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Confused About Va Mental Health Treatment.

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well Im really confused and angry with the VA clinic. last week I made an appointment to seek help for my PTSD cause its getting worse.. I been having trouble sleeping n my mood swings are getting worse n thoughts off suicide have cross my mind when I lose my temper cause of my mood swings and nightmares..... so I went to my appointment and told the psychiatrist how I felt but instead she is telling me im feeling this way cause of alcohol and she wont treat me for ptsd unless I do an 8 week alcohol program and attend a few AA meeting... IDK what else to do it seems shes blaming all my problems to alcohol.. I guess I just have to wait and see what happens,

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  • HadIt.com Elder

You might want to try a Vet Center. The VA will almost always blame drugs or alcohol for your problems. Then when you won't follow their recommendations they mark you off as "non-compliant." You end up dying and they win by getting rid of their liability. I'd contact a Vet Center near you or if not near you they often contract w/local shrinks for your care. jmo

Make sure you claim any alcohol use/abuse "on them" as secondary to your PTSD. I'm service connected for alcoholism.


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"IDK what else to do it seems shes blaming all my problems to alcohol."

My deceased husband told me he stopped drinking when he realised it was making his problems worse.He thought after he returned home from the war that he had gone crazy and that he was the only veteran in the world with flashbacks and nightmares of warfare..

VA had not recognized PTSD yet in those days.

As a USMC Vietnam Vet, discharged in the late 1960s, with a good job as a Nuke, he suddenly in 1979 ,joined the Navy, thinking it would give his life structure and keep him from drinking too ,much...... yeah right that didn't help.

My second date with him was an open AA meeting .The firs date was to see the movie "Platoon". I didnt understand what they were talking about for a long time at AA but went with him every week to AA for the next 8 years.

Boy did I get an education there.and he died clean and sober since his very first AA meeting long before I met him.

I am presently helping a recovering alcoholic non veteran, by helping ........but not enabling....

Alcohol can make PTSD far worse than it is.

However PTSD can get worse all by itself, as the VA declared my husband 100% P & T from PTSD 3 years after he died.

VA never considered him to be an alcoholic because VA perceived his drinking wasn't that bad......

Since then VA has developed a good handle on alcoholism and I know many vets in their AA program in our local VAMC. It is excellent.

I told a VA MST years ago an important thing I had learned in AA, it is not the quantity of what ones drinks .........it is how alcohol affects their behavior.

The VA counselor you saw gave you great advise,in my opinion , as not only a former Vet Center volunteer working solely with PTSD vets, but with 8 years of attending open AA and Alanon meetings.

You mentioned having suicidal thoughts. This is only my opinion and I am not a doctor or MH professional but I think

She might have saved your life.

As PR stated , alcoholism can be sced as secondary to PTSD and also any disability that could result from this type of SC, would have to be SCed by the VA too.(that takes medical evidence and it can be done)

It is the Allen V Principi decision.

PR is right too about being 'non complaint'.

In my opinion, as an advocate, the VA needs justification for any treatment they provide. Any vet with a service connected disability, VA treats, who suddenly becomes non- complaint without good cause, is looking for a possible reduction in their comp.

That would go for any veteran seeking a PTSD diagnosis service connection, and treatment as well.

I know many vets who completed the VA 8 week program she means at our local VAMC. Last Sunday one who left this past week, told me the program was great...and I heard that many times from these 8 week program vets

over the past 20 years.

You deal with a lot but things can get better. And like the 8 week vet last week told me, VA did plenty to help him and now he is responsible for the rest of his life. VA of course let his spouse visit him , call him by cell often, and even his dog had visits with him , which the other vets and VA staff loved seeing.

Edited by Berta

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 think all of us veterans go thru a drinking or drug using in some point of our lives due to PTSD. We had no support to fall back on and that was our crutch. I have stopped drinking now and never used drugs, beer was my crutch. I am doing some what better. I go to the VA for a vet to vet meeting every other month. I feel comfortable there because I know they are feeling the same way I do. And we try to help each other. So find a group of vets and attend the meeting, it really helps.

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I finally went to the VA ER cause I couldn't deal with my PTSD anymore.. It got to the point were I was gonna hurt my self so they kept me over night to make sure I wouldn't hurt myself or my wife .. they told me I suffer from 1) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Dissociative symptoms... 2) Major Depressive Disorder with Melancholic features....3) Mild Traumatic Brain Injury by history.... 4) Alcohol use Disorder it took for me to end up in the ER to finally get some help .

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