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packrat

This Stressor Thing Blows My Mind - *TRIGGERS*

Question

Good for you. Keep the faith . I keep reading the deffinition of a stressor and even though it is in black and white, it really drives me batty. "Fear for your life or the life of others." I mean have a heart. How about a "reasonable person clause". " exposure to extreme war time sights,sounds or smells that would cause any reasonable person extreme emotional distress. I believe we are just touching the tip of the iceburg with the Vietnam vets when they come out of the woodwork in their mid 60's. I, myself will be able to provide the VA with a government document with statements like "heavily engaged with a hostile force and undaunted by the intensity of hostile fire and remained in his dangerously exposed position to ensure". I was shot at many times and we had rockets and mortors droped on us many a time. I lost close,close friends that were 50 yards away and poof, then they were gone. I have only been exposed this stressor requirement thing for a couple of weeks. Up until then if some one said "stressor" I wouldn't have known what they were talking about.

First hand experience folks. There are things far more unbearable to some then getting shot at or coming close to death. Now if the folks that wrote the requirements don't think so maybe they need to put in a year in a front line position. Now it may only be me but I don't think so. I would rather be shot at then have had to handle some of those poor souls that didn't make it. Those are the ghost that will haunt me until the day I die. I believe you can train a 20 year old to handle a confrontain that can result in their death. I am not sure you can train a 20 year old to handle the sights of what war can do to a human being.

Any war vet should be able to use as a stressor the sights and smells of death without fear for their own life or the life of others. How about the life that was already lost. The dessecration of what was once a human being. The unrecognizable remains of someone husband,son, father or brother. At least to me the origional stressor regulations should have always covered this without the provision of fear for your own life or the life of others.

The sights of the pure horrors of war it self is enough to drive some to the very edge. Even though I can sit with a shrink and prove "fear for my life" I know what I see, asleep and awake. They should not have made it this hard for some of those who sought help in the past.

I am new here and I am not sure venting like this is allowed. These are my thoughts and if it is not allowed or too extreme, I understand if you take it down. I have not seen my first shrink and the VA informs me of a problem. The shrink my be the least of my problems. Take care of each other people. You are vets 365 days of the year not just on Nov 11th.

Semper Fi

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I know where you are coming from.

My husband was a combat vet with numerous stressors.

Oddly enough what bothered him was not the incoming or firefights or just barely getting missed by bullets-that hit the men next to him---

it was a volunteer job he did as well as other horrible things that happened.

His stressor report states " incoming or firefights as usual" for some monthly periods for his year in Vietnam with no details.

For the other months he gave details as to the specific stuff-which was often a result of firefights but he didnt consider them to be stressors.

The numbing affect of the chaos of war and the losses experienced on the field, for many Vietnam vets, were shelved-

they could not react in a normal way with despair or sorrow or even fear at the time horrible things occurred on the battlefield.

This is the essense of Post Trauma- and why it is called PTSD.Feelings are shelved and then can pop out of the closet even many years after the fact.

I read the new regs with a lot of dismay-I worked with the PTSD combat group at a Vet Center in 1980s so I take issue with these regs for many personal reasons but that is just me.

"I believe we are just touching the tip of the iceburg with the Vietnam vets when they come out of the woodwork in their mid 60's"

Yes- I agree that is quite possible.

Edited by Berta

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packrat,

The VA does not write the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, currently DSMIV.

The VBA is supposed to apply the medical evidence to the DSMIV.

The VA has no control over the part you refer to, "fear for their own life or the life of others".

The DSM "manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association and covers all mental health disorders for both children and adults".

http://allpsych.com/disorders/dsm.html

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If you have any combat medals or awards that validates your stressors. However, even with those the VA has been known to deny PTSD claims. They deny them for vets with PH's. Our own Commander Bob is a glaring example. One of the most outrageous denials of a PTSD claim I ever heard of is Bob's denial after getting his leg blown off in Vietnam. The VA says Bob never claimed PTSD while he was in the service. Right, since he spent months in the hospital and was medically discharged.

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I was in combat (periodically while on patrol and tower guard) plus twice going to other bases one of which was over run. None of those really effected me that much as far as my nightmares and bad dreams. I am not sure but I put it to my training as far as being able to handle the combat.

In my case my I guess you could say my non combat stresses cause the brunt of my conditions and are with me almost everyday!

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If you have any combat medals or awards that validates your stressors. However, even with those the VA has been known to deny PTSD claims. They deny them for vets with PH's. Our own Commander Bob is a glaring example. One of the most outrageous denials of a PTSD claim I ever heard of is Bob's denial after getting his leg blown off in Vietnam. The VA says Bob never claimed PTSD while he was in the service. Right, since he spent months in the hospital and was medically discharged.

Show me some Vets that even knew about PTSD during the Vietnam war. Most of the current vets are more educated about PTSD because of so many issues with the Vietnam vets. Most of the vets that lost a limb that I had to med evac were in shock. The fact that they went into shock was a self preservation mode to protect their sanity was it not? I have seen a soldier stare at a arm that was not there trying to figure out why it would not move.How could you go into shock to protect your sanity and not have a stressor? The act of going into shock itself says "I can't handle it". This is the very reason so many Vietnam vets do not seek help. We feel ashamed to seek help for what we see as minor when people like Commander Bob gave so much. I mean lets use some common sense. Having your leg blow off is getting shot at and I would think losing a leg pretty much covers "in fear for his life". Where do they find these people?

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