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Confused And Don't Know Where To Turn

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I am a Gulf War 1 vet. I was in Dhahran, SA from Nov 90 to May 91. Shortly after I returned home they disbanded my unit and I was on my own. I walked away from everything even remotely related to the war/military and never looked back. Friends, home, hobbies etc. I gave them up one by one and spent many years engaging in risky behavoir (partying, drinking etc). I stopped in 1999 and got a real job, but continued to avoid all and any reminders of the war. It soon got to the point that any reminder would make me feel like bolting, I would get lightheaded, couldn't speak a coherent sentence, had a big urge to get out and red flags waving Danger Danger. I had nightmares that wouldn't go away. I couldn't sleep, couldn't get to sleep and couldn't stay asleep. I was always on alert for "something". I could never relax. I was socially distant and felt like an observer in life. Life didn't seem real to me, it kind of happened in a fog. I had an irritability problem and flashes of anger. I was convinced that I was going to die at an early age and took out enormous insurance policies. Fast forward to this year and I am still the same.

On the advice of a friend I saw my county VSO. She recommended I be evaluated by a private person since you can't trust the VA. I saw this guy and he diagnosed me with PTSD and gave me a GAF score of 45. I then began seeing the VA mental health people. First I saw the intake guy and had a panic attack in his office. He assigned me a social worker. The social worker saw me for an hour and said it was all caused by my childhood and I did not have PTSD. I showed her the private doc's report. She said "Oh, Jerry _____... he gives everyone the same diagnosis and the same GAF score, all you have to do is pay him". Afterward I read her report on My HealtheVet. She had written a bunch of things that were factually wrong (I am NOT an Iraq war veteran among many other inaccuracies). She wrote that at one point I "started to cry", when in reality it was a panic attack. She diagnosed an anxiety disorder with a GAF of 65 .

I then saw the VA licensed psychiatrist. I spent an hour in her office. Afterward I read her report on My HealtheVet. Most of the things we talked about (nightmares, avoidance issues, flashbacks) were not reported. Instead she reported about my physical characteristics and the fact that I thought all veterans had the same problems I did. She diagnosed me with "Mood Disorder, Rule Out PTSD".

I was a normal 22 year old gal when I went to war. I came home another person. The war messed me up and I have lived with it for years. The VA has also diagnosed me with "fibromyalgia, maybe a GWI component". I am so confused and my anxiety is through the roof. I feel like the VA is trying to avoid admitting that the war messed up my mind. I have not yet filed a claim because I was waiting for a diagnosis of PTSD.

What do I do now? Now that the VA has officially ruled out PTSD, do i need to go to yet another private doc to get a real diagnosis? What do i put on my claim form? I feel like I am spiraling out of control and I can't think straight.

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“The VA has also diagnosed me with "fibromyalgia, maybe a GWI component".

The GWI regulations are here in the Gulf war vet forum and that should be claimed by you ,in my opinion....if you come under the criteria with your service in SA.

This is a BVA award for fibromyalgia:


PTSD however ...the criteria for PTSD changed in August 2010. Th entire gamut of the changes are in our PTSD forum.

A VA MH provider is the only professional that VA will now accept a PTSD diagnosis from. It also depends on the proximity and fear of hostile fire,as explained in the new regulations.

Your SMRs and even your personnel records might reveal a nexus for a ratable type of mood disorder or an anxiety disorder such as this

"She diagnosed an anxiety disorder with a GAF of 65"

Fibro itself could cause deression and anxiety I am sure , but you would need to get the fibro service connected first and then get a doctor to diagnose a MH issue that they can directly attribute to the fibro, claiming an anxiety/Mood disorder directly due to your service (with a proven nexus) AND as secondary to the fibro, in event VA service connects the fibro.

That is the claim,in my opinion that will need an IMO from a non VA doctor...Fibro due to GW, and then stating a nexus to the anxiety/Mood disorder that is within your SMRs or personnel records, which they will need to reference, and even add support for the anciety?mood disorder as directly due to the Fibro or aggravated by it ....

Va will service connect a “mood” disorder but, as this BVA case shows, they rate the mood disorder under the PTSD diagnostic code.

1.  The criteria for an initial evaluation in excess of 30 percent for mood disorder prior to December 28, 2009, have not been met.  38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1155, 5107 (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. §§ 4.7, 4.130, Diagnostic Code 9411 (2012).


I think you should contact the VSO again to see what they think the best way is to shape the claim...

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 guidance. I will ask my VSO about it when I see her next. I am so grateful for your feedback! It is hard to know what is what on this journey.

The fibromyalgia is presumptive for my war so I am thinking I will not need to prove a service connection.

The PTSD issue... I read back over the report from the psychiatrist. In her narrative it does say that "veteran displays symptoms consistent with PTSD and anxiety disorder". So maybe I am reading the DSM thing incorrectly. She gave me a GAF score of 56.

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Something is wrong with your post above. I have a 32" monitor and I cannot get the entire sentence starting with, "1. the criteria for an initial evaluation....to show on it. The sentence goes right through the normal hadit gray boxes.

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The rest of that line is: 

1.  The criteria for an initial evaluation in excess of 30 percent for mood disorder prior to December 28, 2009, have not been met.  
38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1155, 5107 (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. §§ 4.7, 4.130, Diagnostic Code 9411 (2012).
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Berta, Has you going in the right direction of course she is the best! Get the fibro connected and then see about getting treatments for your PTSD and make sure and go.

Maybe down the line the vet center will be helpful for you and you will succeed. Remember to always tell your counselor the truth about how you feel they are the ones that can help you the most.

I am a Vietnam vet and actually was sent to the clinic for a examination after an unpleasant episode with a rehab counselor! I didn't realize I had PTSD and did not take to kindly to the DX but I am what I am and at least that have a name for how I am. Remember your service memories will stay with you the rest of your life and kind of like an alcoholic it will get better at times and worse at times. The key is how you handle it and live your life.

I personally do not like the use of women in the military among others but it is what it is. I feel from just reading your post you will be fine of course you are going to need help along the way but I wish you the best!


Not preaching or maybe I am but, I am not a doctor or a shrink I just suffer just like many fellow vets.

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