When it comes to PTSD, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about it, and I hope to clear a few of those up over the next series of blogs. Today I want to tackle the very first step, getting a diagnosis. The reason I thought of this topic was a conversation I had with a potential new client last week.
The Veteran in question is a non-combat Veteran who served just shy of two years. He was medically discharged for a problem with his ankle. I was going over his issues just as I normally do with all of our new clients when the subject of PTSD came up. I always ask follow-ups for PTSD as I know there is a lot of bad information out there…and I’m also good at what I do. When I asked him if his PTSD has been diagnosed, he hesitated. We always ask if PTSD is diagnosed as you must have this in order to get a service connection. It really is step one. His reply to my question was actually something we hear a lot. “My wife thinks I have it.” Well, unless his wife has a medical degree, and in his case, works as a VA doctor who can diagnose Veterans with PTSD, that won’t hold up against the VA. He then stated that she was a nurse. While I am sure she does great work and is underappreciated like most nurses, the VA won’t accept it as a diagnosis. In fact, the VA won’t accept a diagnosis from your mom, brother, commanding officer, preacher, or someone you served with…unless, of course, those people are doctors…and even then you may want to get the diagnosis from someone who does not know you outside of the medical facility. While I did take this Veteran on as a client, we were not able to file that PTSD claim. I explained to him how to get diagnosed. Once he gets diagnosed, we will file his claim.
Some might wonder why we didn’t file that claim. Well, that is not what this blog is about, so too bad. (Insert winking emoticon here) I will explain why not in a post that will come out tomorrow.
New #PTSD diagnosis criteria released. Learn about the DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD. http://t.co/9A9UDyOiXX
— Nat’l Ctr. for PTSD (@VA_PTSD_Info) September 30, 2013
Readers who frequent this blog may have noticed that I mentioned something important in my sarcasm. (I tend to do that a lot,) I mentioned that his wife would have to be a VA doctor in order to diagnose him. This is accurate for this Veteran as he was a non-combat Veteran. As I have stated before, non-combat Veterans who wish to file for PTSD have to be diagnosed by a VA Doctor. (Fact based sarcasm is not something you will find on other VA Blogs.) Combat Veterans however are subject to different rules. A non-VA doctor can diagnose them with PTSD. I want to also point out that ALL Veterans can file for PTSD. Some individuals are under the impression that they must serve in combat in order to file for PTSD, or they must have served during wartime. That is not correct. PTSD does not just occur because of war, and several non-combat related circumstances which warrant service connection, and I will cover those in an upcoming blog. So, you have to keep reading.
If you would like to know more about what I discussed here, or would like to know about becoming a client, give me a call. My toll free number is 1-877-526-3457, or fill out this form, and I will give you a call.