Author Topic: PTSD diagnosis  (Read 2021 times)

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Offline Army83

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PTSD diagnosis
« on: July 15, 2018, 14:45:30 »
Looking for a little advice/guidance. This week I had an assessment with a psychologist and at the end of the meeting I was told I was being diagnosed with PTSD and to make a follow up appointment in 2-3 weeks then I was sent on my way. As I stood in the hallway I had so many unanswered questions. Quite the bomb to drop on someone then send them on their way. So my question is what now? Or at least what do I do between now and this feedback appointment?
I’m pushing 20 yrs of service and have dealt with vac in the past for my shot knees. Should I start a claim? Or should I wait till my next psychologist appointment?


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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: PTSD diagnosis
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2018, 14:48:24 »
The claims process takes forever, even with PTSD/OSI claims being pushed to the top of the pile. Start the paperwork now, so you'll have less to deal with once you start your treatment (which should be your focus).

Offline Brihard

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Re: PTSD diagnosis
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2018, 16:08:07 »
Looking for a little advice/guidance. This week I had an assessment with a psychologist and at the end of the meeting I was told I was being diagnosed with PTSD and to make a follow up appointment in 2-3 weeks then I was sent on my way. As I stood in the hallway I had so many unanswered questions. Quite the bomb to drop on someone then send them on their way. So my question is what now? Or at least what do I do between now and this feedback appointment?
I’m pushing 20 yrs of service and have dealt with vac in the past for my shot knees. Should I start a claim? Or should I wait till my next psychologist appointment?


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You're looking at about a year right now for a claim to be assessed and a decision made / payment awarded. It's smart to begin the process as soon as you have some paperwork to start building on.

A VAC claim can be a huge pain in the ***, and the best advice I can give is not to try to do your own. I suggest - strongly - that you enlist the help of one of the Provincial Service Officers at the Legion. They are full time Legion employees whose job it is to represent soldiers and vets with VAC claims. As their full time job, they get quite good at it. They know exactly what VAC is looking for and what it should look like. They know the common pitfalls and shortcomings that result in denied applications and someone burning a level of appeal to remedy something that was avoidable in the first case. You do not have to be or become a Legion member and you do not have to pay a cent, nor do they take a cut. It's simply a bloody awesome service that the Legion provides, funded by the money they take in.

Skip the local Legion branch level- thsoe are part time volunteers, some are excellent, some are garbage, most are decent, but in all cases they'll in any case be referring it up to a full time SO. The service officers can be contacted here:

http://www.legion.ca/support-for-veterans/contact-a-service-officer

The only inaccuracy in that list that I know of is Joseph Waugh; he's just moved on to a different job, which sucks, because he's bloody excellent.

The VAC process will be one big thing going forward, both in terms of accessing financial benefits, as well as accessing care and treatment. It's big, it's slow, it's bureaucratic. Separate to that there are a lot of various supports available for soldiers and vets dealing with PTSD or other operational stress injuries, and without wanting to throw too much at you, I'd be happy to help you out and give you an idea of where to look if you would like. You have a ton on your plate and a lot to think about, and there are a lot of good people who can lend the voice of their experience to help you through it.

If I may ask, are you still serving or released?
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Offline ff149

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Re: PTSD diagnosis
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2018, 17:59:06 »
I know for me personally things did move pretty quick. I contacted VAC in August last year, in September I had an appointment in an OSI clinic where they confirmed my diagnosis of PTSD, among other things. I had one hiccup where VAC said the clinic didn't submit the paperwork, they had that is why I was approved for treatment within a month of the diagnosis. Once the clinic resent the paperwork I had my official verdict by the beginning of January. That being said it's not official until this September when I get re evaluated to see how I've progressed in the treatment. All I can say is this is how my case went. I've heard other stories where it was completely different. I also have the advantage of living pretty close to where the OSI clinic has their satellite office so I was able to get in when they had a cancellation. When I spoke to VAC on the phone they had said in the forms that I had to fill out to fill it out as complete as I felt comfortable doing so, but that they really go off of what the psychiatrist puts down in their report.

The main thing to focus on is the treatment and doing what you have to do to look after yourself. You have no control over how fast VAC moves on your issue. I was glad that they approved the treatment as quick as they did. The rest of it could take as long as it had to.

Again this is just how my case went.

Offline Army83

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Re: PTSD diagnosis
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2018, 18:11:02 »
You're looking at about a year right now for a claim to be assessed and a decision made / payment awarded. It's smart to begin the process as soon as you have some paperwork to start building on.

A VAC claim can be a huge pain in the ***, and the best advice I can give is not to try to do your own. I suggest - strongly - that you enlist the help of one of the Provincial Service Officers at the Legion. They are full time Legion employees whose job it is to represent soldiers and vets with VAC claims. As their full time job, they get quite good at it. They know exactly what VAC is looking for and what it should look like. They know the common pitfalls and shortcomings that result in denied applications and someone burning a level of appeal to remedy something that was avoidable in the first case. You do not have to be or become a Legion member and you do not have to pay a cent, nor do they take a cut. It's simply a bloody awesome service that the Legion provides, funded by the money they take in.

Skip the local Legion branch level- thsoe are part time volunteers, some are excellent, some are garbage, most are decent, but in all cases they'll in any case be referring it up to a full time SO. The service officers can be contacted here:

http://www.legion.ca/support-for-veterans/contact-a-service-officer

The only inaccuracy in that list that I know of is Joseph Waugh; he's just moved on to a different job, which sucks, because he's bloody excellent.

The VAC process will be one big thing going forward, both in terms of accessing financial benefits, as well as accessing care and treatment. It's big, it's slow, it's bureaucratic. Separate to that there are a lot of various supports available for soldiers and vets dealing with PTSD or other operational stress injuries, and without wanting to throw too much at you, I'd be happy to help you out and give you an idea of where to look if you would like. You have a ton on your plate and a lot to think about, and there are a lot of good people who can lend the voice of their experience to help you through it.

If I may ask, are you still serving or released?




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Offline Army83

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Re: PTSD diagnosis
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2018, 18:17:14 »
You're looking at about a year right now for a claim to be assessed and a decision made / payment awarded. It's smart to begin the process as soon as you have some paperwork to start building on.

A VAC claim can be a huge pain in the ***, and the best advice I can give is not to try to do your own. I suggest - strongly - that you enlist the help of one of the Provincial Service Officers at the Legion. They are full time Legion employees whose job it is to represent soldiers and vets with VAC claims. As their full time job, they get quite good at it. They know exactly what VAC is looking for and what it should look like. They know the common pitfalls and shortcomings that result in denied applications and someone burning a level of appeal to remedy something that was avoidable in the first case. You do not have to be or become a Legion member and you do not have to pay a cent, nor do they take a cut. It's simply a bloody awesome service that the Legion provides, funded by the money they take in.

Skip the local Legion branch level- thsoe are part time volunteers, some are excellent, some are garbage, most are decent, but in all cases they'll in any case be referring it up to a full time SO. The service officers can be contacted here:

http://www.legion.ca/support-for-veterans/contact-a-service-officer

The only inaccuracy in that list that I know of is Joseph Waugh; he's just moved on to a different job, which sucks, because he's bloody excellent.

The VAC process will be one big thing going forward, both in terms of accessing financial benefits, as well as accessing care and treatment. It's big, it's slow, it's bureaucratic. Separate to that there are a lot of various supports available for soldiers and vets dealing with PTSD or other operational stress injuries, and without wanting to throw too much at you, I'd be happy to help you out and give you an idea of where to look if you would like. You have a ton on your plate and a lot to think about, and there are a lot of good people who can lend the voice of their experience to help you through it.

If I may ask, are you still serving or released?
Thanks for all the info. This is something I’ve been dealing with for the better part of 7 yrs but finally decided to take the necessary steps. I’m still serving which sucks cause not only do I need to deal with this but the stigma attached in the work place and the uncertainty of what lies ahead


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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: PTSD diagnosis
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2018, 22:38:25 »
I'd love to help but my experience for PTSD was found on my release. I went through it as a veteran. I'll offer my advice, in that respect, to anyone that needs to know how that process works. Just from the facts of the initial post, the process isn't the same.
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Offline Staff Weenie

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Re: PTSD diagnosis
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 09:04:06 »
Army 83, having gone through this for almost 9 years, here's a few thoughts:

Brihard is quite right about getting the Legion reps to help with the paperwork. Make sure though that you list every possible impact (no matter how small) on your life. VAC takes it all into account when determining the degree of the award. Hiding things because they are embarrassing doesn't help in the long run.

You are not alone. There are literally thousands of us, still serving or released, who have PTSD, often with another diagnosis tossed in, such as Major Depressive Disorder, or Social Anxiety Disorder. There are various support groups and web pages that can help. I would recommend OSISS as a start - their volunteers and staff are trained, and there's a good measure of control in the groups. Their web page is https://www.cfmws.com/en/AboutUs/DCSM/OSISS/Pages/Operational-Stress-Injury-Social-Support-(OSISS).aspx

I would also suggest that when you do go online looking for help, be very careful about the negativity that a lot of these groups unfortunately spiral down into. In the long run, that does nothing to help you. There is an incredible amount of bitterness out there, leave it alone and keep moving forward only.

One of the most important factors I've found (and working at JPSU, I have met hundreds of ill and injured members), is that you have to work for your recovery. It seems that all of us fall into two polar groups - those who work hard to recover, and make progress (often slow and setbacks occur, it isn't easy), and those who do little to nothing and focus on how miserable they are becoming. When the Psychologist or Social worker give you exercises to work on, do them. Some of them (CBT and Exposure Therapy) caused me a hell of a lot of stress and nightmares, but in the end, they helped. The work doesn't end either - I still have to work at it all the time - I learn what thoughts are driven by the beast, and don't act on them.

The stigma is fading! As part of my job, I travel across the country and interview Command Teams at units and bases. The level of understanding and the willingness to help has never been greater. People tend to assume that the stigma is out there, and in full force. Sometimes, they lash out or withdraw in the workplace, and their peer, not knowing what the hell is going on, assume you're just an ***. Being open helps, people will start to assist, and understand when things get rough. They know something isn't right - we really aren't hiding it half as well as we think.

That's really just my quick thoughts at the moment.

If you need to reach out, send me a PM, and I'll do my best to answer it.