Pursuing A Claim For Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
When pursuing a claim for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) it is important to
understand the bureaucratic process toward your goal. PTSD is a psychological injury with political overtones.
Due to the egregious injustices to Vietnam veterans during the 60s and 70s, the collective repair of mental health professionals today is to insure that all
veterans are given the benefit of doubt. Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring
Freedom (OEF) are three times as likely to get a diagnosis of PTSD then veterans of the Persian Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea or World War II. Not because they actually have the disorder as understood in the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM), but due in part to mental health professionals wanting to “make up”
with veterans from all war eras.
Due in part to guilt from mental health professionals, the overwhelming numbers of veterans filing for
PTSD claims, and a well crafted strategy, it is pretty easy to get diagnosed with PTSD.
Here’s how. Keep
in mind, real or imagined your experiences are your realities. Therefore, when visiting a psychiatrist
or psychologist in the civilian sector or your local Veterans Affairs (VA), you need to make sure your story is “heard.”
Mental health staff see many veterans and clients everyday, and inherent in this process is a tendency
for mental health staff to go “intellectually numb.” That is, your story is a blur in a long
line of very similar stories. The details get lost, and it is perceived with subtle indifference by mental
health staff. So, it is very important to make your story stand out. This does not mean
to lie or deviate from the truth, what it suggests is for you to inject some degree of hyperbole. The squeaky wheel gets the
oil in any bureaucracy.
Who To See For A Confirmed
In order to get a diagnosis for PTSD, you must visit with a psychiatrist or a psychologist
(PhD level). They will assess you for certain criteria which will qualify you for PTSD or rule you out.
Typically, the psychiatrist or psychologist you visit with will be at your local VA or an outside contractor.
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