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Untreated Depression Can Be Fatal

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Of course this is my own personal observation after what I have been thru the last few days. I know that I am not telling anyone here something they don't already know. But depression, if left untreated, can be fatal. And I don't just bya conscious attempt to commit suicide. besides, there are many ways to end your life without an OD or shooting.

As you know, I lost my husband late last week. He died at the age of 63 from heart failure & lung problems. He was not a smoker & he only drank occasionally. He was morbidly obese and had had typeII diabetes for many years. However, he did not take his DMII seriously & continued to eat his chocolate, sugary treats. And oh yes, he had high blood pressure even before I met him but the military never treated him for it. All of this took a toll & he finally surcumed just a month and a half after his 63rd birthday.

He was a very proud Viet Nam Vet. He spent many years of his Navy career on broad aircraft carriers & flew many back seat missions over Viet Nam in F-4s. Even the craziest Marine pilots could not make him air sick no matter how many Gs they tried to pull. But he developed back & hip problems and was placed on a temporary retirement disability list. I think that is what started his down hill slide. I have been going thru some of his old military records in an attempt to find things I can say about him at his memorial service. In reading over some of his medical records from that time period, I dscovered that he was being treated for major depression secondary to his back pain. But he also became very bitter and angry during this period. He eventually was put back on activee duty while he was living with me as my dependent. I was stationed at Barbers PT at the time. After much haggling, he was allowed on L-5 limited duty which meant that he could not be assigned sea duty or sent over seas. In stead the Navy, in it's infinite wisdom decided to ship him to VT-23 in Kingsville TX while leaving me in HI. Perhpas the Navy thought they would get rid of 2 senior career petty officers before they retired. (Glad to report we BOTH retired.)

When he finally retired fm the Navy in 1984, he then followed me around until I retired in 1992. He did not adapt well to being a Navy dependent spouse. When I retired in 1992, also on a medical, we moved to Arkansas, mainly to be close to my elderly mother. Neither one of us ever fitted into the community we moved into. Ron refused to go to VA for treatment (for which I can't blame him) and he would not file I claim for VA compensation. He gained more & more weight over the years, developed DMII, & only took his blood pressure medicine on occassion. At first he took care of the lawn, but in the last year, he barely went outside. He wouldn't go on walks with me because it was boring, he would pick fights with the neighbors & certainly living with me all these years was no cake walk. You see, I was too busy fighting my own battles with depression to notice just how sick he was becoming over the years. When I tried to incourage him to loss weight & take better care of his health, he wouldn't listen so I just gave up. His private care doctor gave up him because he just wouldn't follow orders so we just grew fat together & now he's gone.

So to finally get to the point, if you are married to a disabled vet, especially one suffering from major depression, please pay more attetion to them, tell them that they matter and that they are loved. Don't wait until it's too late, like I did. Depression really does kill.


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Liz- did he die due to heart disease or a stroke as a consequence of DMII? He is a Blue Water AO vet-

You need to see a vet rep- bring the new Haas info with you -I posted the statement from NVLSP at hadit last week and also the confirmed email I got from NVLSP that widows are covered too---bring that with you to a vet rep-ASAP

The Haas CAVC decision is Law of the Land until the VA tries to knock it down- please see a vet rep and file out the whole 21-534 widow's forms and tell the vet rep you want DIC benefits because AO contributed to your husband's death- and Blue Water Navy vets with the VSM on their DD 214s are covered now by Nehmer.

Please try to call the Medical Examiners office on your area-they don't close -people die at all hours of the day and night but you might get an answering machine -ask the ME to return your call ASAP-tell them you need an autopsy done-

if you donated his organs-it has already been done-

Due to the holiday weekend there isa possibility that he is still uncremated.

Otherwise all you have is cause of death on the death certificate but it might be enough-

I hope you told the doc who pronounced him dead or the coroner that he had DMII and that they listed it as contributing-

What actually was the cause of his death?

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Goofy Cow

Untreated depression can be fatal if it is major depression. A vegetative depression or untreated mania can kill. Major depression does have physical symptoms. DMII predisposes people to suffer from depression. It says that in the VBM. Any major disease or injury can cause severe depression.

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You can not imagine all the guilt I am feeling right now. Because of my own major depressions issues, I feel I did not do enough for him.

When talking to the doctors, they mentioned years of DMII & high blood pressure taking it's toll. The military was his life, it gave him structure, some one told him what to do at every step of the way. Once I retired fm the Navy, there was no one around to tell us what to do & where to live. That suited me just fine but he was at a loss. Once we moved to AR, he never reached out to others, never checked into organizations like the VFW & was very confrontational to everyone he met.

When i get off the internet, I will call the medical examiners board if there is one around here. Maybe there was some kind of exam done. Someone called me at around 10:30 that night telling me Ron was eligible to donate his eyes. Will you believe me if I tell you that I was not in the mood to discuss the subject at that time?

Thanks for the advice. I will get a claim in ASAP. Doubt if I can do anything on Labor Day. Biut somehow I think VA is going to try and blame his DMII to morbid obesity.


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Liz- if you make an organ donation ----and remember vets- if you dont have this info on your license the spouse has to make the decision fast-

they might autopsy him-for eyes I dont know- did they ask for skin and long bones too? my husband had lots of skin and long bones-

in that case they Definitely will do an autopsy-there wont be much left-cremation is best- and this will give you TREmendous comfort-the autopsy for major organ donations is free-

The ME can send you a copyof the autopsy if needed for your claim.

My husbands eyes gave sight to two people, his skin went to many burn victims and his long bones were used to reconstruct cancer patients who had lost limbs.

I didn't hesitate- when they called- to donate all his stuff-

he mentioned it when he was alive but never got it put on his license-

I often tell this here so all know- the call comes fast-within a short time after death-

regardless of whatever you have on your mind, think of others-help them---donate your spouses organs and make sure that you are a organ donor too.

Liz guilt is an illusion-it is also a choice- I bet you did more for him than you realize-

I hope you can still donate organs and this will help with feelings of guilt-

by the way obesity is a symptom of diabetes- the VA tries and usually cannot succeed in denying a DMII claim due to obesity-

it is part of the hyperlipedemic picture of the metabolism of a diabetic.

Edited by Berta

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