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Best Practice Manual For Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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Gopher

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Welcome to hadit!   I moved your topic to a new post, from one from 2011, which is obviously dated.  While I can not personally opine on a PTSD exam, I can offer my expertise on my MDD exam, which has some similarities.  PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder are pretty much rated the same way, once service connected, by sympotoms.  The syptoms are in to categories:

Symptoms which affect your career, that is to the degree they limit your ability to earn a living, and symptoms which affect your family and social sife.  

This shows the disability percent ratings for various symptoms:  https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-38/chapter-I/part-4/subpart-B/subject-group-ECFRfa64377db09ae97/section-4.130

When you attend a C and P exam, have an answer for the age old question "How are you?" 

Many Vets answer the proverbial "Fine", and that usually means they are backpedalling the entire exam.  Dont say, "fine" if you are not fine!  

Most Vet advocates suggest explaining how you feel on your worst day.  Example:  (Dont use my example!) 

Doc:  How are you, Veteran?

You:  Much better than Saturday.  On Saturday, I had another PTSD episode where I thought I was at war again, and nearly attacked my wife, and she called the police and they hauled me to jail, and then to the emergency room.  My boss was ticked that I got sent to jail, and fired me.  So, now, I have no idea what I will do.   

    If you begin like this, its much better than saying "fine", because the above Veteran was not "fine".    Generally, dont ever lie, but do describe your symptoms on your worst day, not the best day when you went to your daughters birthday party and everything was fine.  Never lie or exaggerate your symptoms.  

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18 hours ago, broncovet said:

When you attend a C and P exam, have an answer for the age old question "How are you?" 

Many Vets answer the proverbial "Fine", and that usually means they are backpedalling the entire exam.  Dont say, "fine" if you are not fine!  

 

I don't even answer, give them the thousand yard stare.  Lol.  Get's off to a good start.

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In addition to not saying something stupid like "I am fine" it is important to explain how your PTSD disrupts and negatively impacts every aspect of your life such as employment, family and friends, associates negative interactions, sleep disturbance, nightmares, bad dreams, flash backs to the stressor/s events, negative effect on your overall health to include depression, OCD, anxiety and panic attacks, paranoid feelings plus withdraw from society and things that used to give you pleasure and recreation, etc., etc.

List any over the counter medications you take to help you cope with your PTSD symptoms such as sleeping pills, Saint Johns Wort, alcohol consumption more than normal to help you sleep, etc.

Take copies of any and all medicine prescriptions and MH treatment notes. from any source for your PTSD,

depression, etc.

In 1998 I did all of the above and then some such as statements from family, friends, associates about my PTSD symptoms and adverse relations with them and I put everything in writing and gave it to the VA C&P examiner who was a Dr of Clinical Psychology for the VA hospital MH ward.  He kept my written statements and copies I gave him for his 9 page PTSD write up approving my severe PTSD symptoms.  I also submitted the very same written information with my PTSD and TDIU claim to the VARO VA raters.

In a very short period of time I received 70% for PTSD and a TDIU rating with some years of back pay.  

Any one who tells you this is an unnecessary waste of time and not to do it is full of BS and no friend of yours.

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

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Also, include your day-to-day challenges, for example it didn't matter how many things I put in front of the bathroom door I was terrified in the shower. When I got my service dog it really helped, I mean like night and day. But include those little things.

Another example, I would freeze in the grocery store for 30 minutes or more trying to decide which green beans to buy, like I was trying to decide to cut the blue wire or the green one. I would flee from the store with none of my shopping done.

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T Bird like me you learned to cope and be productive for yourself many years ago but as a wise owl once said that PTSD is forever sadness.  However, over the years I learned to avoid certain types of people and situations and engage in outdoor activities when I can such as fishing, camping and hiking, etc.   This is the advice I give to other vets with MH issues.  Take your mind off of the past tragic events by doing enjoyable things like T Bird and I have done. It works for me now since 1985. 

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

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