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My heart goes out to all of my fellow survivors of MST ...
For me, I have found I can no longer suppress and manage the daily physical and emotional affects of the sexual assault that took place on December 25, 1985 while serving on active duty. In effort to find some help, relief and hopefully someday healing I am starting the uphill journey to deal with this and try to share some of the highlights of my battle. I will be the first to admit I have no idea what I am doing and can only hope that God the father.... will guide my feet day by day.
First step locating documentation of the event. A few weeks ago I was able to locate the police dept. and requested a copy of the report. I received a copy of the 15 page report this past week and it makes me emotionally and physically sick just to look at the envelope it's in.
I also tried to locate medical records over the years from prior mental health therapists and physicians that would have documented my history as it related to these events, but the practices were closed or my records were no longer available due to time.
April I called the VA to inquire about mental health services for MST and hesitated to start the process because the MST would not be marked in my record for all my providers to see. This was a big hurdle mentally as I have always hid this event at all costs from my providers. I am sure this did not help my physicians treat me and fully understand my ongoing medical problems especially those in which are usually brought on by some big life event which I always adamantly denied when asked.
May 2nd 2017, I submitted a "intent to file".
May 4th 2017, I went to a VSO rep?? to asked questions about the process to file a claim related to MST. The rep was belittling, insulting, hurtful, rude and I walked out of that office with no more information and the psychological affects were pretty devastating. At the encouragement from my daughter to go straight to the patient advocate office and file a complaint....I did just that. I found myself have a total mental breakdown just trying to give the details of what just went down and was thankfully met with support and many reassurances that I would have a team of people helping moving forward and that person would be brought in...dealt with and re-trained. I will spare you all the details.
My next step is hearing from the mental health dept. to set up an appt. to do some type of baseline evaluation of my symptoms etc. as it related to MST... I guess to get an official diagnosis on record and to get me the specific therapy I need started. I will likely opt for tele-therapy once I have a few sessions onsite at the VA.
That's it for now
If you have someone you can truly lean on, ask if they can go with you. They can't be in, of course, but will be quite welcome support after your exam. I was alone, because I had nobody at that time, that I could have relied on. Really sucked trying to regroup and drive home, all on my own.
My exam was by outside provider, and yours most likely will be, as well. The VA just isn't equipped to honestly and fairly give exams on MST. I was expecting a shitbag like I had several years ago...but was blown away by the truly concerned and quite competant and pleasant psychiatris/tpsychologist...not sure which, that hosted my C&P. I mean, he even asked how I was at the end, and was quite concerned when I said I wanted to jump out his 3rd floor office window. And was even more concerned that I only see my VA therapist once every 6 weeks, due to patient load. He thought I should be minimum, seen once a week, preferably 2-3 times a week.
The exam was very much controlled by me. He asked questions to prod conversation, but not prying. If asked about childhood, unless they already know, tell them it was average/normal, as best as you thought at the time. Ummmm....He asked me what I wanted to talk about, in regards to the purpose of the exam. So, I told him about one of my experiences which took place over a 3-4 month time frame. At the end he did tell me that I do, in fact, have PTSD, and they would certainly grant me SCD based on his opinion...and I hadn't asked, he just volunteered it.
The VARO lowballed me at 50%, claiming most of my symptoms were only in that range. And that Suicide Ideation alone was not enough to give me 70%. Which is proof of the lowball. But I can't fight it at this time...just too much...
Thanks for the response...it almost sounds like you were saying the C&P was to diagnose if you have PTSD ?? I thought that you would have to have the diagnosis already established to even get a C&P?? I thought the C&P is for the professional to fill out the DBQ for a rating. In otherwords...the C&P interview is just to document the degree to which you have PTSD and the interview is more about asking questions to determine how severe (or not) your PTSD is rather than establishing if you have PTSD or not.
Update...my C&P is schedule for next week on October 23rd for my PTSD related to MST. The interviewer is an outside psychologist from what I can tell.
I am nervous about the interview so I would appreciate any prayers to be sent my way!
You have my prayers, this will not be as bad as you may think you probably got a QTC contracto
.if you happen to get a female psychiatrist/psychologist it will be better for you, I had a QTC Female to do my PTSD C&P and she was very nice and a lot of it they read your records a week or so before the exam so they know pretty much about you and your MST.
So just try to relax and be comfortable during your exam and answer her questions she will probably be reading off the computer as she ask you questions and most of these questions are ones you already answered or was ask.
My Examiner ask me if I feel like killing someone right now or myself I simply said well no not right now but I have had thoughts of killing someone and my self at times to end this pain I am in...I did tell her I have put my family through hell and I am tired of feeling this way...this is why I choose to be in therapy sessions at the VA MH Dept and learning to control my high anxiety but so for nothing has helped me other than the medications...I need those to cope with this terrible disease.
When you hurt the ones that love you just adds more pain and suffering and I want to get over hurting the ones I love and the ones that love me and try my best to be more sociable and be productive in our society.
and I hope to get there from the help I ask for from the VA MH Dept as I realize this takes time and years to accomplish but its my mission in life.
just things like that JUST BE OPEN AND HONEST IS THE MAIN ADVISE I CAN GIVE YOU.
Don't be nervous but just be yourself if you have things that make you shake or sweat or move in an unusual way body language or looking down at the floor with a sad look thats ok or if your emotional during this exam thats ok to do so your only being yourself and the examiner knows this.
Also do let the examiner know about how you feel when your alone and your thoughts no matter how hard that will be and about memories of the trauma keeps haunting at you no matter how hard you try to forget or put it in your past, you should spill your guts to this examiner it will be hard but do it and let her know about all your symptoms and how severe they can be at times ect,,ect,,
Good Luck you will do fine.
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