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VA mental health is mostly smoke and mirrors

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Curious if anyone else has awakened to this. Over the years with VA mental health groups and providers and inpatient stays. Same tune. Different providers. Doesn’t matter. It’s all about minimizing, down playing, and attempts at rediagnosing conditions and symptoms. Just read your notes afterwards. It’s all the same subtle attempt. Funny how obvious it has become. It’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s not about treatment as much as it is about invalidating symptoms and conditions. It’s their sneaky way of trying to contribute to the hopeful possibility of losing your service connection benefits if you are ever reviewed. They are trained to do this. I looked in my notes a few years ago in regard to an inpatient stay. It amazes me what they wrote. They even dug up old entries from prior providers in regard to comments I made in regard to situations I was in while on active duty from like 8 years back in time!!  And quoted those comments in their notes!!  They try to pretend your getting treatment by implementing ridiculous arts and crafts groups...and yoga group, and a few CBT type classes held by some unenthusiastic social workers. Then the psychiatrist and her team of minions come and spend an hour with their cold stares, basically interrogating you. Just read the notes. It’s all there. Treatment my azz. The entire mental health VA system is collectively trained to and out to do one thing:  find out if the supposedly suicidal veteran in front of them is a fake and feigning symptoms. Period. Then write it in the notes!   Lmao. It’s a huge joke. Trusting these people is as smart jumping in a lake full or piranhas. Best to seek out civilian mental heath care if possible. They won’t be conducting a witch-hunt like the VA does. Be forewarned.  I’m sure some vets receive genuine treatment.  If you are service-connected for mental conditions. Be wary. Read your notes. That’s all I’m saying. Seek out civilian care instead. Plus mental health groups at the VA are mostly handouts and homework. Ran by overpaid PHD’s, who are strictly textbook, and about as zealous as a carrot stick. And again...it’s all smoke and mirrors. Be wary. May not apply to all, I’m just pointing out my own experience over the years.  

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So this is why I got rid of my last doctor at the VA.  She had a one on one session with me and told me she can CURE my PTSD.  I looked at her for a bit and asked how she was going to take those memories away and to stop the nightmares???  She said with medication and therapy it had happened before.  I then went on to say medication is not a CURE, it is a way to drug veterans into not having to deal with us.  We did not see eye to eye on this and it was never going to work as she had no idea what combat or other events which stick with you really do to you,

I have stopped giving them any ammo to try to drop my rating as they will always try.  

I did bring up to my current doctor that a few years ago I started to hear voices and his first thought was to put me on more meds.  I told him I have been dealing with this for years and I can control what is going on with it.  We did have some long talks about what it actually is and he gave me some tools to deal with it.  I am glad there are doctors out there who will listen to their patients and not always go with Western medicine to fix everything!  

Anyway you are right the VA has no real idea how to deal with all of this and sometimes it is a combination of things to help a person.  So as always cover your own ass when you are talking to them!

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Shrek Amazing! I'm about as ignorant as the next guy when it comes to mental health and treatment, but even a smuck like me knows you can't CURE PTSD! And this was a Phd. You did what I hope everyone reading your post would also do; got another doc who actually knows a little.Too often, when we get a doc that isn't on the same page, veterans just give up and don't go for treatment. There are competent medical people at the VA; but sometimes we have to work to get hooked up with them. I had a terrific GP at the VA for 7 years,; still miss her. Again, amazing!

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I have received good service at the VA before but I have also received service that would make your toes curl.  I am one who tries to get most of my care off the VA campus in that I have Tricare.  I have run in to some neurologists at the VA that would tell me thank-you for your service as they twisted the knife.  After reading their notes I knew I would never see them again.  Funny thing is they were probably doing that to everyone because for some reason the Johnson City VA closed it's neurology department without explanation.  As for the mental health at the VA I have received pretty good care while an inpatient.  The only thing I can complain about is that the VA diagnosed me with every mental health condition under the sun (about eight) they could before declaring I had PTSD.


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Its the VA Answer to the cure...MORE MEDS until were incapacitated and just sleep 80%of the time..what kind of life is that?

  PTSD will always be with us , sure we can take the anxiety pills and pills to help us relax and sleep , but to many of these types of medication can have a bad effect on other parts of our bodys and mental state of mind.

Along with your other va prescribe medications

As for at them lowering your sc ratings for mental health/PTSD if you have had your rating for 5 years consecutively they can't take your rating away  if the try they will have a hard time doing it..they can not use medication as a factor to reduce a veterans benefits  rather or not you take them or not.

The best way to cope with PTSD is learn the tools the therapist are suppose to teach us to use and how and when to use them.

some of us PTSD Veterans learn to cope with this disease the best way we can , if you can figure out what helps you cope  then use it...now I am not meaning turn to alcohol and drugs, but other ways if its not harmful to you and others go for it.

Talk to other PTSD veterans and ask what they do to help maintain their dignity and self piese of mind.(keep in mind some PTSD Vets will not talk about it or what helps them )  these vets still carry a large amount of guilt and Isolate them self  as we  all can relate to.

I do take my Anxiety pills and medication to help me sleep but not always do I take the medications to help me sleep  if I am tired and sleepy at bedtime I just go on to bed without taking the sleep medications, but I do reorder them,  we have to keep our PTSD medications refilled   or they may stop sending them

.. you can go to PTSD GROUP MEETINGS WEEKLY OR TWICE A MONTH OR EVEN ONCE A MONTH that will keep you in the rim Of the VA protocol so to speak.  and as long as you show up for your va appointments and take the group meetings to socialize with other veterans and keep your prescription filled...I don't think we have any thing to worry about as long as we stay in the VA Protocol ..


Unless your PTSD gets out of hand  or you find yourself angry with family friends  then you need to seek a higher treatment and may need to be in therapy at least once or twice a week  until you get a better hold of yourself.  and make an adjustment that your comfortable with.

Do what ever you can to over come this horrible disease as long as it don't harm your self or others.

IT matters what type treatment your in and also the therapist way of learning the tools to cope.

They are other ways to learn to cope with PTSD Veterans need to find what helps them   what works for some veterans may not work for others  like the group meetings to socialize  some veterans may not be able to do that or  not ready to socialize...Veterans just need to  try it and see, if its not for you  then there's other tools to try. 

The thing we need to do is learn the tools to deal with this PTSD and accept the fact were messed up and get through life the best way we can  and veterans with understanding families and have the love and support can do this.

I love to read and get into the book and while I am reading I put myself there  and this takes other things off my mind..but like I said what works for some veterans may not work for others.

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The VA is out to try to expose and fake PTSDers especially. You can bet ur azz that’s what’s happening. 
I disagree with continuing any kind of mental health care with the VA. They will never stop the witch hunt. Rediagnose, invalidate, downplay, and minimize  All goes in  the notes!!!!  They know this.  Instructions coming down right from the VISN directors I’m sure.  Get involved at your own peril. VA mental health is all smoke and mirrors.  Every time u tear drop, laugh, comment, gesture, facial expression, and etc....Is being scrutinized, and observed like a rat in a lab experiment.  It’s all being recorded in the notes!!!! And inpatient stay is the biggest joke on the face of the earth at the VA.  You would have to be blind not to see.  It’s solely used as environment to REALLY have your butt dissected, and observed.  It’s like  voluntarily handing them the knife to stab you in the neck with.  They got u exactly where they want you in that environment. I’ve been to hell before, and that wasn’t near as bad as subjecting myself to the minions at the VA mental health clinic.  Write the directors, let them know we know what they’re up too.  



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OK I admit I did not read all the posts but this OP stirred me up a little, I am forgetful, I will admit that but I do remember one Hadit elder posting that stated when a veteran goes in for a mental health appointment or a mental health C & P exam to understand that you are being watched from the time your car pulls up to the parking lot, inside and outside. To be weary of the time you walk in the clinic and be observant of slammed doors. This didn't click with me until I was in my doctors office and I heard a door slam. It all came back. I don't like talking about my feelings. I don't mind talking about my symptoms but in no way should a veteran ever talk about his/her childhood life before the military. Yes, it can back fire on you and can cause a different diagnosis which should not be in your records. 

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I don't have a problem  with what they put in my progress notes anymore.

we can go back and read what they put in those and if they say something in those notes that are not true  next time you see this health provider  or therapist  call them ut on it.

.I have only did this to two VA Providers  one was my PCP and the other was my LCSW..THERAPIST ..

I MADE COPIES of these notes and took them with me on my next appointment with these same providers..and I open up the notes and said  why did you say all this in these notes as you and I both know nothing was said at all as what you put in these notes....this really gets their attention   well Humm let me see...''oh that  yeah I need to make an Amendment to all this I must have been confused with another veteran'' ect,,,ect,,,  I said yes make it correct these are my medical records and I will not allow something like this to happen  so please do make an Addendum to rectify this mistake.

Now do realize they can't take out what they mention earlier but they can make an amends to it  and make it correct.

All you need to do is make copies and take with you when you see this same health care provider  Dr  or Therapist or specialist.

Do not let them put things in your medical records that are not ture or was not talked about or mention to you.   its your word agianst there's  so make copies to back up what you are saying.  please be pleasant when you ask them to do this     if you yell at them they can call security and have you thrown out  and escorted off the VA Property 

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