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Stessor Verification Without Jsrrc?


SigBnSoldier

Question

This is my first post in hadit, but I've been reading for nearly a year, thank you for your wisdom!

I've faced a lot of criticism for having a non combat ptsd claim on a different site, so I'll briefly qualify my circumstances in order to get help.

I was stationed in Germany, 1990-1992. During a field exercise, at night, while in uniform, there was a large explosion near my AO at the training area, it was a German civilian transport truck and a small passenger car that had wrecked and caught fire on the nearby autobahn. I along with several other soldiers rushed to the scene and rescued the driver of the truck, and tried unsuccessfully to pull out his passenger before it went up in flames. The passenger didn't make it, and I can't forget the scene and the hopelessness of standing by...

Within a few weeks I started experiencing nightmares, anxiety, panic attacks. I was under the naive assumption that PTSD was only for combat veterans until about a year ago, when I was at the VA clinic in my town to see the mental health. The Psch diagnosed me with PTSD non combat, and encouraged me to file a claim.

To digress, I was diagnosed bipolar at the VA in 2002 also with a previous history of suicide attempts a year and a half after discharge. I was discharged (ETS) honorably in 1996. First suicide attempt was 18 months after. I have many similar diagnosis of bipolar, one of "reaction psychosis", and a depression diagnosis all through VA and inpatient for bipolar/suicidal ideation. I was awarded SSDI in 2003.

Having filled you in, here are my questions-

Do these many diagnosis other than PTSD, after discharge, completely negate this new diagnosis of PTSD?

Second question, I have had a heck of a time gathering proof of my stressor. So far I've submitted a German newspaper article and two eyewitness buddy statements, as well as two family statements and all my post discharge medical history. I've written to the JSRRC, they claim no record of my Signal Battalion in Germany was ever turned in. My brigade and battalion were inactivated in 2007. I have ran into dead ends in finding unit reports of the incident. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to where to search for S-3 reports or Staff Duty journals, so that I can send the VA further proof of my stressor?

Thank you for reading my thread and for your help!

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You can see if there is a police report. When I was on duty the driver of the military vehicle lost control of the truck and we ended up crashing and rolling on the autobahn.  The driver was life flighted and I was taken by ambulance. Nevertheless, they could not find the hospital records. And, I do understand about the non-combat ptsd. I could not figure out why after the accident, I have a fear of being the passenger in any vehicle (even my family). I literally have a panic attack when someone else says they’re driving. My remedy was to drive myself even if it’s down the road. Nothing worse than anxiety.  But I hurt my back pretty good. My only saving grace was my sick call records. 

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Remember, the VA can not reject your testimony solely based because you are an "interested party". One thing you need to do is make sure your entire testimony is accurate and credible. If the Va can catch you in one lie, or even an inaccuracy, they can discount your entire testimony, and deem it "not credible". While you are not competent to make a diagnosis, such as PTSD (only a medical professional can render such a diagnosis), you can attest to observations.

In my own Board decision, I provided my testimony. The Board determined my testimony was "consistent with the facts", and therefore credible. I was granted Service connection upon appeal to the Board.

Its probably going to be tough to service connect this, and will require persistence. Do you know the name of the deceased, or can you find it out? (Such as through a buddy?) There may be an obituary of this person if you can access newspapers for the city, and country. The VA rates all mental health disorders the same (PTSD, depression, bipolar, etc). They are all based on symptoms.

I liked this Vets method, assuming, of course, the mental disorder is service connected.

'

This is what I did, and I took (3) copies with me to my C&P Examination.

I copied and pasted the "General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders" into a Word document.

I then separated the conditions...or whatever they are...within each of the categories...from 30% on up through 100%.

(All anyone has to do NOW...is copy and paste into their own Word Document what I have already separated.)

Then I used THREE different colors to represent how often a particular condition occurred...using GREEN for SOME OF THE TIME...BLUE for MOST OF THE TIME...and RED for ALL OF THE TIME.

I then colored the appropriate condition with the COLOR that it would represent...so the appropriate condition was color-matched.

If something did not apply...I just left it as it is...with NO COLORS.

Then I started at the 30% and highlighted the appropriate condition...and clicked on the matching color in the top-right corner of my Word Document to change the highlighted area to the chosen color. Then I clicked on the BOLD function.

Then I went to the 50% level, and did the same...and then the next level, and so on.

I have done the 30% as an example to show how it looks.

Make sure you “remove” (MY) colored 30% example…and replace it with your own colors.

Across the top of the page, I equally separated the COLORED words...SOME OF THE TIME...MOST OF THE TIME...and ALL OF THE TIME

I also UNDERLINED and made BOLD the "SOME OF THE TIME, MOST OF THE TIME, and ALL OF THE TIME...and each of the PERCENTAGES, too.

Now this should give you a better picture of what your rating should be.

This is ONLY a guide…

Survivir

********************************************************************************************

CFR 4.130 Schedule of ratings—mental disorders

9440 Chronic adjustment Disorders

General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders:

SOME OF THE TIME....................MOST OF THE TIME....................ALL OF THE TIME

0%

A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication

10%

Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or;

symptoms controlled by continuous medication

30%

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as:

depressed mood

anxiety

suspiciousness

panic attacks (weekly or less often)

chronic sleep impairment

mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events)

50%

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as:

flattened affect

circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech

panic attacks more than once a week

difficulty in understanding complex commands

impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks)

impaired judgment

impaired abstract thinking

disturbances of motivation and mood

difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships

70%

Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as:

suicidal ideation

obsessional rituals, which interfere with routine activities

speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant

near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively

impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence)

spatial disorientation

neglect of personal appearance and hygiene

difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a worklike setting)

inability to establish and maintain effective relationships

100%

Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as:

gross impairment in thought processes or communication

persistent delusions or hallucinations

grossly inappropriate behavior

persistent danger of hurting self or others

intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene)

disorientation to time or place

memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name

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One thing the VA does well is they try to catch you in a lie. Let me give an example.

Lets say you are trying to remember the day the stressor occurred. You make a guess at it. Lets say you remember it was Hot, so you think it must have been in July.

Later, you look deeper into it and find out it occurred in August. Oops...the VA's gotcha..you provided conflicting testimony, testifying once your stressor was in July and another time it was August. The VA will likely find your entire testimony "not credible". Did you lie? Probably not, in this case..you were just guessing the month and found discovered some details later that it was the following month. Some people dont remember dates..I am one of them. People always want to know "when" something happened. I tell them I am lucky if I remember what I had for breakfast let alone what day the stressor occurred in 1973. But dont do it that way..if you are vague, they will assume its made up.

If you are not sure of the date, turn over every nook and cranny to identify it as close as possible. Then say,

"A few weeks prior to March 4, 1970" , I experienced the stressor. You can even say why you picked those dates..."I went on leave on March 4, 1970, so it was prior to March 4". Do not "make up" a date. If you tell the VA Feb. 19, 1970 and the VA finds the obituary dated Feb. 7th, then your credibility is shot.

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Try contacting hte German Newspapers and seek the archives.

That may help.

J

Thank you for your replies!

Sorry, I didn't mention that I did submit the German newspaper article, the article doesn't name any US soldiers having been there, it only says the location, time, date and particulars of the accident. It says there were 74 "firemen" on scene. Actually, there was five of us from my platoon there on scene first, then the German fire dept. showed up. But, if I could find records of my unit I would be able to prove that I was in a hex tent about 250 yards from where the accident occurred. My problem is that JSRRC says that my battalion didn't turn in any records. How did a whole battalion of records just vanish??

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My memory is so long gone, I can't pull a date out if I had to. I remember the events but not the dates. I, like other was in and out of the jungle that dates wasn't important and a diary damn wasn't important then. Saving your life and your buddies was. So why must we prove anything by dates, our DD 214 should be proof enough. To me just another way to deny a claim.

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Thank you very much for your replies.

I'm very clear on the date of my stressor and have always maintained it occured Mid January 1991. The newspaper article confirms that. After reading a lot of denied cases online I see that having multiple diagnosis of mental illness is going to work against me. My diagnosis has consistently been bipolar, and I don't think I can connect it to service. But my most recent VA diagnosis is PTSD chronic. I have an FOIA request in over a month ago, but who knows how long it'll take to get a copy of my Cfile, I have no clue what's in there.

I'm wondering where the army sends there inactivated unit records these days, my unit inactivated in 2007, and JSRRC claims they didn't get anything.

Edited by SigBnSoldier (see edit history)
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Remember, the VA can not reject your testimony solely based because you are an "interested party". One thing you need to do is make sure your entire testimony is accurate and credible. If the Va can catch you in one lie, or even an inaccuracy, they can discount your entire testimony, and deem it "not credible". While you are not competent to make a diagnosis, such as PTSD (only a medical professional can render such a diagnosis), you can attest to observations.

In my own Board decision, I provided my testimony. The Board determined my testimony was "consistent with the facts", and therefore credible. I was granted Service connection upon appeal to the Board.

Its probably going to be tough to service connect this, and will require persistence. Do you know the name of the deceased, or can you find it out? (Such as through a buddy?) There may be an obituary of this person if you can access newspapers for the city, and country. The VA rates all mental health disorders the same (PTSD, depression, bipolar, etc). They are all based on symptoms.

I liked this Vets method, assuming, of course, the mental disorder is service connected.

'

This is what I did, and I took (3) copies with me to my C&P Examination.

I copied and pasted the "General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders" into a Word document.

I then separated the conditions...or whatever they are...within each of the categories...from 30% on up through 100%.

(All anyone has to do NOW...is copy and paste into their own Word Document what I have already separated.)

Then I used THREE different colors to represent how often a particular condition occurred...using GREEN for SOME OF THE TIME...BLUE for MOST OF THE TIME...and RED for ALL OF THE TIME.

I then colored the appropriate condition with the COLOR that it would represent...so the appropriate condition was color-matched.

If something did not apply...I just left it as it is...with NO COLORS.

Then I started at the 30% and highlighted the appropriate condition...and clicked on the matching color in the top-right corner of my Word Document to change the highlighted area to the chosen color. Then I clicked on the BOLD function.

Then I went to the 50% level, and did the same...and then the next level, and so on.

I have done the 30% as an example to show how it looks.

Make sure you “remove” (MY) colored 30% example…and replace it with your own colors.

Across the top of the page, I equally separated the COLORED words...SOME OF THE TIME...MOST OF THE TIME...and ALL OF THE TIME

I also UNDERLINED and made BOLD the "SOME OF THE TIME, MOST OF THE TIME, and ALL OF THE TIME...and each of the PERCENTAGES, too.

Now this should give you a better picture of what your rating should be.

This is ONLY a guide…

Survivir

********************************************************************************************

CFR 4.130 Schedule of ratings—mental disorders

9440 Chronic adjustment Disorders

General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders:

SOME OF THE TIME....................MOST OF THE TIME....................ALL OF THE TIME

0%

A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication

10%

Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or;

symptoms controlled by continuous medication

30%

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as:

depressed mood

anxiety

suspiciousness

panic attacks (weekly or less often)

chronic sleep impairment

mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events)

50%

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as:

flattened affect

circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech

panic attacks more than once a week

difficulty in understanding complex commands

impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks)

impaired judgment

impaired abstract thinking

disturbances of motivation and mood

difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships

70%

Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as:

suicidal ideation

obsessional rituals, which interfere with routine activities

speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant

near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively

impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence)

spatial disorientation

neglect of personal appearance and hygiene

difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a worklike setting)

inability to establish and maintain effective relationships

100%

Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as:

gross impairment in thought processes or communication

persistent delusions or hallucinations

grossly inappropriate behavior

persistent danger of hurting self or others

intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene)

disorientation to time or place

memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name

I like the theory of your system, but I can't make heads or tails of the HTML code :(

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Well I got notice that I have a C&P for PTSD and HYPERTENSION this coming week. I am not getting up tight about the hypertension, but am on the PTSD. I know all I have to do is tell the truth, but I hate having to relive what I have been burying for so long. I just feel the demons will come out and I will not be able to control myself. I know I should just relax and tell everything that is going on. So I guess time will tell. But if anyone wishes to give me some advice or suggestions, I am open for anything.

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Well I got notice that I have a C&P for PTSD and HYPERTENSION this coming week. I am not getting up tight about the hypertension, but am on the PTSD. I know all I have to do is tell the truth, but I hate having to relive what I have been burying for so long. I just feel the demons will come out and I will not be able to control myself. I know I should just relax and tell everything that is going on. So I guess time will tell. But if anyone wishes to give me some advice or suggestions, I am open for anything.

Hollis,

It's best to start a new topic for something not related to the

original poster.

Thanks

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It's been 5 months since I started this thread. I had two C&P's this week, one for Asthma on Tuesday and a PTSD C&P today. It was intense, 130 minute long review of my life from childhood to now. No computer tests or written tests, just an oral mental assessment test. They psychologist was quite professional.

However, I feel a little hopeless about the success of this claim. At least 1/3 of the exam centered around questions having to do with bipolar disorder that a VA doctor consistently diagnosed me with in 4 different inpatients stays at VA hospital. At the end of the exam, the psych said, "Oh, by the way, I noticed one of the treating doctors noted in your progress notes the possibility of some bipolar symptoms while you were a teenager before you joined the army, what do you make of that..?" I was stumped. I told him I didn't remember any such conversation, which is true, and that the only thing I can remember psychologically noteworthy about my childhood was being told I was hyperactive, not allowed to eat sugar and being given coffee at night to put me to sleep.

Perhaps this admission at the end of my C&P ended my hopes of a successful PTSD claim... any thoughts?

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Do you have your complete SMRs and copy of your 201 (Personnel file)?

"At least 1/3 of the exam centered around questions having to do with bipolar disorder that a VA doctor consistently diagnosed me with in 4 different inpatients stays at VA hospital"

Was the first hospital stay within one year after your discharge?

PTSD as a new criteria (as of 2010) and the criteria VA uses is in the PTSD forum.

Bi Polar is a psychosis that, if manifested to at least 10% ,by medical evidence within one year of discharge, can be considered by VA as a chronic presumptiv.e disability and service connected on that basis.

It seems you have had more treatment and diagnosis for the Bi Polar then the PTSD.

,

The reason I mention tat... I had a dear friend with Bi polar and it took almost ten years to succeed on his claim.He kept forgetting to obtain his personnel records

When he finally got them we found inservice manifestations of his bi polar in his Personnel file.

His VA shrink agreed and finally he attained service connection.He went from no SC at all to 100% P & T.

I mention this because you might have a stronger claim for the bi polar then the PTSD. Still it is impossible to really comment at all on that yet. Have you requested a copy of the C & P results yet?

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I have no in service diagnosis of Bipolar, nor any proof. My first psych hospitalization was 18 months after discharge. I have a confirmed stressor event while in service though.

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I received a copy of my Cfile in January. There was only a sheet of paper that showed awards, date of rank, medals, etc... There is no testament to poor behavior. Is this my "Personnel File"?

However, and this is self reported, so not sure if it holds any weight- I was awarded SSDI for bipolar in 2004, the "team" (board psychiatrist, and social worker" wrote my letter to Soc Sec. In the letter they state, "Patient reports Bipolar symptoms started while in the army". I was awarded SSDI on first try.

It's my understanding that my report of events holds no weight? But I've been telling doctors since 1997 that I started getting depressed and having mania a year before I got out of the army in 1996.

None of these psychological things started happening until my stressor event in 1991. It was a fiery wreck on the autobahn. The stressor has been confirmed. I have numerous buddy letters submitted with the claim, including eyewitness and statements from roomates that say they were concerned about my mental health back then and my drinking (5 years sober now).

So, this questioning by the C&P examiner yesterday seemed to be steering me toward a diagnosis of "pre-existing bipolar disorder". Can I still be service connected for PTSD even if I had the pre existing condition?

I myself cant tell you whether I agree with the bipolar condition or not, all I know is things went very bad starting that horrible night in 1991.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I'd continue to pursue the PTSD claim, as you have the evidence you need and there is no evidence about the bipolar. You should contact the National Personnel Records Center, in St Louis, MO, about your complete service records and be sure to include a request for all medical records. Hospital records are usually kept separately from your service records. http://www.archives.gov/veterans/

pr

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What about the fact that the examiner focused on my childhood hyperactivity? I could feel him trying to build a case for "pre existing". He asked me if I ever had an official diagnosis as a teen, I told him no I had not, that my parents were told to give me coffee at night to calm me down before bed. I didn't want to tell any lies in the exam and felt compelled to answer all his questions honestly, including this one.

Besides, wouldn't it be possible to carry a pre existing bipolar diagnosis, just in it's infancy and still get PTSD as a separate mental condition?

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