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Psychiatrist Finally Got It


huskerfanfl
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Question

I have been going to the VA psychiatrist for two years now. This whole time I have been telling her that I do not like to be around people and have anxiety attacks when I get around too many people. In fact, sometimes it takes everything I got to leave the house. She has asked me before if I have thought about suicide (yes) thought about hurting others (yes). I also do not sit where I can not see what is going on around me and keep my eye on everybody when I do sit. At one time I told my psychologist that I cannot watch certain kinds of movies because they make me physically ill. I guess I confused them when I just applied for compensation for anxiety/depression, but my psychiatrist looked at me last week and asked if I had seen active combat (which I had and had seen even more people killed in training. I was in the first Gulf War so it was not as bad as the current one or Nam, at least in my humble opinion. She asked if I wanted to attend counseling for PTSD to learn how to live better with my ailment, but I told her that I already plan things so that I am not around people if I can help it. Shopping late at night, or early in the day on days when there are not people at the store, when we eat at a restaurant we go when it is not the normal mealtime.

I know that the good folks here on the board offer such great advice and I appreciate it.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Am I understanding you correctly:

You are not receiving disability due to PTSD? You have not applied for disability due to PTSD? And, you are currently diagnosed as suffering from PTSD?

And, the VA has offered you "counseling" to combat your PTSD and you refused?

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I am rated 30% for depression/anxiety and have requested an increase. I have had the C&P for that. I went that route because it seems to me that it takes less time to get the compensation approved plus the psychiatrist and psychologist that was counseling was not recognizing the PTSD. Part of this is my fault because I dismissed the wartime service (the first Gulf War) and told them that I had seen more people killed in training than I saw during the war to include a bangalore torpedo incident that killed five people, vehicle rollovers, people being stuck between tanks or trapped against hatches, and a couple of gunshot wounds including one through a soldiers head. I spent 20 plus years in the service and can no longer dismiss the images to perform my duty like I could in the military.

In the meantime, I quit my job because of panic attacks one of which landed me in the hospital. I have put in for TDIU and have another C&P on the 13th because they are reviewing all of my disabilities. I just had to drive 2 1/2 hours for a 20 hearing test because I am rated 10% for tinnitus.

I guess I should go to the counseling, but I really want to get the latest claims settled before I stir the pot any more than I already have.

By the way, I was visiting one of the people at the job I just quit when the admin person stopped by and told me that the VA had sent her paperwork to fill out and she had been very nice to me and told them I was having a great deal of difficulty on the job and I had finally stopped because I could not take it anymore.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I take it by your reply that you have not applied for compensation/disability due to PTSD.

You have a diagnosis of PTSD, from what you've said, I think?

So, are you going to file for PTSD?

If not, why?

Especially considering you are, apparently, justified in doing so.

GO TO THE COUNSELING!

Otherwise, they are gonna look at you, look at your treatment records, look at the fact that you have been offered counseling and consider you just like the vet that refuses to take his medication for his SC'd disability.

MOF, they could (and do) make their future decisions based on your past compliance and you do not want that to happen.

PLUS, heck, they could just help you, these counseling sessions.

Disclaimer:

Just thoughts from a 100%'er who has been down the same road for the same disability that you suffer from...............but, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night....and anything that I say to you could, possibly, be totally wrong.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

You could wait and see if you are going to get a decent rating for the anxiety and depression since they are already SC'ed. If you do or if you don't then you can file a claim for PTSD. If you file for PTSD now it will slow down your claim because they have to verify your stressor. You can get 100% for depression or anxiety or panic disorder. Since you already had your C&P exam you might want to wait until you get your rating before filing for PTSD. I would go to counseling and I would get all the treatment available. Don't ever refuse treatment unless they want to cut off your leg or something.

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I feel I must voice my decenting opinion about refusing mental health theripy. I don't feel that a Claim for VA benefits and/or compensation should be penalized if you refuse theripy as a part of your treatment plan.

However, theripy does help provide a continuity of treatment, which can then possibly be used as evidence to help further your claim, that regular visits with your psychiatrist may be lacking.

I refuse offered group theripy, although some of my reasons are similiar to huskerfanfl, my main objection to it, is simple and my psychiatrist had to agree. 99.5% of group theripies at the VA hospitals are geared towards combat Veterans, which I am not. I can not relate to them in a way that I feel I am benefiting from the group.

That is why I feel the VA Hospital should also provide one on one theripy treatments for certain individuals, if nothing else, to help them transition into a group they can relate to.

Rockhound Rider :(

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The main reason I did not want treatment is that I had done treatment for 2 years and the psychologist insisted on treating me for adjustment disorder which was her opinion of what was wrong with me. She felt that I was having trouble adjusting to civilian life after retiring. This despite the fact that I was totally out of the army 1993 - 1997 other than Individual Ready Reserve, was in the reserves 1997 - 1998, and then served full time in the reserves 1998 - 2004. SO essentially, I was working with civilians, and living with civilians for 11 years preceding treatment.

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