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Do You Think I Might Have Ptsd?

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ExAirman

Question

I am really starting to wonder if I could be suffering from PTSD and would like some friendly insight. Here is my story.

Currently I am retired vet rated at 70% VA disability for Sleep Apnea, a minor mental health issue (due to thyroid imbalance) plus a small host of other issues. My Sleep Apnea is considered 'cured' by the VA and other doctors because my AHI ( apnea-hypopnea index) is well within acceptable limits. This is all great, except I am still horendously tired and sleepy all the time and it is getting steadily worse and cannot for the life of me figure out what to do about it. I've seen the docs and they say 'take sleeping pills' , find a quiet place to sleep, etc... it hasn't helped. I am certain that since my chronic sleepiness is not due to a physical condition, it must be mental.

I've began piecing together things and think it's possible that the real reason for my exhaustion might be PTSD, even though I've denied to myself over the years this could be possible. I started thinking of the potential of PTSD when, during my C&P exam, the phycologist asked me why I wasn't applying for PTSD, I said I something like "I dont think I have any symptoms that I can detect" and he gave me a quiet long and pointed stare before ending the interview. I think he was trying to tell me that he believed I might be suffering from it, but because he was doing the C&P he couldn't state it to me - so he attempted to nudge me in that direction.

I have most of the indicators of PTST but the main reason I didn't think I had PTSD (and still am not sure) is becuase I don't suffer from the persisten Nightmares or reaccurent thoughts / images of my time in Iraq. But I've recently found the criteria for diagnosis to include that you can reexperience the event through events that resemble an aspect of the tramatic event. During my time in Iraq I spent the majority of my days sitting in my office doing paperwork on my computer with some excursions to work with my personnel. During the 3 months I was there we had over 300 mortar and rocket attacks on the base - they never seemed to end - several came very close to me and the building I worked in - although none every hit it directly. When I returned to home station I began to feel exceptionally fatigued and was ultimately diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. I was put on a CPAP but it has not done much at all to reduce my fatigue - it just kept getting worse.

I've now also began to realize it was around this same time frame that I began to lose my ability to focus on work and when I used the computer I had a very hard time doing the tasks I was assigned - I would start spending more and more time doing pointless activities like reading the news and doing random web searches for hours on end. I never did this before going to Iraq. I still do this most of the time I use the computer. I use to do productive work - I am a computer programmer and used to write lots of code - I don't anymore. I used to develop and maintain databases - not anymore. Doing productive work is nearly immpossible using my computer - something I used to greatly enjoy. I recently started a part time job teaching computer science at a local college and am starting to find myself having great trouble preparing for lessons and remembering what it is I am supposed to say during lectures - even though I prepared the day before...

What I am thinking is my persistent reoccurant aspect of PTSD is the act of doing office work on my computer. Is it that even possible? Could I be connecting the act of doing office work with the nearly constant bombardment of my base? If so, how do I fix this? I would love to get some rest again - and be able do some useful work.

I realize I've rambled on a bit, but hopefully I have been coherent enough for you to give me some advice on this issue.

Thank you for your consideration.

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This link and the New PTSD reg criteria I just bumped up here might help you.

“What I am thinking is my persistent reoccurant aspect of PTSD is the act of doing office work on my computer. Is it that even possible? Could I be connecting the act of doing office work with the nearly constant bombardment of my base? If so, how do I fix this? I would love to get some rest again - and be able do some useful work.”

It is quite possibly an association like what you mentioned can occur in vets with PTSD.

I worked at a vet center and saw similar situations in vets with PTSD that permeated many things they did without their even being fully aware of how something almost insignificant could trigger

the same emotions the vet had suffered under stressful military situations.

I observed this with my husband ,a combat vet, as well. Turning on a windshield wiper while driving, either gave him a sudden feeling of deep depression and hopelessness, or sometimes it started a full blown flashback. The incident that started this association with the windshield wipers was horrific.

He had tried to forget it for years but couldnt.

I think the VA doctor who saw you definitely picked up on something but could not diagnose PTSD formally.

I dont know however how VA will view your MOS as being near enough to hostile activity as the regulations are written.You might need to obtain some Morning Reports and buddy statements on that if you file a claim.

If you file a claim, the VA will determine if you do have PTSD and then offer treatment for it.

Vet Centers also are a good place to discuss these things.

The new regs require a PTSD diagnosis from a VA MH provider. Unfortunately they wont accept any outside independent PTSD diagnosis anymore.

Have you been diagnosed with CHrionic Fatigue Syndrome or did VA consider that as part of the apnea award?

Could the fatigue be due to the thyroid imbalance disabilioty or possibly due to any SC meds you take?

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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I associate my time in Vietnam with the sound of helicopters. When I hear a helicopter overhead I get nervous. Sometimes they will switch on the search lights. I know they are not looking for me but they are looking for someone. I wait in some part of my mind for the sound of gunfire.

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Boy-I sure bet you do.

I went with our vet center team leader once years ago to see a play about Vietnam to see if it would be an apprpriate trip for our combat PTSD vet group.It was in a little playhouse in Philadelphia, nothing fancy and I believe a Vietnam vet wrote the play.

The place was packed and the opening scene involved the sounds of a chopper.You could tell who the vets were in the audience.There was an immediate air of discomfort with those sounds.

Then they suddenly had a visualization of exactly what you described, the helo flood lights shooting down all over the stage.

At that point our team leader said he felt sick.

It was a great play but many vets walked out and some looked stunned in the lobby when it was over.It was way too close for comfort for most PTSD vets.

The sound of choppers for some vets meant rescue, and extraction- due to medivac ..... for others it meant ....well you said it all

"I wait in some part of my mind for the sound of gunfire."

I bet Millions of combat vets know exactly what you mean and you stated the very essense of PTSD in that sentence.

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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ExAirman - I really don't think there is any way we can tell. PTSD encompasses a lot of different symptoms and other mental health issues may be at play here. Best to get yourself to a VA psychiatrist and explain your problems to him/her let them diagnosis you, if you do file a claim the first thing you need is a diagnosis and in order to help you the doctor will take your symptoms into consideration and provide you treatment.

I truly hope you do not have PTSD, if you are having problems regardless of what your diagnosis is, the most important thing is to get the help you need.

Tbird
 

Founder HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran LLC - Founded Jan 20, 1997

 

HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran | Community Forum | RallyPointFaceBook | LinkedInAbout Me

 

Time Dedicated to HadIt.com Veterans and my brothers and sisters: 65,700 - 109,500 Hours Over Thirty Years

 

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I am writing my memoirs and would love it if you could help a shipmate out and look at it.

I've had a few challenges, perhaps the same as you. I relate them here to demonstrate that we can learn, overcome, and find purpose in life.

The stories can be harrowing to read; they were challenging to live. Remember that each story taught me something I would need once I found my purpose, and my purpose was and is HadIt.com Veterans.

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40 years since my duty, and had anyone asked me if I was affected with PTSD, I would have said definitely not. But since I struggled with depression and anxiety, the VA started looking into what was going on with me. A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed, and my C&P came back with "PTSD, chronic and severe". As I work with my counselors, I begin to see just how dramatically my life has been impacted. I discounted the possibliity of PTSD because my stressors, though serious, did not happen under combat conditions.

As Tbird says, no one here can answer this for you, but I would definitely get with your VA mental health clinic and let them help. Whatever is causing you concern is reason enough to do so. PTSD is very complicated, and the symptoms can vary from person to person. Good luck.

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PTSD is one of those illnesses that is unique to each person. Just because one person got PTSD from a car wreck and the guy sitting next to him didn't does not mean PTSD isn't possible. PTSD is very personal. So much that a lot of veterans don't get the diagnoses because of the situation surrounding the PTSD or they just don't directly come out and say, "test me." We were giving that mind set that it isn't okay to seek help for our health as long as we could walk, run, and shoot. The VA, military isn't going to be proactive with your health needs. So please take the first step and setup an appointment to be seen at your ptsd clinic. If you need to make it faster go to the VA's ER and explain to them your symptoms. Tell them you want a consult to the ptsd clinic. The ER will have a social worker visit you (im my case they did) and will get the ball rolling.

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