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Frustrated & Confused - Possible Triggers

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tiredofbeingtired

Question

I don't know if I can keep doing this. I am to the point that I am questioning myself as to why I am even going through this process.

I have had an open claim for PTSD/MST since September 2010 (my first claim). I have my diagnosis for PTSD and am currently in treatment. I came to the VA when I hit absolute bottom and almost ended my life for the second time since my discharge. I had been heavily drinking for the last ten years and began treatment through SATP right away and am proud to say that I have been sober since September 28, 2010. With my new found sobriety, I am actually having to process things that I would rather forget. I am struggling with my PTSD treatment and am still in SATP simply because I know at any point I may relapse. I am seen weekly through SATP and PTSD treatment at the VA.

A little background:

I was in the Navy for 13 months before I received a Hardship Honorable Discharge. (I know this is very little compared to most of you. I would like to thank all of you for your service.) Through that short time, starting at boot camp, a MP on the base handcuffed a shipmate recuit in a basement stairwell (I won't go into any specifics) and she was found by a group of us screaming and naked. After the incident, back at our ship, a female petty officer preached to all of the females on how this is life in the Navy for women; sometimes these things happen. We were unable to call home and nothing further was ever said. I graduated boot camp as an E-3. I had been a leader and was excited at the journey ahead of me.....until that moment.

I hit the bottle the moment I was dropped at the airport with orders to A-school training in Mississippi and didn't stop. I drove down to New Orleans anytime I did not have duty. I barely got by at AK training, but with my presentation abilities, I was one of two sailors who went before a board and was given the rank of E-4 when I hit my duty station, the USS Kittyhawk. Never made it.

I went home on leave and was going to go AWOL. My step-father had retired from the Army and was able to pull a few strings to get me stationed near home at a recruiting center.

Drinking was worse than ever. I didn't want to be in the Navy. I was scared. Drank way too much one particular night and put myself in a situation that will haunt me forever.

To get to my current frustrations, my claim has remained in the development phase but not needing any additional information since July 2011. After 3 inquiries (two with no response) I finally got a call last week wanting to schedule my C&P exam. Got the call Wednesday, had my appointment Thursday morning. I was scared to death for my exam. It has taken me a year to get to the point that I am able to write what I have written, and suddenly I am having to "plead my case" with someone I have never met. I was told to be sure to just tell her the honest truth and not beat myself up during the exam. I held my own, cried the entire time, but made it throught it. Fifty-nine minutes after walking in her office, she told me she had no other questions for me and off she sent me.

I met with my counselor today and asked her if she was able to pull up my C&P exam (Read on here that mental health has access). She skimmed over the report (I never saw it) and told me that she would not comment on the report. She said that she did not necessarily agree with statements, but wasn't sure how the examiner received information, etc. She also said that this was the first C&P exam she had seen. Needless to say my stomach dropped and I just tried to keep it together so I could leave her office. I put her in a compromising situation and was not what I intended. I had told her I was heading to the VFW after our appointment to request a copy of my exam. She told me before I left that if I saw the exam and became upset to just head to the VA to see her; no appointment needed. I think of myself as a smart person. I am expecting the worst. I went to the VFW and requested a copy of my C&P exam but was told it could be weeks (I am submitting paperwork to DEERS verifying my name change and I will be able to get on eBenefits). Am I wasting my time with all of this? Is there similar stories to mine? I feel like an absolute failure. I haven't been able to keep a job, though I am able to get really great ones. I have awful relationships because of my issues; running to the first open arms after my trauma. We married and had a little girl, but divorced 3 years later. My only bright light is my daughter. Without her, I know I wouldn't be here. I am just wanting to be able to take care of my daughter, process my traumas and be able to start a new path. I would give anything to turn back time.

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You said the claim was for PTSD/MST.

I don't see the MST part here in your post but I understand you probably dont want to get into that here.

Once you get the results of the C & P exam ,it will tell you more as to what to expect from the VA.

As long as you were able to provide VA whatever they requested in their VCAA letter ,and then with proof of the MST incident,and the C & P exam over, it is best to see what the C & P results will be.

This is the most recent VA Fast Letter on MST claims with information attached as to how to process these claims.

This is the 38 CFR regulations regarding PTSD as due to MST.

“If a PTSD claim is based on Military Sexual Trauma (MST) or

personal assault in service, evidence from sources other than the

Veteran's records may corroborate the Veteran's account of the

stressor incident. Examples of such evidence include, but are

not limited to: records from law enforcement authorities, rape

crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals or

physicians; pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted

diseases; and statements from family members, roommates, fellow

service members, or clergy. 38 C.F.R. § 3.304(f)(3).

Additionally, evidence of behavior changes following the claimed

assault is relevant evidence that may be found in the mentioned

sources. Examples of behavior changes that may constitute

credible evidence of a stressor include, but are not limited to:

a request for a transfer to another military duty assignment;

deterioration in work performance; substance abuse; episodes of

depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an identifiable

cause; or unexplained economic or social behavior changes. Id.”

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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Thank you for your response.

I am waiting on my C&P results.

I never even knew what PTSD was until September 2010. My mother took me to the VFW to find out about SATP (She is a Vet). VSO told me I was a mess. Made some calls and sent me to the VA ER. Saw a shrink who immediately told me I had all of the signs of PTSD. I was prescribed an antidepressant and a sleeping aid.

Following day went through enrollment. Was told to head back to VFW to start C&P claim.

Next week began treatment in SATP. A month later (after numerous appointments and exams) I started treatment for PTSD. Was being seen 3 days a week at the VA.

And now here I am.

Process has been really difficult to go through. Everything just seemed to happen so fast at the beginning.

This site has been so helpful.

I was just really frustrated yesterday and needed to vent. Which (as my therapist says) is progress. After 10 years of distractions I am trying to process.

Thanks for the feedback it is appreciated.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

"She told me before I left that if I saw the exam and became upset to just head to the VA to see her; no appointment needed."

It was good that not only did you get the therapist involved the therapist actually read the C&P and told you to see her. Other veterans I am familiar with did not have this type of support and wound up hospitalized for several weeks after they read a BS opinion from a C&P examiner. Stick with this clinician for treatment. Even though she disagrees with the C&P, she may not be willing to rebut the C&P. I have dealt with veterans whose treating doctor would not write rebuttal reports.

There are several areas of concern that I have about the possible problems that your clinician saw in the C&P. C&P examiners sometimes write reports that blame your symptoms on everything but the events in the military. The will make up diagnoses of personality disorders and substance abuse disorders. These can be rebutted with more in depth evaluations by a treating clinician.

The circumstances you discussed including: the hardship discharge, the desire to go AWOL and the change of duty all raise the possibility that there are reports in your SMR or personnel file that would open the door for direct service connection of an anxiety disorder or mood disorder. If the PTSD/MST claim falls through the cracks in the system sometimes a claim for another anxiety disorder or mood disorder can be service connected.

The folks here on hadit can continue to help. However, it can get much more difficult and cause continued frustration. There are many here who have survived the process of advancing a claim for an acquired mental condition while in the military and benefited from getting service connected.

Edited by Hoppy

Hoppy

100% for Angioedema with secondary conditions.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Hang in there and do your best to remain sober. You have two very good reply's and Hadit can help. Just remember that drinking and drugs are many times a symptom of PTSD. The Docs call it self medication.

Pete

Veterans deserve real choice for their health care.

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no, you are not alone. first let me commend you on your strength for being and staying sober. I know how hard it is. somedays are easier then most...i put those days behind me too and have been sober for 5 years. i traded the bottle for gianormous cups of coffee. You are not wasting your time. There are many of us on here fighting to get our MST claims through. I am not sure of the details of yours but I will promise you you are not alone on here - go into the PTSD forum. Secondly when obtaining your C&P - when you go to the clinic the PSA's(the people that check you in for your appointments) at your clinic should be able to print you out a copy of your C&P right there on the spot. - at least mine have been able to along with all of my other medical records from the VA. you just sign a medical release form and wait a few minutes while they print. I go weekly to my PTSD/MST group and have my therapy appointment weekly - I get copies of everything. I know about kids being the bright spot...mine is the only reason i wake up. well that and my service dog. (for ptsd)

"A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The 'United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'" (Author unknown)

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I have had an open claim for PTSD/MST since September 2010 (my first claim).

I have my diagnosis for PTSD and am currently in treatment.

A little background:

I was in the Navy for 13 months before I received a Hardship Honorable Discharge.

(I know this is very little compared to most of you. I would like to thank all of you for your service.)

Through that short time, starting at boot camp, a MP on the base handcuffed a shipmate recuit in a basement stairwell

(I won't go into any specifics) and she was found by a group of us screaming and naked.

After the incident, back at our ship, a female petty officer preached to all of the females on how this is life in the Navy for women; sometimes these things happen.

Drank way too much one particular night and put myself in a situation that will haunt me forever.

tobt,

First off - yes, you are a veteran - just as much as others.

What was the "Hardship" reason listed ?

From your post I can not tell if you experienced MST or not.

What have your MH providers stated (and or hopefully written) is the stressor "event"

that is the cause of your PTSD ?

Carlie passed away in November 2015 she is missed.

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