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Depression And Sexual Assault


satori

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I'm new here and reading through the forums. So much information and thanks to all of you who have shared your experiences. It helps a lot. I have a dumb question.

I served from 1998-2003, and then again from 2012-2014. I have a few documented medical issues for my disability claim (hip impingement, shoulder impingement, knee arthritis) but I have never seen a doctor for my biggest one- depression/PTSD. Do I need to have a diagnosis in order to start my claim? In your experience, should I go to a private mental health person or the VA? Or wait for the C@P exam? I just...don't know how all this works.

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Details:

When I was an E-2 back in 1999, I was on a field exercise and sexually assaulted by a superior (he was an E-7). I kept quiet about it (I was scared) until a few months later when I heard a few other women were harassed by the same guy. So, I told my story to my sergeant and he went up the chain with it. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I did have to give a verbal statement to some Colonel at the base HQ. (The E-7 was discharged and found to have child pornography on his computer, as well as a raging cocaine habit!)

Since then, I have had a lot of problems with depression and PTSD. I have been to a few counselors over the years for situational problems (divorces) but I have never seen a psychiatrist or psychologist, nor have I talked about the sexual assault. I have been suicidal and very anxious for a very long time. I rarely leave my apartment. I've just been really scared to talk to anyone and open up. I've also been unemployed for 4 years (!) and would have to put any counseling on my credit card.

I did muster up some courage this year and went to the local VA center to sign up for a PTSD counseling program, but they say I did not qualify because my trauma was not combat related. I was also told that the waitlist for regular counseling was over a year long! I'm not sure if that's true, but it was enough to discourage me from trying more with the VA.

I'm not sure what else to say. I guess my question is- do I need to see a counselor before I start my claim for depression?

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Welcome,

Who ever told you it had to be combat related to get mental health care from your

VAMC or Vet Center is full of poop and ignorant on this subject.

Simply stating that you experienced sexual trauma on active duty is all you need.

To get started you do not have to go into troublesome details, just the basics.

Check out

www.vetcenter.va.gov

Also here:

https://iris.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/92

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