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Are "nervousness problems" and "emotional problems" the same?

Mituna 2483


Hi everyone,  I have a question and want to hear from you guys.  I just find out that the VA RO indicated the rating decision by replacing the word "nervousness problems" in the evidence with "emotional problems".  I think this is invalid because it could change the outcome of my claim that the VA RO denied.  Any comment and suggestion would be appreciated.  Thanks.

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Without knowing more about your claim and your evidence submitted with the claim and not seeing the actual VARO decision it is not possible to render an opinion by me.  Can you copy and paste the important part of their denial and especially their reasons and basis section plus their full discussion of the evidence.  Black out any personal information about yourself such as name SSN, C file number and mailing address, etc.

Did you file a claim for PTSD, MDD, Anxiety or what?????

My comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO

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"Nervousness" is not a diagnosis.   "Anxiety disorder" is a diagnosis.  If your :SMR's say nervousness you probably need a shrink to diagnose a legitimate emotional disorder such as depression, anxiety or PTSD.

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Posted (edited)

I forgot to say in my earlier comment answer to your question  and that is in 1985 both the VA medical shrinks and Waco VARO adjudicators excepted my 1970 Army diagnosis by Psychologist in Japan of Conversion Reaction as in fact PTSD.

In 1970 there was no official term or recognition of PTSD but instead many other different medical terms for combat stress including conversion reaction or conversion disorder when diagnosed in combat soldiers. 


Edited by Dustoff 11
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Posted (edited)

Thank you Dustoff 11 and john999 for your comments.  

I had L. knee problem in 1959 but still had good work history more than 6 years (1958-1964). I was sent to Okinawa in 1962, had venereal disease in 1962, pneumonia in 1963.  In March 1965 had TDY to Ubon RTAFB but was pulled out at Tan Son Nhut AB, RVN.   I was sent back&forth Tan Son Nhut-Can Tho almost a month.   Then they sent me to Ubon RTAFB (small base) to work at Lion Control radar site (an isolated area).  They often sprayed AO at parameters which closed to my work station, and I was exposed to it.

There’s a lot stressors there, had accident Thai bus ran over both legs which worsened my L. knee that have problems since 1959 (no STRs for this treatment/was sent to Army Hos. in Korat).  The pain was hurt so bad even nothing broke and starting to give me hard time. My good work history was dropped.  I didn’t care for anything anymore, and had to stay on aspirin.  Then had nervous breakdown and suicide attempt (OD aspirin) in Sep 1966 result in speedy discharged (art. 15). Lost rank (A1C to A2C) and lost 1 mo. pay.  No STRs for this treatment, but doctor put “probable chronic PD with acute anxiety”.


Psychiatrist just described me as “trouble some young man!” and diagnosed me passive-aggressive personality disorder, passive-dependent type without look into my health and good work histories.  Never had mental problem, no crime history, had good family, finish high school then go for service.  No physical or mental problem noted at entrance exam.  He’s really a bad psychiatrist.

STRs since deployed to Thailand was missing and no neither injured treatment or nervous breakdown treatment evidence only SF 88/PULHES for separation shows hearing abnormal (“H” “2”) and “Mar 66 accident” and for discharge shows psychiatric disorder (“S” “3”). 


Psychiatrist letter sent to Commander stated I was treated for “nervousness problems” (but I just notice the rating decision changed to “emotional problems”)


and letter of my commander sent to HQ stated “He appeared extremely nervous and upset”.


These are the only evidence that could prove my nervous condition incurred to me in service because knee pain (injury) and ear problems.   After discharged in Nov 1966, no one told me or encouraged me to apply disability comp. with VA until I knew from friend, so I applied and was granted SC for L knee injury in 1975. Applying tinnitus, hearing loss, scarred pars tensa and nervous condition in 1979. VA granted tin, HRL and Scarred pars tensa even no diagnosis in service (1966) but denied nervous condition.  I couldn’t recall why my former rep. and I not appeal so it’s final.


That’s why I ask if the RO can replace “nervousness problems” with “emotional problems”? Because nervousness is specific to anxiety’s symptom but emotional is not specify.  It also shows the RO tried to equate PD with my anxiety because it denied my claim on ground:



It should invalid because it should deny whether the current disability is related to the in-service disease/disability/injury, not whether the current disability is related to the in-service defect because it knew PD not disability and can’t apply for benefit.  The psychiatrist also did not put anxiety in diagnosis with PD.

I filed CUE in June 2020 referred the DSM 1952/APA to explain the relationship because this DSM 1952/APA indicated that anxiety, which is the chief of psychoneurotic disorder superimposed upon the PD, but anxiety is not PD and anxiety is recognized by VA (in 1979) as a disability and may be SC (dc code 9400), but the RO just denied my CUE without consider this argument basis in my CUE at all.  

Edited by Mituna 2483
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First of all a VA claims adjudicator/rater is not qualified  on his own to make a medical statement as to your nervous versus emotional mental condition unless the rater is directly quoting from a doctors notes or statements, etc.  This is at the least a due process error or maybe CUE.

With all your in service injuries and illness occurrences that you received treatment for then any treatment copies you may have of the STRs can be very valuable to you for your claims and/or appeals to obtain a direct service connection of one or more conditions you presently suffer from.  You need a competent and motivated VSO to help you get those records or request a new search for the records.

You seem to already have in medical notes a diagnosis or anxiety and nervousness that is beneficial.  It is common for service members to be misdiagnosed with PD instead of correct Anxiety, PTSD, or depression,, etc. Again a VSO can help you sort this out.

Here is an example of my past situation that may help you understand all this MH BS.  In 1970 after a flaming shoot down of my Army medevac helicopter in Nam and death of our crew chief I received the PH, CMB, and was grounded by Army doctors and flight surgeon due to combat stress.  Also suffering from bad kidney infection I was sent to Army hospital in Tokyo for treatment of the infection and Army Psychologist there diagnosed me suffering also from conversion reaction that is also considered combat stress in my unique situation as to what occurred in Nam.  As you can see different names and terms for same thing as in your situation.

What is important is that get treatment for Anxiety and/or depression and/or stress and/or OCD, etc.  Many vets have overcome a PD diagnosis with updated diagnosis of anxiety, PTSD, etc.  If you cannot receive a doctors opinion statement that you have a non PD mental disorder then their actual medical treatment notes may actually indicate your mental condition is not PD but something else.

In 1985 the Temple, Texas VA hospital discharge summary after two weeks said I suffered from first Alcohol abuse, second histrionic traits and last PTSD.  But I still received a 50% PTSD rating after initial C&P exam.  The discharge summary was not very helpful but better than nothing that I later corrected with 5 years back pay at 100% pay rate.

You have too many other complicated issues going on for me to comment further.  Good luck to you

My comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO.


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