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My Ptsd Symptoms Are Greater Than I Told The Va


Taco
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Firstly, sorry for the drawn out rant. The question is at the bottom but I feel as if this post helped me vent as well. In a nutshell, I underplayed my PTSD. I am realizing I want to seek a higher rating and I need more help than I thought.

Ok, just as many of my brothers did and still do, I refused to acknowledge the fact that I have problems. Luckily, my father works for the VA at the mental health clinic and talked me into at least getting PTSD listed. He knew I had it and didn't want it to get worse and end up having to go through the long drawn out process trying to get it service connected. I told him I would talk to mental health and if they deemed me worthy Ill take it. I didn't speak truthfully about my issues though.

I was honest about the obvious PTSD. The issues I felt comfortable blaming on an event and not my own choices. Mortar whistles make my spine tingle and heart race. An unexpected cannon at a football game or gun shot in the distance can alarm me and trigger an overwhelming emotional response that leaves me holding back tears. My social issues, such as not be able to handle excessive excitement I can't control or process easily. My anxiety of having people I don't know close to me (This was a huge issue for me my first year at college. I would often leave class because I felt uneasy about someone sitting beside me. I have since grown accustomed to a college environment.)

What I wasn't honest about was the underlying problems my Dad could see. I have very bad thrill seeking desires. I sold my motorcycle once I came to terms with the fact that I am likely to kill myself if I kept it. I always have had a drinking problem since coming home from afghanistan. I have had suicidal thoughts, not the kind because I am depressed but the kind because I am curious as to what death brings (I never felt desire to go through with them and I do not consider myself a future risk). I am depressed with my life. I am going to college and for a degree I believe would give me a job I will like and a decent future. Yet, I can't stop feeling like I am missing a huge part of my identity and that I will never be happy.

My drinking problem paired with my thrill seeking behavior brings me to you guys. My drinking problem is not the type where I drink consistently daily. Its not to that point. I drink because I can be normal in a social environment and I comfortably display emotions I otherwise bottle up. The problem is that while sober I can control my environment and leave before shit hits the fan. Drunk, well I have been referred to as having a switch. I don't start fights but I never back down and my friends tell me that I go from chill, happy go lucky me to blood thirsty tunnel vision. I never had this problem before afghanistan or the Army. I do not remember these moments well no matter the level of my sobriety. Well about a month ago this happened. It was my birthday and in typical college fashion my friends got me smashed. I should have quit, I shouldn't have gone out. I often "quit" drinking because I know I can't control myself. Anyways I remember patches of that night. The two most gut wrenching being the beggining of a possible fight and the cops arresting me shortly after based on a call they recieved from that group. I remember my friend stopping me on my way home and yelling for help. What I saw was a decent size male agressively approaching him with his hands flailed and 3 others quickly following. I believe this is one of my "switch" moments. Fast forward to today and I am charged with simple assualt for pushing someone (my friend said this never happened and if it did then I believe it was out of fear), and interferring with the police. I feel like my life is over. A black dot on my criminal record saying unlawful contact is good-bye career, guns and well, my dignity. Doesn't matter what the details are to an employer. I am a forever labeled a dangerous person.

I am going to discuss this with my attorney but also am setting up an appointment with the VA mental health again. I stopped seeing them last summer because I thought the medicine was BS and I just wanted to live my life as who I am. I cant help but think that all this could have been avoided had I been open about my problems the first go around and was open to trying the medicine they offer. I feel awful for my actions and feel I am solely responsible. I managed to quit drinking since the incident but the depression is horrid. If I didnt have a supportive family, my dog, and girlfriend I am not sure how I would handle this situation.

How should I go about discussing this with the VA? Just lay it all out on the table? I don't want 100% disability. I don't believe I deserve it and I want to eventually get a job and begin working. I fear I am going to be kicked out of college this next semester due to this incident if we can't come to an agreement to dismiss the charges or defer the sentence and I am infact found guilty. I want to raise my disability from 30% to something more substantial incase I do get kicked out of college I have a means to feed and shelter my dog.I hear that getting a job even with just a misdemeanor is hard. A kid was killed in a alcohol related fight this last weekend and I feel like the school is going to punish me to the fullest to try and make up for the loss of a student despite it being a completely different situation and I allegedly only pushed someone without causing injury.

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I downplayed PTSD as well. I opened up over time. What I was honest about was not wanting to be a lazy loser getting government money. You are not alone in this.. .one thing make sure you feel comfortable talking to your therapist.

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Firstly, sorry for the drawn out rant. The question is at the bottom but I feel as if this post helped me vent as well. In a nutshell, I underplayed my PTSD. I am realizing I want to seek a higher rating and I need more help than I thought.

Ok, just as many of my brothers did and still do, I refused to acknowledge the fact that I have problems. Luckily, my father works for the VA at the mental health clinic and talked me into at least getting PTSD listed. He knew I had it and didn't want it to get worse and end up having to go through the long drawn out process trying to get it service connected. I told him I would talk to mental health and if they deemed me worthy Ill take it. I didn't speak truthfully about my issues though.

I was honest about the obvious PTSD. The issues I felt comfortable blaming on an event and not my own choices. Mortar whistles make my spine tingle and heart race. An unexpected cannon at a football game or gun shot in the distance can alarm me and trigger an overwhelming emotional response that leaves me holding back tears. My social issues, such as not be able to handle excessive excitement I can't control or process easily. My anxiety of having people I don't know close to me (This was a huge issue for me my first year at college. I would often leave class because I felt uneasy about someone sitting beside me. I have since grown accustomed to a college environment.)

What I wasn't honest about was the underlying problems my Dad could see. I have very bad thrill seeking desires. I sold my motorcycle once I came to terms with the fact that I am likely to kill myself if I kept it. I always have had a drinking problem since coming home from afghanistan. I have had suicidal thoughts, not the kind because I am depressed but the kind because I am curious as to what death brings (I never felt desire to go through with them and I do not consider myself a future risk). I am depressed with my life. I am going to college and for a degree I believe would give me a job I will like and a decent future. Yet, I can't stop feeling like I am missing a huge part of my identity and that I will never be happy.

My drinking problem paired with my thrill seeking behavior brings me to you guys. My drinking problem is not the type where I drink consistently daily. Its not to that point. I drink because I can be normal in a social environment and I comfortably display emotions I otherwise bottle up. The problem is that while sober I can control my environment and leave before shit hits the fan. Drunk, well I have been referred to as having a switch. I don't start fights but I never back down and my friends tell me that I go from chill, happy go lucky me to blood thirsty tunnel vision. I never had this problem before afghanistan or the Army. I do not remember these moments well no matter the level of my sobriety. Well about a month ago this happened. It was my birthday and in typical college fashion my friends got me smashed. I should have quit, I shouldn't have gone out. I often "quit" drinking because I know I can't control myself. Anyways I remember patches of that night. The two most gut wrenching being the beggining of a possible fight and the cops arresting me shortly after based on a call they recieved from that group. I remember my friend stopping me on my way home and yelling for help. What I saw was a decent size male agressively approaching him with his hands flailed and 3 others quickly following. I believe this is one of my "switch" moments. Fast forward to today and I am charged with simple assualt for pushing someone (my friend said this never happened and if it did then I believe it was out of fear), and interferring with the police. I feel like my life is over. A black dot on my criminal record saying unlawful contact is good-bye career, guns and well, my dignity. Doesn't matter what the details are to an employer. I am a forever labeled a dangerous person.

I am going to discuss this with my attorney but also am setting up an appointment with the VA mental health again. I stopped seeing them last summer because I thought the medicine was BS and I just wanted to live my life as who I am. I cant help but think that all this could have been avoided had I been open about my problems the first go around and was open to trying the medicine they offer. I feel awful for my actions and feel I am solely responsible. I managed to quit drinking since the incident but the depression is horrid. If I didnt have a supportive family, my dog, and girlfriend I am not sure how I would handle this situation.

How should I go about discussing this with the VA? Just lay it all out on the table? I don't want 100% disability. I don't believe I deserve it and I want to eventually get a job and begin working. I fear I am going to be kicked out of college this next semester due to this incident if we can't come to an agreement to dismiss the charges or defer the sentence and I am infact found guilty. I want to raise my disability from 30% to something more substantial incase I do get kicked out of college I have a means to feed and shelter my dog.I hear that getting a job even with just a misdemeanor is hard. A kid was killed in a alcohol related fight this last weekend and I feel like the school is going to punish me to the fullest to try and make up for the loss of a student despite it being a completely different situation and I allegedly only pushed someone without causing injury.

First off in regards to your legal situation , personally I strongly suggest

you request a "veterans court".

You can google it but here's some helpful links.

http://justiceforvets.org/what-is-a-veterans-treatment-court

http://www.justiceforvets.org/veterans-treatment-court-locations

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/veterans-court-program-helps-warriors-battle-addiction-mental-health-crises/2013/12/02/d44cf352-5b6c-11e3-bf7e-f567ee61ae21_story.html

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"I want to raise my disability from 30%

Is the 30% for SC PTSD?

When did that decision arrive?

You might be still within the appeal period.

"Luckily, my father works for the VA at the mental health clinic and talked me into at least getting PTSD listed."

"He knew I had it and didn't want it to get worse and end up having to go through the long drawn out process trying to get it service connected."

Can you explain what you mean by "listed"

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Denial is part of PTSD. The VA takes advantage of this and uses your own self-evaluation against you. Big mistake to downplay your symptoms, but many downplay them for years and decades. The fact that VA has set themselves up as the only ones who can DX PTSD is a crime. If you get a rating for PTSD you can get IME to increase rating.

John

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