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Should I Get A Civilian Mental Health Doctor



I really need your advice! I'm rated 100% service connected for Chronic Severe PTSD, and Major Depressive Disorder with a future Exam in 2019. I'm currently seeing a Mental Health Doctor at the VA. This guy is a negative piece of crap. I'm willing to pay out of my pocket to see someone outside of VA. Would it hurt me in the long run if i see a civilian mental health Doctor? I don't think i can deal with this guy too much longer. Please help!!

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I agree with Mike.

In my opinion the VA is the Best place for PTSD help.

But that does not mean every vet gets the best VA shrink.

"If I go to a civilian psych for treatment do you think VA would recognize it?

Yes but be careful of that too....make sure they are well trained in PTSD, otherwise if VA tries to pull something on the 100% rating,in 2019 (which I really dont expect) the non VA shrink could combat that with a strong IMO.,backed up by their credentials in treating PTSD.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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All of the above! With VA or Non VA mental Health professionals don't just accept the one assigned to you, if the fit isn't right and your not comfortable, it's time for a change. As previously mentioned just be very careful in your choice. My VA PTSD experience says to 1st check with possibly other PTSD Vets that you have contact with and get their input regarding the VA PTSD Clinicians they see. Have you ever been in PTSD Group Therapy or had a VA PTSD Social Worker, great source for referral information, both VA and Private. If you are absolutely certain that you want or need to go private, verify to the enth degree your Non VA Dr's PTSD credentials and experience.

There has been quite a bit of information recently in the News regarding the over use of Medication in the treatment of PTSD by the VA Drs. What has your experience been? I opted for PTSD Group (3 yrs VA Social Worker) and other than the VA C&P Pscychiatrist, haven't seen a DR.

Semper Fi


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You should stay with the VA bud. I had a good Trauma Counselor for over a year, and then she retired last month. So I was referred to another guy, who was young and a combat Vet. I jus met him a few weeks ago. He was very nice, but the VA said he could not counsel me one on one, WTH. So I get a call from him that says that the VA there will do group therapy with me. No way in hell, as the VA Docs have always stated that I am not a good candidate for group therapy, only one on one. I get SSDI and Tricare insurance, but I stay with the VA, do they don't try to screw me down the road. I have known too many Vets, that went outside of the VA and their %s were lowered down the road. Good luck either way.

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Maybe go to VA PTSD group and go also a therapist who is private. These VA doctors don't have time for you and change all the time. You need a long term relationship with a therapist. VA is ok for getting PTSD DX, but not for treatment IMO. I have seen a private psychologist for years. He runs rings around the VA.


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I went to kaiser and va for mental health at the same time . They will tell you only to have one psych because the medicine they give you can get mixed up. They don't want one psych to give you something then the other do the same and you overdose so eventually you will just have to pick which doctor you gonna go to since you Are 100% you get your medicine for free from the va psych medicine can be expensive if you buy it out of pocket so you might want to make the va your primary plus after so much counseling they stop and just give you medicine when I see the doctor psych they just ask about how I'm doing and that's it

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Just changed my doc last week, just wasn't comfortable with him, all I had to do is tell the clerk at the front desk you would like to change and it should be that simple

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