral from the va to a fancy psychiatrist from the university of north florida's behavior health department and was diagnosed with ptsd, bi polar 1 and panic disorder. I used this new medical evidence as my supplemental claim evidence and filed it April 16, 2019 after receiving my letter March 20, 2019. My claim is now at Pending Decision Approval with an estimated completion date of july 2, 2019 which is super fast from all I have read. My question is, Am I going to be awarded tdiu with the evidence I submitted if they adjust me up to 70% which I think it will . Or if they award 70% for ptsd on this new supplemental claim will i have to re-apply for tdiu again? Or would that all be considered in the final review of the entire claim? Thanks for any help. 1-22 1BCT 4th I.D. "Regulars by God"
  14. I’m in final review for about 40 days after spending almost 5 years in legacy. Peggy says almost done but no date. They have everything since 5/1. I thought ramp was quicker .I opted in 5/13. I get close then it gets sent back. No one know anything.All you can do is wait
  15. 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
  16. Curious what to do with this piece of information. I was going through my c&p's and the one I had in Aug 2018 that bumped me to 100% has this line in it. "He reports breathing difficulties, diagnosed - Obstructive Sleep Apnea. " I was using my CPAP when my original C&P in 2013 was done. My record has all sorts of references to it, including the VA issuing me on and way. I have the Sleep Study results in my hands. So what paths are open to me? in the 2013 standards being issued a CPAP w/ an SC (PTSD) related condition should have given me a 50% rating. Today's standards say I need the medical opinion to state' "he will die without it" or other such magic word nonsense. what is my most likely path to getting it rated and possibly retro pay?
  17. Hi, I have been rated at 30% for PTSD since 2005 (60% total). In 2015 I lost my job and after a year social security found me eligible for social security disability benefits based on PTSD. I have not worked since. In 2018 I filed a claim for increases on several things but not for PTSD. At the same time, I was trying to get the VA to add depressive order to my list of service-connected items as I had the diagnosis for it. The VA then re-evaluated me for PTSD and said I was still at 30% and denied all my increases. I had never told the VA or the rater about social security finding me disabled due to PTSD. I appealed the VA decisions regarding the increases they denied me and now the VA is requesting my social security disability findings so, I went ahead and sent them in through ebenifits. The VA sent me a letter stating that " we completed your request for a higher level review, and discovered an error in our duty to assist in gathering evidence in support of your claim". What are the chances that the VA will raise my PTSD to 100% upon finding out that I cannot and have not been able to work because of the problems I have from PTSD . Also, is the VA supposed to address these kinds of issues if the find them? thanks for any thoughts. I never wanted to mess with my PTSD rating for fear of the VA screwing up as usual and that is why I never asked for an increase or told them about the social security disability based on PTSD.
  18. I first found this forum after I started my claim Aug 7, 2018. This was 10 years after my discharge. I had done everything I could to stay away from the military after my experience and had never even been to the VA before this year. I prepared my claim myself and was concerned I would be denied. I posted my c and p exam results here October 31, 2018 and members commented on their thoughts of success or failure, and said I would get about 50%. I then took my exam results to the Veteran rep here at my local unemployment office who told me ultimately I would be denied and should appoint a representative and prepare for appeal. I choose the DAV and left with my spirits a little crushed, but after reading people stories here I knew I had to remain hopeful. Nov. 29, 2018 I received an email from the DAV with the Decision that had been made even before I could see it. The email stated I had been service-connected at 70% PTSD permanent, also approved for TDIU and Dependent Education, but Ebenefits still said pending approval. So again I came to the forums for assistance and posted a copy of the email. I was met with congratulatory responses and assurance that the email was legit. @GeekySquid then messaged me a ton of information about benefits that were now available to me. It was from that information I was able to start the process of getting my life back on track. Im currently working with VR&E also known as Voc Rehab, to go back to school. Geeky told me they would give me hard time but to be persistent and it paid off my counselor has approved my long term goal of a Masters Degree. I can not put in words how thankful I am for this forum and its Members.
  19. I was never diagnosed in service with OSA. I weigh 220 and I am 6' tall. I am rated at 70% for PTSD and the meds I take add to the OSA. I had my personal Dr. and the Psychiatrist I see both write letters to support that the meds I take add to and cause the OSA. My Dr filled out the DBQ and sent it in as well. I had a failed sleep study results sent in with my claim. I also have documentation I sent it that back up the fact that OSA is tied to PTSD and is aggravated by PTSD. Then sleeping with the prescribed CPAP machine adds to the PTSD. Just curious if anyone has ever won this claim? I am going to appeal but wanted to get any advise here first if someone has any to share.. not sure if there is anyone who has gone this route before and won? thanks!
  20. I have been learning a lot on the hadit forums over the past few months. I have learned quite a bit and I wish I would have found this site 10 years ago. I filed a claim about a week ago and I just realized that I made an error on the date of my stressor statement. I always remember the date I started my shift which was 17 January 1991 so that is the date I put down. I just realized that the stressful event happened later on in my shift and the date was actually 18 January 1991. Is there a way to correct this date before my claim moves farther through the process by submitting another statement with the correction?
  21. This is interesting about the LIMBIC Part of the Brain check this out! Sleep Apnea/OSA http://www.answersforsleep.com/neurological-disorders/the-ptsd-and-sleep-apnea-connection/ ................Buck
  22. I have been reading some of these blogs on MST and PTSD. I have a C & P exam on 8 July 2015. I have read some that are helpful and I am just a little nervous about this process. For one I am a Male and I disclosed it last year in July 2014. It was the hardest thing I have ever told anyone and was not completely comfortable telling my therapist either, but I had to do something because my mental state was deteriorating fast. I actually pushed the whole incedent out of my mind for along time telling myself it was no big deal. I could not tell anyone because I am a Guy this does not happen to men, so i silently suffered since 1995. I now have an exam. I have been diagnosed with PTSD due to MST and depression. I suffer from sleep distubances and night sweats. My wife tells me I scream in my sleep. I have gone to a couple MST groups and found them to be helpful. I still don't like to talk about it because I am supposed to be strong, but I have so much shame and guilt from it. I have constant anxiey and have panic attacks. I just worry about it and any guidence would be helpful.....
  23. 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.
  24. How do I submit an article? Or get someone else to help research and flesh it out? Basic start: Berta, Bronco, and other primaries, if you are listening, get your crew to contact NIH and help do an article on this. (immunoexcitotoxicity) The primary source or beginning is a concussion, even mild ones. Could be from a fall as a toddler or at any time in your life. So, PTSD is simply a symptom of a Post-Concussion Syndrome. Started harping on the organicity of PTSD in 1987 along with the writing off simple PCS as adjustment disorders. Did a fast on the Mall in DC in 1995. Was visited by a group of neurologists led by an NIU neurologist, during the American Neurology Convention, who said NIH would look into it. If the military didn't pick up anything in those induction scores or if they accepted you for duty and subsequently, because of military exposure your condition is aggravated to the point of interfering with daily life including employability, the VA owes you compensation. That is the reason Yale has won the Discharge Review Case and is on the verge of winning a class action case on claims more than a year old. Between 1995 and 1998 the number of PCS studies in the NIH Library more than quadrupled. She, (the NIH neurologist) was good to her word. Must have said something at the convention to get it started. But look at the inertia of getting something done. 2008 an article in a newspaper cause Congress to finally recognize and compensate PCS calling it TBI. But PCS also happens in just exposure to a blast. Repeated outgoing heavy artillery brought a lot of vets into the PTSD groups I attended between 1984 and 1995. PTSD was the only peg they could hang their hat on. Even mild, moderate and severe TBI had found themselves in the "Adjustment Disorder" diagnosis and couldn't find any peg to hang a compensation claim on other than PTSD between 1980 and 2008. Before that they just had to accept adjustment disorder. There is no difference between being close to an improvised explosive and an incoming RPG (simply rockets in Vietnam) But the VA appears to be on the bend of recognizing only improvised explosives, not incoming heavy artillery or continuous exposure to outgoing from your enclosed turret on a ship or camouflaged field howitzer. Well, yes, PCS causes an adjustment disorder. But as long as you are treating it as a behavioral problem instead of an adjustment to an organic problem (immunoexcitotoxicity) the necessary adjustments won't be made to even have a semblance of a normal life. And an organic treatment has no chance of being appropriately directed. It is easy for physicians to see that diabetes is an organic problem that will never cure. It can only be maintained and controlled through continuing care. But they cannot recognize that with PCS or even that it is PCS they are dealing with. Cerebral malaria also brings on immunoexcitotoxicity with the exact same problems of PCS. But those victims from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Somalia and the current wars are still "adjustment disorders" or hanging their hats on PTSD. The present pressure of having therapists put an "end date" on therapy simply doesn't recognize the problem. Some epileptic drugs help. But you won't be given them unless you get an EEG that shows something. For me the 2015 Rx for Keppra was life changing. At 74 I became more employable than I was at 34. All of my friends and family noticed a huge difference. And the VA doesn't want to confirm temporal lobe seizures (the center, I believe, for immunoexcitotoxicity) because it is a situation like diabetes, requiring continuing care and, often, ultimately compensation because of progression.
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