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I posted earlier in wrong thread i think.... Just really hopeful to get help from experienced people

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Papawolfie

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Hey everyone. Ive been in the army for 5 years and im getting out in 197 days exactly and im just down right terrified. I wana cry at night cause im scared but my body wont let me shed one tear. Im here partly to get help to understand what i should do to get va disability, personal stories and partly for emotional support. 

Im going to behavior health for suicidal ideation, depression and anxiety currently. Ive been speaking to my ex girlfriend shes studying to be a shrink and she thinks i have paranoid schizophrenia and i was speaking to my mother the other day she said my sister has said for the last 4 years that she thought i have it as well, they both have never met in their life. However i did abuse cough syrup a few times. And im afraid they might blame the schizophrenia on that. But i was seeing behavior health before that even. Military found out. Never got introuble for it. Dark history in my life, but i have overcome that thanks to my asap class. Thank you God. I just got a psychiatric evaluation done, but im still waiting on the tests to come back to know whats really happening i dont even know who i am and worst of all for service connection, i have no clue at all what to make of this.

I just had surgery for my shoulder impingement syndrome 2 weeks ago, they removed a bursa, did clavicular excision, and bicep tenesis. And ive healed well but still have a limited range of motion. (That much is all i know of va disability) 

I was told i have occipital nuralgia which causes me not only to have emence neck pain but to have incredible migranges daily i just walk around the motorpool acting like im busy but the pain is so bad i massage my neck and scalp to ease the pain and take naproxen like crazy, and when im off work not only do i stay home for fear of social interaction, i stay to nurse my headaches. I drink caffeine to help it and take more pain medication.

I have lower back problems that came out of no where. 4 years ago my chiropractor said its facet syndrome but i stopped going to him for the last few years cause it wasnt helping and i went to see my primary care provider again for it he said its para spinal myalgia. Gave me some muscle relaxers and said have a good day after I asked for a referal back to the chiropractor. He just blew me off i feel. But i have social anxiety im scared to be a bother..... And i know im just screwing myself over but i cant help how i am. And i have to schedule appointments for anything and hes always a month backed up. Idk what to do about anything ladies and gentleman. Im begging for your help here. Im bugging my family so much about my anxieties they are ignoring my phone calls even... I want 100% disability not because it gets me out of work. I LOVE WORKING. It makes me feel accomplished and like I deserve to live and breath Gods air. But mentally im not right in the head.... If you all ask i can even show you all a text i sent to my mother when i was having a really bad episode, and even that doesnt cover all of me. (You all dont know me so i feel a ok sharing this if it helps the advice i would be given.) i mean its 0308. My mind is just racing itself i cant sleep at all!! PLEASE HELP.

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Papawolfie, abusing alcohol or drugs (cough syrup) is something that often occurs in cases of undiagnosed mental illness. It's not a fact that should hurt your claim in any way. Typically, it's a behavior that is viewed to be a manifestation of a mental disorder, once a diagnosis has been made.

Be careful about receiving diagnostic opinions from friends or family members who are not licensed, practicing mental health professionals. There are many possible diagnosis that can often share the same range of symptoms. For example, bipolar mania can often mirror the symptoms  schizophrenia. Whatever MH diagnosis you end up with, they are all  compensated the same way, using the same criteria.

I'm glad to see you on this forum while you are still AD. Many veterans, like myself, go years without understanding the benefits that are available to them.

Good Luck!

Edited by bluevet
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Excellent advice from these vets already.

Do NOT leave the mil without copies of your complete SMRs and Personnel (201) file and by all means get a copy of the psychiatric evaluation they are doing.

It might have a very definitive diagnosis,so that you know exactly what MH disability to claim.

Try to get some contact info from your friends in the Mil if you eventually need a buddy statement too.

Are you being formally Mebbed or Pebbed out?

Also there are Vet Centers in many locales where you will feel comfortable sharing with other vets, after you are discharged..

I dont know what the diagnosis could be but there is a lot of info in the PTSD forum that apply to all MH disabilities.

The TAPS program info  that Andy mentioned might be part of a briefing and it pays not to miss any briefings regarding transition.

 

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Welcome aboard and we are hear to help you. I myself was just Medically Retired in Feb 13 at 30 yrs old. I am actually having yet another 2 procedures in the next month. So I know how scary it is to get out and trying to figure out the future. We are here anytime  you need help, Good luck and God Bless!!!

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Hello, Andy!

I actually have something called "Soldiers for Life." Lame name but i believe its the same concept? Good friend of mine is a Marine believe he spoke about it briefly as he is getting out too. Ok! I know this is a very hard question to answer but do you know how long it usually takes to request your records from the hospital? That would be a wonderful blessing Mr. Andy! And would take alot of anxiety off of me pressing down on my chest...so hard to breath sometimes. Oh, wow so... i may be speaking absolute nonsense here. But does the Army give you something and the va give you something as well?
And yes!!! I really do truely feel blessed for finding this site and having such wonderful people being so sweet to me, total strangers, i actually dont feel like im being judged by yall. It feels wonderful... And thank you for your service Andy very very much. You may hear that a lot or may not like being thanked.. I know I don't. But from a soon to be Vet to a Vet. I greatly appreciate it.

 

Hello Bluevet,

Yea, I had done that cought syrup thing got into ASAP, it helped with that. Then about a year later I had gotten a DUI before deployment. I was "such an asset" for the tank mechanic community in my battalion, and I was blessed by God to have been given such a great team leader who stuck his neck out for me. I was allowed a second chance (3 medals later) Im being begged to stay in still. BUT that enough boasting haha.... :/ ANYwho but yea... are you sure? I was asked by my "quack" if I felt that it contributed to the hallucinations and auditory hallucinations I have.... I don't lie... I told him I don't know... asked if I smoked weed before the army... told him I did only once and that I didn't like it because it made me feel lazy. By Gods grace I don't drink anymore, or do anything silly like cough syrup, I only smoke cigarettes still. I saw him writing stuff down.. now I feel like I should have lied..... im sacred they will look at it and be like no you are denied service connection. However I did lie.... I told them that I didn't have these issues before the army... I mean I didn't have the hallucinations and such but I did have the depression HOWEVER I didn't have anxiety and its terrible I hate this thing its hard to bare with anywho! 

Yes I shall keep that advice to heart. I wont hold to their diagnosis'. I was actually looking at that the other day! I feel bad for this but I feel like I deserve the 100% but I also feel like the one right below that fits me too. People think im being (forgive me language) an xxxxxxx when I speak to them. But the truth is I get nervous and scared to speak to them... im really sweet and gentle but idk im just very timid now and I did know it till the other day, the lady though I was "...being an xxxxxxx." I was offended I mustered up, "I just have social anxiety." And after that she was very motherly and sweet. I had no idea I seemed mean. And now im nervous some guy one day will think im being a jerk and try to pick a fight with me because of that, and I will have to send him to the hospital for a misunderstanding... How do they determine GAFs? When I was a child I saw a man get killed by an elephant in August of '94 at a circus in Hawaii by "Tyke the Elephant" on youtube if yall wana see it. Ive never seen combat I was just sent to Kuwait for deployment and worked 17 hour days in the hot blistering sun and slept 4-5 hours a night with an hour to shower and relax. Sunday my team and I slept all day. BUT i feel like a wimp saying this but that was traumatizing in itself... Why i LOVE working now. I get depressed otherwise and im con leave for my surgery and im going crazy. haha Thank you Bluevet really take your wish of luck to heart :)

 

Hello Madam Berta! :)

I shall not leave the Army without my records i promise! I am i belive pebbed out... if that's the same as getting out on ETS date... not very good with lingo... never really was ever.... all these slang terms my generation and these kids use now-a-days so confusing haha Yeah, it will take me a while to be able to do that... my father came to visit because he was worried about me, i slept at his hotel and it was different and strange and i felt like cameras were watching me all night so i couldn't get a wink of sleep... i don't do well with change in the least... i get sick to my tummy. Yea, i didn't know that is considered PTSD. When my councilor told me he believes i have a form of PTSD i was shocked. Idk if i already asked this or not... would you know how they rate GAF scores?

 

Hello Navy04,

Thank you for saying that Chief.... really is nice to hear im not the only one... Ive relied on the Army for 5 years of my life, before the Army i was a good hearted kid. But i was a loser who was going no where in life. Now i feel i have something to contribute to the world. If it be as a "big brother" for the big brother big sisters of America, or even as a mechanic. the only issue is my MH holding me back from everything and also increasing my anxiety for getting out. But from the bottom of my heart again as i have said for everyone else on here. it TRUELY means more than you know to hear that strangers even care about how im feeling. I feel blessed to of found this forum.

 

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Papawolfie,

For me it was very easy to get my medical records, since I was in that transition class and needed it to show the VA rep.  I just went to the base clinic as said I needed to check out my records for that class.  It took a moment or two, then I had it.  Now...here is the most important point of all, if you forget everything else...REMEMBER THIS...once you have your service medical record in your hands...make 2 copies of it!!!!!  If you have access to a copier in your work space, or maybe go to your local Kinkos or some other type of copy place.  Make 2 copies of EVERY single paper in the file!!!  The original will have to go back to your medical clinic.  That way you will have a complete copy for yourself and 1 for the VA.  You might even be able to just ask for it to put some VA claims together. 

Once you are separated from Active Duty(AD) it will be much harder to get a copy of your STR(service treatment record).  And some treatment logs may disappear from it as well. Sounds strange but it has happened to way too many of us.

You mentioned your counselor thinks you may have PTSD. If you can, ask them  if they will write an Independent Medical Opinion(IMO) stating why and how they believe you have PTSD and how they think it links to your service.  The more you can get linked to your service, while still in the service, will pay off big, once you do file with the VA.

As far as the work thing, it mostly has to do with individual unemployability. If you are claiming that your disabilities prevent you from working, well then, you should not be working. Otherwise should be ok.  Now then, that does not mean you can go on being a lumberjack, mason, deep sea crabber, if you have bad knees and back and such. 

The Military may give you something, however you can't get both medical retirement and VA compensation. Retirement from longevity is a different situation.  But I'm not sure about the medical retirement, others on here will be able to give a better answer.

Nearly everyone here is or was in the same boat at some point in time, which is why we are here. I accept your thanks, coming from someone who has or is serving, carries a lot of weight with me. And thank you for saying so.

Hey, one more thing, when you are in therapy, try to keep your conversation limited to anything and everything during the time of your service years.  The VA has a really nasty habit of trying to pin any MH(mental health) DX(diagnosis) on anything that happened before your enlistment.

Semper Fi. and God bless.

Andyman

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I will add this.  YOu have a terrific advantage applying within a year of discharge.  (Im unfamiliar with BDD).  Here is why.

Ok, before you got in the service they did a complete physical.  The doc notes anything wrong with you.  

Now, you have a presumption of soundness.  This means the doc who examined you for your entrance physical is presumed to have done a good job, and that you are in sound condition except as noted. 

Ok, so now you are applying for benefits within a year.  So, make sure you get this:

If you were sound when you got in, and sick now that you are out, its presumed you got sick in the military.  Exception:  When you injure yourself due to your own fault.  IN other words if you get drunk an take drugs and roll your vehicle, then it may be very tough to get SC for your drug/alcohol induced car wreck injuries, but the doc treating you will make an opinion, there also.  Something like "willfull misconduct".  

If your doc has NOT opined your injury or illness is due to willful misconduct, then its assumed its in the LOD..(line of duty).  

I dont know about cough syrup abuse, but you can read what the doc said.  If he called this "NOT" in LOD, or "willful misconduct" then you will likely need to fix that before getting benefits.  Simply read your medical reports to see what the doc said.  

I had a leg fracture and other injuries and my doc wrote to the effect that my injuries were not "misconduct" but were in the line of duty.    I was/am in the clear.  The VA wont dispute what that doc said.

You, however, can dispute what the doc says.  You can appeal, get an IME/IMO, upgrade your discharge, etc., and can explain how this was in the line of duty.  

I think there is some sympathy going on here.  You see, most of us who had to observe/or even participate in the injury or death of others, may have some issues there with.  "Self medicating" with alcohol or drugs is not extremenly uncommon, especially for PTSD Veterans.  Medical help is not always immediately available.  Others will chime in, but I just dont think it ALWAYS means you wont get compensation just because you self medicated your PTSD with alcohol.  Alcoholism can be a symptom of PTSD, not necessarily its cause.  As always, you need a nexus.  That is you need a doc to opine that your xx condition is at least as likely as not due to xxx that happened in milatary service.  Check your recods and see what the doc says.  

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