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Anxiety - am I doing this right?


USMCNASA

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Brand new here.  I'm posting because I'm so confused and unsure if I'm doing the right stuff, or if I should be doing it at all.

I'm hoping to find answers on how to file a claim for GAD/Major depression.  Here's my story.

1996-2000 high school captain of soccer and baseball teams.  Captain of Snare Drum line in marching band.

2000 - enlist in USMC, squad leader in boot camp, meritoriously promoted to PFC at graduation.

2001 - Class leader in A school

2002 - PCS to Japan (Iwakuni) volunteer for secondary school, awarded Microminiature soldering credentials.  Perform extra duties and awarded Meritorious Mast for going above and beyond.  Compete in meritorious board for Cpl, and win.

2002 cont. While celebrating the win (but not yet actually promoted) engage in arm wrestling match, and lose, terribly.  Suffer spiral fracture which requires evacuation to naval hospital for surgery - internal fixation (plate and 8 screws).  Require months of rehab, and continuous wear of mechanical brace and continued light duty for months.

Ok, this is where things get hairy.

2002 cont. PCS back stateside (NY) while still wearing mechanical brace and on light duty.  Within 1 week of reporting, promotion ceremony is held.  I had to be promoted while wearing a brace and a sling, no "pinning" of rank and no "earning" of blood stripe.  From this point on, I'm pretty much viewed as a punk, and a melingerer.  I stop volunteering for extra duties or assignments, motivation drops, etc.

2003 - Drink heavily.  Merry an awful woman who is into drugs.

2004 - pop on piss test.  Before NJP, I make Sergeant due to previous meritorious promotions and excellent pro/con, rifle, PFT scores.  This infuriates most Marines in my squadron, and further solidifies my reputation as a shitbird, because I am a piss-popped mellinger who made Sergeant before most people.

2004 cont. NJPed, busted down to Cpl. Result of NJP is that I will not be discharged, based on demonstration of excellent performance earlier in service, but will not be allowed to re-enlist.  During a PT session I fall and get a class III AC joint separation, which again requires light duty and use of a sling.  Anyone who didn't think I was a melingerer before, starts thinking/calling me one now.

2005 - EAS.

2005 - Civilian diagnosed with everything from ADHD, to GAD, to MDD, to bipolar.  Various medications do not improve mental performance or fatigue.  

2013 - buddy talks me in to visiting VA for disability due to arm.  Awarded 30%, feel like I don't deserve it because of NJP.

2019 - visit VA mental health clinic, diagnosed with GAD and MDD.  Therapist suggests sleep study.  Just got results.  I have mild sleep apnea.

 

I have decided to file a claim for GAD/MDD and sleep apnea.  I have buddy statements on the official VA forms from Marines who served with me from boot camp through Japan stating I was a stellar Marine.  I have statements from Marines who served with me in NY stating I was not at all stellar, and performed poorly.  I have statements from civilian coworkers stating I had performance issues, was fired from a job, and was on the chopping block at another.

I have medical records from Naval hospitals for all my injuries.

So, from other service members, does it sound like I have any chance at a case? How should I file? I have an appointment with my previous Psych. Nurse Practitioner in 2 months from now, to request a nexus letter.  I don't know if she will write one, but based on our prior treatment session discussions, I believe she agrees my GAD and MDD or related to my service.

Where do I go from here?  Should I even be filing a case at all?

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to hadit.  

   To be awarded benefits for service connection, you always need 3 things:  (IDK if you have them or not):

1.  Current diagnosis of a disability.  Did your doctors diagnose you with GAD/MDD?  

2.  Documentation of an in service event which caused your GAD/MDD.  

3.  A doctors opinion that your (current diagnosis) is "at least as likely as not" due to (a documented event in service).  This is known as a "nexus".  

     Of course, I dont know if you have documentation of this or not, I have not seen your records.  You can check your file to see if these 3 key Caluza elements are documented.  

     If you have these 3, you are good to go for Service connection.  But you will need documentation of your symptoms.  

You are gonna need to demonstrate chronicity, that is, that you have an ongoing disability with symptoms.  If you dont have any symptoms, you will either be denied or rated at zero percent.  

     If you are missing one or more of the 3 Caluza elements, described above, then you will likely be denied.  If denied, you can still be service connected if you are able to obtain all 3.  Sometimes you need an IMO (Independent medical opinion) that your condition is related to service.  Or, you may need a doctor to diagnose you, if your medical records dont contain a diagnois.  

     But to get the in service event, you are gonna need documentation FROM military service.  I could already be in your records, or sometimes one or more of your buddies can write you a letter testifing, for example, they saw you taken to the hosptial with injuries from an in service arm wrestling contest, or the like.  Your buddy cant document your injuries by diagnosing or providing a nexus, but they can testify they saw you participate in an arm wrestling contest and observe you were hauled off in an ambulaance.  If you were treated for this in service and the doc documented the in service event, that may well suffice if you can obtain those medical records.  

Edited by broncovet
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Posted (edited)

Broncovet,

I was not diagnosed with GAD/MDD in service, but the VA has diagnosed me with GAD/MDD and prescribed meds.  

I've had ongoing symptoms, my wife of 8 years was more than willing to write a statement of all my symptoms, and I'm hoping the statements from coworkers that span the last 10 years will help show my symptoms have been ongoing.

I guess my concerns are that even though I know I was outgoing, assertive, and not depressed before breaking my arm and going to NY, I don't know how to best give the VA proof of that, or if statements are all I can give.

 

I haven't filed yet.  I want to wait to talk with the civilian psych. nurse practitioner I used to see, and get her opinion on service relation, and see if she will write a nexus letter.  If she agrees, I guess all I can do is submit, and see what VA says.  

Edited by USMCNASA
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You dont need a diagnosis "in service", you need a current diagnosis.  While there is nothing wrong with a doc diagnosis in service, its not necessary.  

As far as "proof" of your symptoms, mention those to your doctor.  Your doc can or should document your symptoms.  You certainly should be honest with your doctor and express to him your concerns...you can explain you were outgoing and assertive prior to your in service event in the military.  

Now, you likely had a pre service physical, as well as an exit from service physical.  

Yes, your wife can provide testimony, if she knew you before service, of these changes you described.  I never recommend lying to VA or trying to deceive them in any way to get benefits.  That is highly likely to backfire.  But, if your wife knew you before, you can have her write up a letter in her own words on how your personaility changed after your military service.  

With VA benefits, there is a "presumption of soundness".  Ok, you got a physical to get in.  The doctor is "presumed" to have done his job and noted any symptoms of depression, for example.  

So, unless noted on your physical entrance exam, you are presumed in good health physical and mental.  

When you exit from the service, the doc examines you again.  If he notes, for example, symptoms of depression, well this suggests you got that while in service.  

 

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I dont think you need to be concerned about the NJP because the VA has service connected you already.

However, I think the GAD/MMD claims will need ,- an inservice nexus, - the cause and link to the GAD/MMD.

guess my concerns are that even though I know I was outgoing, assertive, and not depressed before breaking my arm and going to NY, I don't know how to best give the VA proof of that, or if statements are all I can give."

What happened prior to breaking your arm and going to NY, that caused the GAD/MDD disorder?

Was it the incident (s) that caused the NJP?

It certainly sounds like others saw your change in behavior- and that is a good thing to have those buddy statements, but was there anything else that might have caused the MMD/GAD?

 

 

 

 

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