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Unclear Memory Of A Stressor Event

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I have multiple stressors, but am attempting to list all stressors in my claim file to be complete and because the most difficult non MST stressor I experienced is one that haunts me frequently. But this one is so difficult to remember the details for. I have what I think are emotional memories and some that may be actual memories but I've convinced myself it didn't happen "that way". It's a bizarre and unsettling feeling, to know that you were there and not know if what you recall actually happened or what you did. And I haven't been able to locate anyone from my unit that could help me piece it together more accurately. maybe at some point in my healing I will get that opportunity. Other events are not vague and weird, but this one is.

So - curious what the advice is out there - should I keep the description very general and say I have difficulty remembering the details accurately and then deal with it in therapy only? or should I include what I replay in my head over and over even though I don't trust the details and then say that I don't trust my memory? My emotions from the event and the struggles I have currently are real - replaying, guilt, anger, nightmares. But I just don't trust my memory because I think I blacked out mentally during the event, my adrenaline was so high.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

PTSD diagnosis only requires ONE verifiable stressor, many of us have multiple stressors but the amount of them does not have any effect on your rating 1 or 50 you still get rated on how YOUR symptoms affect your life I would not add something to your claim if it leaves them open to say it didn't happen go with stuff that can be proven it will make it easier...just my 2 cents

100% SC P&T PTSD 100% CAD 10% Hypertension and A&A = SMC L, SSD
a disabled American veteran certified lol
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."

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This is not advice, just relating to what you are going through. Of the stressors I noted in my claim, there was one "primary" that was easily the most, what.. dramatic? and that, no doubt, had the greatest impact on me (the others followed in the couple of months after.)

What I want to relate here is that when I began to fill out the form to claim PTSD due to these stressors I realize the "lesser" ones I had occasionally related to someone, but had only vaguely referenced the main one. And when I began to write it down, I was immediately hit with the "hey, this didn't really happen" feeling. I actually began to think I had dreamed it at one point in my life, or "made it up" at some time, or something like this. It was REALLY weird!!

I couldn't make myself write it down at first because it did not seem real to me. I decided to google the event, and fortunately it was something that had been noted. There was even a Wikipedia page on the event!!! I sat there in that room by myself feeling stunned. I had been told I had PTSD, but did not really believe it myself. I think it was this moment that I had to take a look at just how real this might be.

It was a real turning point for me. I had gone 40 years "not noticing" the impact, nor the change in me from before (I have plenty of symptoms...) Since then I have had to "piece together" the bits of this event, and still have very incomplete memories.

Just saying that I understand.

Edited by midnight340
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Honestly, if this is the event, that you know, causes the most pain, if you want to be serious about your claim. You need to detail it. That means siting down and spelling it out. Not allowing yourself to say, I don't want to remember this. Mine runs back at me weekly, but I wrote it out, and I had no problems with getting a Service Connection. It took me 8 type written pages to get through it, but it was somewhat of a catharsis for me as well.

It allowed me to recognize, that what i went through was very traumatic, and to see why it was bothering me. If you want to try and skirt the issues, that may or may not work, but if you tell the truth, it will move the rater that reads it. I went to check on my file one day and the guy told me, I'll be back in a minute. 20 minutes later he came out and got me. Told me he had read about my experience, apologized, told me that he thanked me for my service, and he only had a few questions for me.

I was glad I had faced the pain at that point, because I had to look at myself to realize what had happened, in order to truly make anyone else understand the pain.

80% SC/100% TDIU

70%PTSD All the rest is Back problems.

10th Mountain.

God Bless the Troops.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If you were in the infantry in Vietnam in a hot area you probably have about 300 stressor events. If you were in Army aviation gunships you probably have about that many stressors as well or more. If you got a PH or got shot down that could be the primary stressor if you have to pick one.

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Brew, thank you for your service, on this topic I had to pick the most stressful episode of my tour, the one that cause my fear and still does. We as the psychologist and I started by me writing the event, then he read, and that was a session. As the time went on he wanted more details and emotion, as tears clouded my eyes I push thru, Brew, it is no cake walk, but necessary for your claim and you moving forward. Just don't give up on yourself. I am also talking to myself even thou I got rated, the symptoms are still there and I am still fighting to get better as I see it. Good luck. Dan

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