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Michigander

MST Claim - I have started the journey

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Michigander    21

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

 

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Andyman73    874
15 hours ago, Maggiebell said:

@Andyman73

I am so sorry that I am just getting your like but I wish the best for you, GOD Bless you and go get what is rightfully yours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@Maggiebell

Hey, no sweat. I'm just glad you even noticed. I really appreciate your supporting comments. Thank you so much, it means the world to me. I am trying to get what I'm owed. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Andy

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Michigander    21

update...and a few questions...

I started filling out the packet the Social Worker gave me and instructed me to bring to my first MH appt. with my assigned VA therapist I will be working with.  The packet has many different questionnaires about your mental and physical health.  I am wondering if the fact that I have a number of medical conditions (not service connected or related) that limit my ability to function physically normally and also have psychological affects on me if the C & P examiner would see that as cause of my anxiety, sleep problems and depression rather than resulting from PTSD.  I read that they look for anything they can to deny a claim.  I know that I will test positive for PTSD once they do my full evaluation next week and the questionnaire also focuses on the symptoms for PTSD which I checked off moderate to severe on the majority of the PTSD related symptoms, but like I said having a host of other medical problems seems to me will muddy up my PTSD/MST claim.  Also, who and how do get doctors to fill out the DBQ's?  Do you ask you VA primary doc to fill it out if it's for something like Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? 

Does anyone know if PTSD can cause Fibro or CFS like it can cause anxiety and depression?  If so would I be filing for PTSD at the same time with other conditions that may be caused from PTSD? 

Lastly,  I was told over the years I had Fibro and CFS, but the main civilian doctor I was seeing some many years ago states they no longer have my medical records (more that 7 years ago).  I guess I am wondering how I would get these conditions reevaluated and diagnosed at the VA.  My primary doc at the VA is horrible.  He tells me when I do have an appt. to just give him my top three concerns...in other words I am not allowed to talk about more than three problems.  It's ridiculous!!  For example this year alone I had a massive blood clot and I got shingles that went into my brain which caused meningitis and destroyed cranial nerves 7,8 9 and 10.  If you look up what cranial nerves do  you would understand it's devastating injuries and I was in the VA hospital for 60 days.  I have had a long journey and have multiple deficits because of it...that is not including other medical conditions I already have.  Can you believe my primary limits me to just a few issues when I come in.  None the less, when I file for my MST I wanted to include the other conditions that may have been cause by the MST...like Fibro and CFS, but just wanted to know how I get these conditions re-diagnosed or put into my record other than I just ask my Primary to evaluate me for these conditions??  It just seems like he will be suspicious if I just come out and ask him to, but I have reasons for it...it's not something I am making up it's just not in any medical records currently.

Ok I guess that's all for now...sorry for all the blathering on...

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Andyman73    874

@Michigander,

Don't add anything to your ptsd secondary to MST claim, okay? That would indeed cause problems. And they would look at those other things. 

Now having said that. You have your irrefutable evidence in that police report. As for the questions, I never had them, so I guess just be honest.

After your claim goes through, and if granted, you can then file for those as secondary to the ptsd. 

And what I've learned, they take extra care with the MST based claims. And also they don't drag their feet with them either..

These are just what I've been told. 

Hope it helps you.

Andy

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L    74

Michigander /Maggiebell - I commend you both for starting the healing process.

My claim was simple meaning - I had all the evidence for the claim. The hardest part, was making the appointment and keeping it for the first time, heck - the first year of my treatment.

I am very glad that I sought help. Am I cured? Not sure what that would look like in my case, but NOT feeling alone in the process of getting better is my best reward.

This is not about a "VA claim" as much is as it is about "getting MY life back".

Best of Luck

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Buck52    2,731

Here is more information on MST '' THE TREATMENT PHASE''

I do believe they will use a  VA  LCSW (VA License Clinical Social Worker  For Therapy treatment sessions.

ask about a variety of unwanted sexual experiences.

Treatment

While the consequences of sexual harassment and assault can be severe and complex, there are treatments available that can significantly reduce psychological symptoms and improve a victim's quality of life. Although the literature examining the use of empirically-based treatments for the treatment of sexual harassment or the treatment of any sexual trauma associated with military service remains small, there is a wealth of information available on the treatment of sexual assault in civilian populations that can be used to inform treatment of Veteran populations.

Interventions for sexual trauma often involve addressing immediate health and safety concerns (particularly in the case of an acute trauma), normalizing post-trauma reactions by providing education about trauma and psychological reactions to traumatic events, providing the victim with validation, supporting existing adaptive coping strategies and facilitating the development of new coping skills, like muscle relaxation or deep breathing.

Treatment interventions may also include exploring affective and cognitive reactions including fear, self-blame, anger and disillusionment, some form of exposure therapy and/or some form of cognitive restructuring. Clinicians looking for more in depth information on the treatment of sexual trauma are referred to Foa and Rothbaum (2) and Resick and Schnicke. (3)

References

www.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome.asp

Foa, E. B., & Rothbaum, B. O. (1998). Treating the trauma of rape: Cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD. New York: Guilford.

Resick, P. S., & Schnicke, M. K. (2002). Cognitive processing therapy for rape victims: A treatment manual. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

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Andyman73    874

@Buck52, thanks for posting this. Good intel.

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