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Aquabear

PTSD old/new

Question

Saw DAV at Northport VA to help with my claim. Gave them my DD214 and showed them my 911 reactivion papers that I never showed anyone or filed to put on my DD214. Hard to type this, I pause after a bit.

Filing for PTSD (never filed) and increase in physical stuff low back, nerve pain, etc.. I've had it (anxiety attacks, sleeplessness) from my Persian Gulf in 96-97 but never followed thru except for what I thought were asthma attacks that put me in medical and in the ER. Then PTSD went full blown after I did Rescue and Recovery for 911 at Groudn Zero/World Trade Center. A VA therapist told me those earlier asthma attacks were Anxiety attacks not asthma. Almost daily Uncontrollable Nightmares, sleeplessness, avoidance, lost all my friends, avoided public stuff, avoided family stuff, public speaking, dropped out of college, couldn't work, went on SSD, Anxiety attacks were happening weekly almost daily until I came in to get help. God am I really really depressed but trying to talk myslef out of it??? 

Now going thru a divorce, fighting for custody too as I have been the stay at home parent for 6 years now to our 10 year old daughter, she's the love of my life.

 Not easy to talk about. 

I've suffered for years, only a handful know about this. I've been getting help at the VA PTSD clinic since summer of last year after I knew I hit rock bottom and the thoughts going thru my head were scarying me. 

I would not have made it this far if it wasn't for them. I've been in 3 different group therapies (self esteem, depression, Combat related trauma PTSD) and also one on one with my counselor. It's so hard to type this, I keep pausing after every sentence.

I have medicine I get from them, Xanax; to help with the PTSD and anxiety attacks that I get. 

Still hard, difficult super diffcult sometimes but the meds, mindfulness, yoga, meditation, eating better, resting, more confidence in myself.

Sorry if I'm all over the place. Haven't posted here in a while and only recently started opening up about my PTSD.

Thank you.

Edited by Aquabear

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By all means file the claim....

In 2010 the PTSD regulations changed. They are here under a search.

During 911 were you still in the military when you did the Rescue/Recovery?

Or is this claim based on your time in the Gulf War?

Is your SSD for PTSD?

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Thank you Berta.

I was reactived via orders on 911 and attached to a special unit to assist in the Rescue and Recovery efforts at the World Trade center and I saved copies of the orders. I also have copies of an interview I did with the newspaper and pictures taken of my unit from a photographer while I was down there.

My Anxiety attacks, sleeplessness began POST Gulf and were increased 1000 fold post 911 rescue and recovery.

My Social Security Disability are for my pain from nerve, back, legs, sciatica, all lower extremeties. I never mentioned my PTSD. 

I had seen a counselor in the VA system a few years ago for a few weeks but I stoppped because I got scared when we started to go deeper and deeper talking about my PTSD, anxiety and the nightmares. 

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A thought, a few friends and family members (like 4/5) have experienced my full blown night terrors. I'd sleep over my sisters or my mom n Dad's house while on vacation and they told me the next day they heard me scream, hear me moving/jumping in bed and both my Mom n sister told me they would come in the room speak softly to me and clam me down to end my night terror and sleep at peace. Would it help if I asked them to write up a letter detailing this? 

Having lived with this alone/hiding not letting it out, I've been so low in my life, I'm still in pain and have a way long way to go but the help I am receiving at the VA is heaven sent, a non-judgemental environment, with other veterans and the people there to help and veterans who listen ( Im crying now) literally are saving me from either living in purgatory or the other option- which morally and from god I am against and my daughter I know needs me

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Unfortunately I feel you will need to describe your stressor at some point for the VA.

They might concede stressor based on your unit MOS during 911 but that is hard to tell.

It does not have to be the most horrific stressor, just one that can be verified.

Family lay statements can help but I think you will need to narrow down the stressor and prove it.

What special unit were you with? Those unit orders will help.

Did this unit get any special awards or decorations for what they did during 911?

It is always possible that your DD 214 might not reflect a citation or award that would help VA concede stressor.

DD214s can be corrected via a DD 149 form available here at hadit.

Just put Not applicable to the injustice part.

I know this must have been a terrible experience for you. When I worked at a vet center ,in the PTSD combat group, it amazed me that even though these vets already had a PTSD rating, they would sometimes get into stuff that they never told VA about at all.....even my husband.... I thought I knew his stressors and all of them could be proven ,but one night he told me there were more that he could not even begin to describe to me, let alone to VA.They were the ones that kept him up all night.

I will see if the BVA has any decisions there regarding 9/11 Rescue- Recovery service. 

Maybe you have a Gulf War stressor that would warrant a PTSD diagnosis and rating...and maybe that would be easier not only to prove, but alleviate re living what must have been pure Hell.

Others will help with suggestions here as well.

(I edited this to add...

http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/view.jsp?FV=http://www.va.gov/vetapp10/Files4/1035369.txt

The vet had PTSD from Vietnam. He also was a firefighter called to the scene when the WTC situation ocurred. It seems VA considered his PTSD had been not only exerbated by 911 but also BVA remanded because they felt VA should consider  TDIU.

 

At the BVA search of decisions (www.bva.gov) you could search for PTSD World Trade Center because there are other decisions there that might help determine how your claim should be filed.

And please continue treatment and therapy from the VA.It would help for you to get a vet rep or VSO to help with the claim as well.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Berta

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