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Do I Have Ptsd?


szuhay18

Question

I recently separated from the Army after 10 years, I served 1 year in Korea on a 4 man DMZ patrol/monitor detachment, and 13 months in Iraq (2010) as an Electronic Warfare Systems Integrator. I had my share of convoys, rocket attacks (at least weekly), QRF casualty duties, and attempted infiltrations for attack/abductions by the enemy - usually while sleeping. I took no life and came back with my brain and body physically intact. Since Iraq, I (as well as loved ones) have noticed a difference in my personality/actions. I'm anxious all the time which leads to small panic attacks and anger to anyone/thing near me. I randomly think of violence and how society is blind to reality of it all and find myself more aggressive in nature. My mood literally goes from ok - anxiety - anger - hate - depression within minutes and will recycle itself.

I hate crowds and will avoid them at all costs, I have trouble when not facing an entry/exit point while out and about. I have trouble staying asleep at night because I feel like someone is in my house, sometimes checking on my kids in an aggressive panic throughout the night, I've even felt like I see someone's shadow in their hallway at times. Random images of my loved one's being killed in the typical terrorist fashion pops in my head randomly throughout the day...I hate it and have to shut down and force my thoughts on things that make me happy. I constantly lock any door I'm around and carry while home. I hold a decent job but have to step away to calm my anxiety and anger and at times want to give up when the depression hits. I feel too guilty to claim this since I have friends and family that have much worse experiences from the military and just can't figure out how and why I've turned out to be this way...any input is much appreciated.

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Wow this sounds all too familiar. Almost down to the last detail. First thank you for your service. Truly. You seem to have a lot of classic symptoms. The fact is traumatic experiences affect us all differently. I use to think the same. I wasn't infantry. I didn't help take a hill, but I've been shot at and had mortars and rockets come in. We all react differently to stressors so don't be ashamed or feel guilty. The key is to realize that you have some problems. Which is okay. We all have them. Learning to deal and cope with them are a whole different ball game. The key is to seek help. Whether by VA or privately. From experience the VA does have some good tools and programs. JMO you should try to utilize them. You're not a lone bud. Hang in there.

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Absolutely,

Bionoce and ARng11 are right.

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I was never in combat I have all the symptoms you state which started in service for me my VA Doc say I have all the classic symptoms of PTSD but lack a stressor for VA standards which I agree with I am service connected for Major Depressive Disorder with anxious distress. I have been thru CBT, CPT and Bio Feedback. So even if you don't think its PTSD still seek help all the recycling of emotions really becomes hard on our families seek help and support for them also.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Just so you know it's not how bad something was but how it affected you, so don't feel that someone else should have it and you shouldn't because your service wasn't that bad. My Mom always said she'd sent a sweet, caring, young man, to the Army and she received a bastard back, when I returned home, from Vietnam. I feel that PTSD affects mostly caring individuals. Your symptoms are classic. Just know it will never be cured but it can be managed, if you get treatment soon. I no longer go into a rage, like I used to. It's taken awhile but I am soooo much better than I was before. You may need to take some meds, to help, for a short period of time, but if your family supports you, you can have a somewhat normal life.

pr

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Szuhay you sound excatly like me. I am service connected ptsd. Your symptoms are identical. I went through hell and as I went through this I had no support. I have personal records that document my behaviour changes. If you still have copies of your evaluations you may see a drop in your military bearing. I have nightmares of groups of people coming after me. I have the guilt also. The va has helped me. I am changed. My nickname was coolbreeze before my stressors. I never got angry about anything. Now an inept cashier can send me into full fledged life or death mode.

Like others I will never be me. My actions and perceptions are forever clouded. I can stand in asle looking at what salad dressing I want for ten minutes.

Call the va tell what you wrote above and do what they want

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I was in Iraq in 2004. Seen a VA Pyschiatrist in 2006. Went to about 3 months couseling and diagnosed with PTSD however and never filed claim because of the stigma that my be attached while still serving. I sort of hid all my problems for those years leading up till now and it really affected my quality of life along with my families. Just want to know is it too late file a claim? I believe I can still go back for treatment but does the treatment have to current to support a claim. Any input will be appreciated.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I was in Iraq in 2004. Seen a VA Pyschiatrist in 2006. Went to about 3 months couseling and diagnosed with PTSD however and never filed claim because of the stigma that my be attached while still serving. I sort of hid all my problems for those years leading up till now and it really affected my quality of life along with my families. Just want to know is it too late file a claim? I believe I can still go back for treatment but does the treatment have to current to support a claim. Any input will be appreciated.

I would file the claim and seek continuing treatment. I've been in PTSD vets groups since about 1994 and it has helped me, greatly. Also, it helps to have a "paper trail" w/your claim. The VA feels if your don't have continuity of treatment, then you must be cured. Many win their claims and then stop their treatment, only to find out down the road, that the VA is trying to reduce them. Most medications are meant to be taken for about 90 days, not forever like the VA prescribes them. In my 26yrs, w/diagnosed PTSD, I've taken meds twice for about 3 months, each time. I do take trazodone to help me sleep, these days, tho.

pr

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How do you all manage treatment, work and homelife because it stress me out we I have to be at the VA so much for groups and treatment plus work and home I end cutting it short the VA wanted me to attend 4 groups a week plus weekly counseling and monthly doctor visits its way too much. But then they act like if I don't do that I have no chances of a full recovery. My goal has always been a full recovery over compensation I have just not been able to obtain the results.

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