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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Cpt (cognitive Processing Therapy)


Question

I am 100% total for PTSD. (not permanent) I should be getting my annual VA letter scheduling me for a re-exam any day.

I have taken the 6 month Coping Skills and it didn't do any good. Have been going to alumni group every two weeks for a couple of years and it provides only temporary relief.

Now the VA psyc wants me to begin the CPT (cognitive processing therapy). I told him I would consider it but wanted to first give it some thought. In researching CBT it doesn't sound as if I probably want to do it. However if I turn it down will this give the VA reason to reduce my rating? Also I am 63 years old and the first re-exam I had, the examiner said it was too early to determine if the Coping Skills will work. Well they didn't work and last year the next examiner said to wait another year. How long does a former grunt have to wait and try different things? Any comments or opinions on what I should do or about the program would be appreciated.

Thanks

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I think you should consider trying it. I tried CPT and while it makes sense on paper, I didn't find that the coping skills worked for very long. I'd feel safe in the group or with the therapist, but out in the real world I just get too rattled too quickly to remember what I'm supposed to be doing.

Last week my VA therapist said that there is no cure for PTSD, the best you can do is develop coping skills to help you lead a normal life. He has PTSD himself. It's funny, because in the office he seems very together and in control, and he managed to go through college and he has a good job now.

But our session was at the end of the day, and as usual it took me a while to get myself into my car and ready to drive away. I happened to look across the parking lot and I almost didn't recognize him. His shoulders were hunched and his head was down and his body language looked nothing like the competent professional I'd just been talking to.

Made me wonder what I must look like.

Sorry, I digress. I think that you have to convey to your therapist that you are willing to try it, but maybe not just yet. Don't flat out refuse to try it. I don't know why, I just don't think it's a good idea. It takes a long time to reach a comfort level where you can start really doing some work. Sometimes that level never gets reached at all. I'm sorry, I think I'm just babbling now. :)

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I agree you should leave your options open . You need to have your Psych Doc explain everything to you about it.

I had to sign a contract , stating i would show up and do the assignments as required for the full 12weeks.

Well i lasted 6 weeks and i haven't been back for 4 weeks now. I did my sessions one on one with my therapist.

I would come out of there and be jacked up for the next 2-3 days. Those 2-3 days at home would be hell for my family and me. It would take 2-3 days for the family to get settled again and then it would be time for another session.

Right now i don't know what i'm going to do. Go back or drop out of the program ? There is alot of homework and writing assignments with this. I was not prepared for that aspect of it. Every day your supposed to reread your most traumatic event paper and also do stuck point logs. Everyone is different , so you need to do what you feel is right for you.

I just want you to get the facts , straight from somebody who has / is doing it.

Good Luck ,

Sgt Sandman

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Its unlikely that the VA will reduce a rating because a Veteran refused treatment.

My opinion but the VA Shrinks have a treatment of the hour that they want us to do mostly cause they probably have special deals concerning research and make money on it.

You can go to Vet Center and get group if you want that.

Or you can try it out and if it works or helps stay with it or drop out it is really your decision and no ones elses

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Sandman i just completed my 12 weeks and it was hell and I know the feeling of the 2-3 days of feeling screwed up. I went kicking it seemed up to the 6 week. Then I learned how to control my breathing and do some techniques that help to reduce my anxiety a bit. It was hard getting out the house because I am not real social and dont like groups, crowds, etc. The docs worked with me even when I couldnt remember assignments and sometimes missed session because I truthfully would forget. There was time I rolled in late and shuffled. They still worked with me. I hated the meetings but in the end I think that I'm a little better for it. Every bit counts just like each day. Just take a little at time. You'll get there. I asked the same question of my psych and she said no they do not take your rating but is my understanding that if you are not actually rated yet by the VA that this class helps to verify your rating. If you already rated it will not decrease you by dropping out. You may not have been ready, or at the point where this type of treatment works not everything is for everyone. We had few people in our group that dropped as well and I would still see them coming to the VA. It also helped me with getting out more out of my home. Which I probally needed. However, I still work on my stuck points every now and then when I remember too. Hope this helps some.You can always try agian.

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