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Depression Secondary To (Pain From) Sc Id & Sciatica


USAFSP

Question

I intend to file a claim for depression secondary to my SC IVDS and Sciatica. My depression stems from my diminished quality of life and limited activity due to the chronic pain. I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression NOS by my VA mental health. However, will the VA require the statement of a mental health professional to the effect of "veteran's depression is caused by chronic pain related to his service connected condition"? I'm hesitant to dictate to the doctor what to annotate. But I know VA doctors are hesitant to enter much info that would substantiate a claim. Anyone had experience in this area that can offer some advice?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Yes, you will, but your notes probably have enough in them to form the basis. My doc didnt come out and say in perfect VA verbiage "This Veterans condition is irrefutably caused by ......" but the notes were voluminous enough and said that I was diagnosed with depression and I had a lower quality of life due to my IVDS lumbar issues. It limits employment, it limits intimacy, and it limits my ability to do stuff with my kids.

Edited by brokensoldier244th (see edit history)
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USAFSP,

My psycholigist diagnosed me with Depression and Adjustment Disorder secondary to my service connected Cancer. I agree with brokensoldier. As long as your mental health doctor has documented the connection in their reports or notes using the terms "caused by" or "secondary to" your service connected conditions, you will probably be ok. At my request, my VA psychologist also completed a DBQ in which she stated my depression and adjustment disorder were secondary to my service connected Cancer. If I was you, I would also ask your mental health doctor to complete a DBQ to support your claim. JMO

Good luck to you and thank you for your service.

GP

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  • Moderator

Anybody know how the VA PCP,rate or diagnose depression?

Routine Medical Examination V-17 All Depression Screen,

A PHQ-2 Screen was performed. The Score was a 6 which is a positive screen for depression,

refer patient MH,

Medication orderd: Sertraline initated

Anybody know what this means?

it was in my progress notes after I seen my PCP on Dec 3 2014!

Sorry USAFSP , I Didn't Mean to hi-jack your thread!

Thanks, Buck!

Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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Buck,

Check out 38 CFR 4.130. Diagnostic codes 9434 & 9435.

GP

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  • HadIt.com Elder

THe PCPs don't- I dont think they can. They will refer you to Mental Health. They can discuss it with you but PCPs aren't qualified in that field of medicine. I could see a diagnosis like that from a PCP having to be appealed down the road somewhere.

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Thanks for the input guys. My mental health provider hasn't really documented a "path" between the two. They just diagnosed the anxiety and depression with no real explanation. They note work stress and pain but only briefly. But I've been taking two VA prescription meds for this for @ 4 years. For my back I take meloxicam, got trigger point injections, use a custom non-rigid back brace. Used gabapentin until the high dosage caused too much drowsiness. Now use Cymbalta(?) also for nerve pain in my legs.

For my past claims I highlighted the issues in my records, wrote a letter explaining my issues and their effect on me, and prayed.

I have an appt tomorrow and am tempted to explain that I have mentioned in the past that I feel the anxiety/depression is from the chronic back and leg pain yet it has not been addressed in my record.

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Brokensoldeir244th

That's what I was thinking HOWEVER the pcp did refer me to MH

Thanks Bud

georgiapapa I'll check those CFR's/codes 9434-9435

btw Got my splint off today at VAMC plastic Surgery, but have to wear it every night for 6 months. Hand is Better!

Thanks Buddy!

Buck!

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Paper copy. My psychologist kept DBQs in her desk and completed them on request.

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This is a real problem and there are 3 possible solutions, you pick which one(s) are for you: (You are highly advised to read your doc's reports, in all cases, below. Remember, the VA may NOT read your docs report and deny you anyway. Its happened before)

1. Do nothing and probably lose out on benefits. While this may not be good for you, its the path most Vets take, sometimes because they dont know better, and sometimes because they are too weak, or too uninformed, to fight it. Or, it may be because the VSO "talked the Veteran out" of seeking a second medical opinion.

2. Get another VA doc, if yours refuses to supply the required "nexus" statment, and you sincerly feel entitled to said benefits. Dont fake or exaggerate anything, but its quite okay to seek a second medical opinion if you dispute the opinion offered by your VA doc. When you do talk to a doc, make sure you tell the doc what happend on your WORST day, not what happened on your best day, because if you tell him you are "fine" dont expect a highly Veteran favorable exam report.

3. Get an IMO/IME or sometimes 2 of them to refute unfavorable medical evidence by VA docs.

Remember, medical evidence can not be rebutted by lay evidence. That is, what the doc says will trump anything you say, even if the doc says space aliens landed their spaceship, infected you with a normally service conneceted disease, erased all memory of the alien abduction, and then disappeared without a trace.

Edited by broncovet (see edit history)
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The following statement was from my most recent visit:

"Reports that his mood has been helped with his antidepressant medication but he still has residual depression which sounds to be exacerbated by chronic pain from his back."

I'm going to go ahead file my claim and see how it goes.

On another note, what does it take to get a copy of my most recent c&p exam? I sent a request to regional office with the date of exam, physician, and location of the exam. VA sent me back a cd-rom with 832 pages of records. It even includes the request form I submitted. But no c&p record. My decision was in August 2014.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

c&P notes can be gotten from the Blue Button download on MyHealthVet. Just select 'all information' and then the date range, then scroll through the text file. Unless its MH notes and they are restricted from you (for some conditions they are) they should be in there. Mine usually are.

CAS

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