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VA Psychologist not reporting


jamesriley1990

Question

Reluctantly I have been seeking treatment at the VA for my PTSD.  I was reading over the notes of my psychologist and she did a PTSD screening of me and she is misreporting or not reporting things that I stated during our last session. I told her that I was having nightmares about being in the military and that all I could remember was I was feeling scared and angry and during recent events, I felt as if I was reliving my past experiences. What can I do in this situation? 

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Are you taking psychiatric meds for your PTSD?  To get a rating of 50% or more you  must be taking meds for anxiety, depression, sleep disorder etc.  The VA thinks that if you are not taking loads of psychiatric meds you are not suffering from a mental health condition.  I know that most PTSD vets self-medicate with alcohol.  When you go for a VA pension exam you need to be well fortified with evidence that you are taking meds and experiencing most  if not all of the classic PTSD symptoms.  I think the VA reluctantly diagnoses PTSD these days.  They know that a vet with severe PTSD is probably going to be disabled for the rest of his/her life.  They want to DX you with Adjustment Disorder or some mild for of anxiety or depressive disorder.  Look at what is required to get a rating of 70%.  Those are severe symptoms.  You must represent those symptoms when you go for your VA C&P exam. 

 Everyone is right that VA must DX PTSD for it to be valid.  However, other diagnosed conditions that can get you 100% or IU such as MDD or Schizophrenia don't require a just a VA DX.  It does not matter how you get your 50%-100%.  Just get it. The more time between the ending of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the harder it will be to get higher ratings for PTSD etc.  in my opinion.  Everyone forgets especially the VA and the public.  If you have combat awards it will be much easier to get PTSD DX.  It is almost a given but still the VA is tricky.

 

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15 hours ago, john999 said:

Are you taking psychiatric meds for your PTSD?  To get a rating of 50% or more you  must be taking meds for anxiety, depression, sleep disorder etc.  The VA thinks that if you are not taking loads of psychiatric meds you are not suffering from a mental health condition.  I know that most PTSD vets self-medicate with alcohol.  When you go for a VA pension exam you need to be well fortified with evidence that you are taking meds and experiencing most  if not all of the classic PTSD symptoms.  I think the VA reluctantly diagnoses PTSD these days.  They know that a vet with severe PTSD is probably going to be disabled for the rest of his/her life.  They want to DX you with Adjustment Disorder or some mild for of anxiety or depressive disorder.  Look at what is required to get a rating of 70%.  Those are severe symptoms.  You must represent those symptoms when you go for your VA C&P exam. 

 Everyone is right that VA must DX PTSD for it to be valid.  However, other diagnosed conditions that can get you 100% or IU such as MDD or Schizophrenia don't require a just a VA DX.  It does not matter how you get your 50%-100%.  Just get it. The more time between the ending of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the harder it will be to get higher ratings for PTSD etc.  in my opinion.  Everyone forgets especially the VA and the public.  If you have combat awards it will be much easier to get PTSD DX.  It is almost a given but still the VA is tricky.

 

I have been diagnosed with Insomnia (VA diagnosis) and Sleep Apnea (Private diagnosis) I have been drinking every night for probably 8 years so I can sleep at night. I have said I wanted to speak with a psychiatrist to get sleeping aid, I thought I would be referred but I am guessing now I need to make the appointment.

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8 hours ago, jamesriley1990 said:

I have been diagnosed with Insomnia (VA diagnosis) and Sleep Apnea (Private diagnosis) I have been drinking every night for probably 8 years so I can sleep at night. I have said I wanted to speak with a psychiatrist to get sleeping aid, I thought I would be referred but I am guessing now I need to make the appointment.

If you have been drinking every night to sleep you have a problem.  Go to your VA doctor or social worker and tell them that you drink every night to sleep and they should refer you to help.  This is one of the signs of PTSD.  Good luck.  If they want you to take a trip to the flight deck (locked ward) for two weeks, it usually helps.  I have been there, I had to take vacation time but it worked out good for me in the end.

Edited by vetquest (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

If you want to get help from the VA establishing a disability you need to be a compliant and "humble" patient.  This means you have to cooperate with them even if you believe it is BS.    Whatever you say can and will be used to mitigate or increase the severity of your disability.  This to me is destructive of the therapeutic relationship,   but if you want what the VA has to offer "play ball".  Just be careful what you say to them and don't embellish the truth or tell any lies. If they catch you in a serious lie it will tend to haunt you forever.  Of course,  I am not saying you would do this on purpose, but just watch what you say to these VA angels of mercy.  If and when you get the opportunity to "unload" don't hold back on details of your symptoms and sufferings.  When a V shrink asks you a question they have a reason beyond just seeing how you are doing.  Yes, I am suspicious as hell ,  but this is after 40 years of dealing with them.

What events are you basing your PTSD claim on?  Were you a combat vet or did you witness a horrible accident?  This is usually what they want to hear.  If you came into contact with dead bodies or injured people this is also a reason, but PTSD is individual and what affects one guy will not always affect another.  In my day you almost had to have been badly wounded or in hand-to-hand combat to be considered as having a stressor.

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you can always ask to change therapist...because you need a therapist you can click with....then everything will work out.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

As Buck says,  get another therapist.  If the person you are seeing now is minimizing your symptoms you can find someone who is not so blind.

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7 hours ago, john999 said:

If you want to get help from the VA establishing a disability you need to be a compliant and "humble" patient.  This means you have to cooperate with them even if you believe it is BS.    Whatever you say can and will be used to mitigate or increase the severity of your disability.  This to me is destructive of the therapeutic relationship,   but if you want what the VA has to offer "play ball".  Just be careful what you say to them and don't embellish the truth or tell any lies. If they catch you in a serious lie it will tend to haunt you forever.  Of course,  I am not saying you would do this on purpose, but just watch what you say to these VA angels of mercy.  If and when you get the opportunity to "unload" don't hold back on details of your symptoms and sufferings.  When a V shrink asks you a question they have a reason beyond just seeing how you are doing.  Yes, I am suspicious as hell ,  but this is after 40 years of dealing with them.

What events are you basing your PTSD claim on?  Were you a combat vet or did you witness a horrible accident?  This is usually what they want to hear.  If you came into contact with dead bodies or injured people this is also a reason, but PTSD is individual and what affects one guy will not always affect another.  In my day you almost had to have been badly wounded or in hand-to-hand combat to be considered as having a stressor.

I am being respectful with the psychologist, she seems understanding of my concerns. People I tell my stories to really cant believe that this stuff actually happened. I just thought everything that I go through was normal but when my co workers (fellow vets) hear my stories they urged me to seek help because the things I was telling them appalled them.  But the aspects of my claim are based on personal assault and MST.  

Edited by jamesriley1990 (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, jamesriley1990 said:

I am being respectful with the psychologist, she seems understanding of my concerns. People I tell my stories to really cant believe that this stuff actually happened. I just thought everything that I go through was normal but when my co workers (fellow vets) hear my stories they urged me to seek help because the things I was telling them appalled them.  But the aspects of my claim are based on personal assault and MST.  

Did these assaults happen before or during your time in the service?

Remember the Military Bought you the way you were if these events happened before service!  

My event may or may not help you, but it is relevant to me and my PTSD.  I was born into a Polygamist cult.  It was and still is the largest in the world.  I bring this up because it was traumatic and I never understood how it affected every day of my life.  When I got accepted into the military they never asked a single question about my past and I am not blaming them for what happened to me.  

Anyway fast forward I spent the better part of 2003/2004 in Iraq and saw/participated in some challenging things to witness.  So both of these play a huge part in my mental health and they are linked.  I had an IMO done for this which showed how bad it was and how and what the triggers are.  

I don't talk a lot about my past here, just remember you are one whole person all the events in our lives shape us for who we are and what we want to be.  We are here to help you and at the end of the day we all served and this will hopefully be our last long battle we have.   

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Shreck

 

                        Your past before the service is something you don't really want to bring up or dwell on when trying to establish a service connected disability.  The VA has a tendency to look back at your unusual past and try to say that these pre-service events are what has been the major factor in your PTSD.   These pre-service events are fine for therapy or treatment from a non-VA source.  The VA in my day at least was apt to look at a person's past and make a diagnosis of a personality disorder instead of a genuine mental health issue like PTSD.  This is why I say focus entirely on your military service.  If you were exposed to horrendous events in the military this is what counts.  Like you say the military accepted you as you were.  You did not get a major psychiatric exam to determine your mental state before enlistment.  In my time they drafted guys if they had a pulse.  After the person had a breakdown due to stress the army would say you had a pre-existing disorder and the fact you were exposed to combat had nothing to do with it.  I experienced all this crap back in the early 70's after Vietnam and I don't think the VA and military have really moved on since then.  They do want to minimize any compensation they award with these phony PTSD cures.

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I agree with John999

don't let them delf back into your past pre military...

let your service records do the work, and prove your claim  with the evidence thats in your records

 

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Back in the  1980's I filed for an increase for my mental health disability.  The shrink I saw very skillfully lead me into talking about my childhood and high school etc.   I had a rugged younger life and I was not a 100% advertisement for mental health, but I was not suffering from PTSD symptoms and all the other aspects from serving in a combat zone.  When I got my rating decision I was denied an increase from just 10%.  I was lucky that I had 10 years of a 10% rating or the VA would probably had terminated my total rating due to the horrendous C&P exam I had.    The way he twisted my words I sounded like a career criminal.  So as Buck and others have said avoid talking about the past or the future and focus on your military service and symptoms you are having directly related to your VA disability.  I may be repeating myself but the VA can take a sentence and use it to dispute a 5 page IMO that seeks to grant you a higher level of disability.  I know because they did it to me.  The VA is really not a place to discuss your deepest thoughts and feelings.  When you ask for compensation you enter a different ball game beyond just treatment.

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13 hours ago, shrekthetank1 said:

Did these assaults happen before or during your time in the service?

Remember the Military Bought you the way you were if these events happened before service!  

My event may or may not help you, but it is relevant to me and my PTSD.  I was born into a Polygamist cult.  It was and still is the largest in the world.  I bring this up because it was traumatic and I never understood how it affected every day of my life.  When I got accepted into the military they never asked a single question about my past and I am not blaming them for what happened to me.  

Anyway fast forward I spent the better part of 2003/2004 in Iraq and saw/participated in some challenging things to witness.  So both of these play a huge part in my mental health and they are linked.  I had an IMO done for this which showed how bad it was and how and what the triggers are.  

I don't talk a lot about my past here, just remember you are one whole person all the events in our lives shape us for who we are and what we want to be.  We are here to help you and at the end of the day we all served and this will hopefully be our last long battle we have.   

The assaults happened in the beginning of service

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11 hours ago, john999 said:

Shreck

 

                        Your past before the service is something you don't really want to bring up or dwell on when trying to establish a service connected disability.  The VA has a tendency to look back at your unusual past and try to say that these pre-service events are what has been the major factor in your PTSD.   These pre-service events are fine for therapy or treatment from a non-VA source.  The VA in my day at least was apt to look at a person's past and make a diagnosis of a personality disorder instead of a genuine mental health issue like PTSD.  This is why I say focus entirely on your military service.  If you were exposed to horrendous events in the military this is what counts.  Like you say the military accepted you as you were.  You did not get a major psychiatric exam to determine your mental state before enlistment.  In my time they drafted guys if they had a pulse.  After the person had a breakdown due to stress the army would say you had a pre-existing disorder and the fact you were exposed to combat had nothing to do with it.  I experienced all this crap back in the early 70's after Vietnam and I don't think the VA and military have really moved on since then.  They do want to minimize any compensation they award with these phony PTSD cures.

John,

I do not disagree with what you are saying.  The only reason I bring this up is because I was already rated for PTSD before I ever talked about my past to my doctor.  The Doc said she was many triggers where PTSD would affect the other trauma.  She stated the IMO in this way.  I am currently in front of the board for an increase.  She said this had been something she dealt with before and did have a positive outcome.  

I rolled the dice with it and should find out soon if it worked or not.

Yes stay focused on your military service to get your PTSD connection!    

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  • HadIt.com Elder

So you are trying to get an increase for your existing PTSD claim?  I did not get that before.  Only the VA can diagnose PTSD for compensation purposes but I think IMO doctor should be able to say it is getting worse.  So you have had a C&P exam lately?  I would say for that study the DBQ for PTSD.   These VA guys do have check list they follow.  Establishing the initial PTSD claim is the hard part IMO.

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28 minutes ago, john999 said:

So you are trying to get an increase for your existing PTSD claim?  I did not get that before.  Only the VA can diagnose PTSD for compensation purposes but I think IMO doctor should be able to say it is getting worse.  So you have had a C&P exam lately?  I would say for that study the DBQ for PTSD.   These VA guys do have check list they follow.  Establishing the initial PTSD claim is the hard part IMO.

This is where I am at with my claim. I was denied only based on lack of diagnosis, but my diagnosis came from a private doctor and I have been pending decision for about 2 months straight with no C&P exam ordered and this is on my reconsideration of the decision. My PTSD claim was initially filed in October of 2018

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This post is not making any sense

if you were diagnose for PTSD ? who diagnose you? private Dr or VA Dr's?

If it was a private Dr...I don't see how the VA S.C. you for PTSD  in the first place.?

and now your going for increase and was denied on ''lack of diagnosis = PTSD Diagnosis?

somethings wrong here!!!!

John999 is correct only the VA docs can diagnose a veteran for PTSD for compensation purposes .

if your claim has been  pending for two months   I believe you will be denied and possibly reduction in your rating (diagnosis) for PTSD  the VA must have caught that Private Diagnosis  and trying to figure out what to do?? ( jmo)

Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, Buck52 said:

This post is not making any sense

if you were diagnose for PTSD ? who diagnose you? private Dr or VA Dr's?

If it was a private Dr...I don't see how the VA S.C. you for PTSD  in the first place.?

and now your going for increase and was denied on ''lack of diagnosis = PTSD Diagnosis?

somethings wrong here!!!!

John999 is correct only the VA docs can diagnose a veteran for PTSD for compensation purposes .

if your claim has been  pending for two months   I believe you will be denied and possibly reduction in your rating (diagnosis) for PTSD  the VA must have caught that Private Diagnosis  and trying to figure out what to do?? ( jmo)

Never said I was service connected (yet) I had a private doctors diagnosis, and upon receiving that diagnosis I began treatment at the VA to establish an "official diagnosis" . I was just concerned that she was not reporting my issues which would and will affect my active claim for PTSD. 

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jamesriley1990

OK  these post are getting  a little mixed up with  the quotes.

I was thinking you were already rated for PTSD  from a  private Doc ,but that is someone else in these post on their quotes to you  my apology to you sir/mam.

If your A MST Victim   you need to talk with the MH Clinic MST Coordinator, they handle the MST Victims some what differently from combat veterans, you will probably get a different therapist  unless you are seeking a private one , but the VA has a great program for PTSD Veterans..as well as MST Veterans. 

yes everyone is correct  you will still need a diagnose from the VA but if you have a diagnose from a state license Psychiatrist  Depending on the circumstances surrounding the event,,, VA realizes some MST Victims do not report this horrffic event and this is why you really need to see  a VA MST Coordinator, you still can file your MST CLAIM its just it will be harder to prove if this went unreported...your statment of the case means everything here so do not leave anything out. 

 you also need the date and time this event happen  and  Law Enforcement records & Reports , if not then your going to have to let them know what all happen when it happen and how it happen,  if this went un reported on your part for any reason   its going to be hard for you to prove this...but it can be done, a lot of MST Veterans never reported the event  but years later felt that they needed to  and seek treatment and they do get diagnose for MST PTSD and a rating given...just be truthful in your statements and  be  precised of what happen..its not unusual for MST Victims to not report this type of trauma

Best Advise I can give you is seek all your treatment from the VA MH Dept  and check your progress notes from time to time  and stay in treatment.  eventually you will get enough medical paper trail to substantiate your claim...

Things have a way working them self out when everyone works together or on the same page.

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I spoke with my psychologist and went back over the things that happened to me while in the marines and it was hard but she referred me to the MST coordinator at the clinic and I see them Monday. She stated in the notes that my emotional trauma does not need to be verified and was genuine. It gives me relief that they seem to be done trying to think I am lying.  Thank you all for your information and support.

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