MMQB: Vietnam Vet Hammers Others For Seeking PTSD Benefits

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PTSD Benefits

Benjamin KrauseCommentators are coming out in full force against veterans seeking PTSD benefits by employing anecdotes and bad science to undermine many disabled veterans.

Denver Post just published an article from a veteran citing anecdotes of Vietnam veterans improperly seeking PTSD benefits as proof that veterans can and do defraud VA’s trained experts. Last week, Boston Globe published another hit piece by well-known anti-PTSD commentator Sally Satel – a former VA psychiatrist. Sally Satel believes many PTSD claims from Vietnam veterans are false and that DoD and VA treatment programs can solve PTSD if treated right away – thus few veterans should get PTSD benefits.

Meanwhile, numerous other sources cite reports that indicate DoD and VA PTSD treatment programs have no proof they are working. With no evidence of success for VA programs, it seems self-serving for those like Sally Satel to hammer veterans for seeking the benefits they are owed while the agency bumbles around in the dark seeking answers to questions plaguing soldiers for thousands of years.

At this point, I have to ask, does VA have a covert pipeline of commentators to sway public opinion with false data to distract from the real issues of failed treatment of PTSD?

Hi and welcome to another edition of Monday Morning Quarterback for Veterans. I am your host, Benjamin Krause, creator of DisabledVeterans.org. This is where I catch you up on issues from last week and keep you posted on issues we are working on through the week.

The point of this MMQB will be to highlight how the nation is waking up to the plight of veterans. We at DisabledVeterans.org are doing our part, and this article will give insight into that fight.

Here is what we are covering today:

  • Veteran wins benefits after 56-year fight
  • NBC – DoD, VA can’t prove PTSD care is working
  • Institute of Medicine says VA not measuring PTSD program
  • Fellow veterans used in campaign against PTSD benefits
  • Boston Globe anti-veteran benefits article

 

VA loses 56-year fight to keep veteran from his benefits

Korean War veteran Willie McCall won his 56-year battle against VA for disability benefits. VA has been fighting McCall since 1956. Recently, the agency was forced to pay over $100,000 after unsuccessfully blocking McCall’s disability claims. McCall had numerous claims related to his service in Korea. He suffers from injuries caused by frostbite, jungle rot and circulatory problems.

VA will defray some of the cost by paying in yesterday’s dollars rather than paying at rates paid today under its equivalent of the McKinsey & Co. model called “Delay, Deny, Defend.” This model is very similar to the fictitious company Great Benefit in the John Grisham novel and movie Rainmaker. In reality, Allstate used a similar model to block policyholders from timely insurance claims and made millions in profits doing so.

In the 1990’s, McKinsey was retained by Allstate to improve profitability of the insurance company. It came up with a strategy that wrongfully withheld claims from policyholders. The money that should have been paid out was housed in various investment portfolios earning interest for the company while its frontline staff denied many meritorious claims. Many policyholders would give up or accept discounted amounts instead of full amounts for an insurance claim. If the matter went to court, Allstate would fight only when it was cheaper to fight the claim than to pay out the money. In 2007, when it was caught, Allstate had to pay a substantial amount of money for its bad faith payment policy.

Sadly, VA hired McKinsey to repeat similar implementation strategies for its own insurance adjudication process called Disability Compensation in 2010. The compensation program is little more than an elaborate Workers’ Compensation program. Like Allstate, VA uses various investment models to improve its position regarding insurance funds. Yet, when VA pays out after wrongfully withholding benefits, it pays out at yesterday’s dollars rather than today’s dollars and it does not pay interest even when it had a legally unjustifiable position.

This means VA is actually saving money because of interest and inflation. For example, at an inflation rate of 3% plus an interest rate in the capital markets of 5%, VA could theoretically earn 8% interest by wrongly denying your claim for a few years. In a hypothetical, let’s say a veteran gets back pay for 10 years. If she were paid at today’s dollars, the claim would pay $100,000 back pay. Since VA pays in yesterday’s dollars, the amount paid out is actually discounted every year for 10 years, which results in the veteran receiving $92,000. Multiply this savings across the board and it is easy to conclude VA screws veterans out of millions in back pay every year.

Under the principle that the Sovereign does not pay interest, VA has created a perverse incentive to wrongfully deny veteran benefits. In McCall’s case, VA likely screwed him out of a substantial amount of money. For an 85-year-old veteran, such treatment and policy action is shameful.

Read More: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/19/veteran-gets-benefits-after-56-year-battle-with-va/

 

NBC – DoD, VA can’t prove PTSD care is working

PTSD is the third most common disability rating behind hearing loss and tinnitus. In 2012, 13.5% of US soldiers have a diagnosis for PTSD. From 2002 to 2014, military doctors diagnosed over 118,000 troops with PTSD. In 2012, DoD spent $294 million treating PTSD. VA spent an incredible $3 billion supposedly studying the condition through programs and services “to prevent, screen, diagnose, and treat current and ex-service members who have PTSD, or who are at risk for it.”

Based on this combined set of facts, it should be safe to assume VA and DoD take great steps to ensure their programs are working. Yet, neither agency has any evidence that their programs and services are working.

“We are hoping this serves as a clarion call and blueprint to guide where we should be,” said Dr. Sandro Galea, chair of the IOM committee that carried out a Congressionally mandated assessment of PTSD programs at the two departments.

“We found it surprising that no PTSD outcome measures are used consistently to know if these treatments are working or not,” added Galea, professor and chair of the department of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City. “They could be highly effective, but we won’t know unless outcomes are tracked and evaluated.”

Read More: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/dod-va-cant-prove-their-ptsd-care-working-study-claims-n136371

 

Institute of Medicine says VA not measuring PTSD program

In a recent report, the Institute determined VA and DoD do not measure effectiveness of treatment of PTSD. Adding insult to injury, neither agency has kept pace with the growing demand for treatment.

“Both departments lack a coordinated, consistent, and well-developed evidence-based system of treatment for PTSD and need to do a better job tracking outcomes,” said Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH, chair of the IOM committee, and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Mental health is among the most important factors behind successful re-entry after military service, and we don’t know if treatments are working.”

Read More: https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/news/benefits-ptsd-treatment-going-unmeasured-says-iom

 

Vietnam vet hammers others for seeking PTSD benefits

Vietnam veteran and retired school teacher Mark McVay used anecdotes and other logical fallacies to support his claim that veterans abuse PTSD benefits. The Denver Post published his fallacious op-ed titled, When PTSD benefits are abused.

He had the audacity to cite examples of New York police scamming Social Security Disability to bolster his outlandish claims that veterans abuse PTSD benefits. Yet he provided no actual study or facts where a veteran or a group of veterans were caught abusing the PTSD benefit system.

He did provide an anecdote of a guy telling him it is easy to get a PTSD diagnosis:

Instead of answering that question, telling me where he was located or the name of his unit, he immediately asked, “Are you getting your PTSD benefits yet?”

“No,” I replied.

“Well then you ought to go over to the VA and sign up for the sessions.” And then, just as John had told me a couple of years before, he said, “It just takes a couple of weeks of group” therapy.

Does this prove abuse of a benefit? No. Even if this conversation is assumed true, this veteran maybe assumed McVay had PTSD and exposure to stressor. However, it does not prove the veteran, or veterans at large, abuse the system.

McVay also cited examples of increased disability compensation rates as a partial proof of his claim that veterans are abusing disability compensation benefits – which could signify a variety of things other than what he claims. In support of McVay’s claim, he states Vietnam veterans are inappropriately seeking PTSD benefits:

While it is undeniable that some veterans suffering from debilitating PTSD need and deserve compensation and treatment, it is increasingly apparent that many veterans — some of whom have been out of the war zone and living normal lives for 40 years or more — have discovered that an easily obtained PTSD rating, and subsequent monthly benefit payment, can be a nice supplement to Social Security, ordinary military retirement, or civilian pension funds that are inadequate and increasingly non-existent.

Mark Rogers, a longtime claims specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration and retired Vietnam-era vet, told The Associated Press in 2010, “I could get 100 percent disability compensation for PTSD for any (honorably discharged) veteran who’s willing to lie.”

McVay continues his diatribe by citing commentary from a psychiatrist from Duke who claims PTSD is easy to fake:

“The threshold has been lowered,” says Dan G. Blazer, a Duke University psychiatrist who has worked with the military on PTSD issues. PTSD, he adds, “is among the easiest psychiatric conditions to feign.”

Just because something is easy to fake, does that mean veterans will actually lie at mass numbers enough to warrant a policy change? No, and there is no actual evidence clearly supporting this claim.

McVay is carelessly attributing causal connections to support a claim that veterans are abusing access to benefits – yet he cites no actual evidence, no studies, and no case law that supports such a ludicrous claim.

He ignores VA reports from its own OIG investigations where less than 1% of veterans were malingering when veterans had every reason to lie. The study evaluated veterans how had the opportunity to falsify reports for PTSD where only a couple out of thousands actually were believed to have done so.

Since less than 1% of former servicemembers potentially lie about the conditions related to PTSD, the US Army diverted resources away from malingering detection since the cost of such safety checks was outweighed any benefit.

I think it is time these sandbaggers call a spade a spade and get off our backs. There is just no proof to support that America needs to be worried about its former heroes becoming liars when there is an economic incentive at play. What are we, Wall Street bankers?

The fact is most veterans do not lie regardless of the incentive. If someone claims otherwise, demand that they prove it.

Read More: https://www.denverpost.com/voices/ci_26002740/when-ptsd-benefits-are-abused

 

Boston Globe anti-veteran benefits article

Last week, former VA psychiatrist Sally Satel bloviated about her misconceptions regarding PTSD treatments and disability in Boston Globe. Again, we are seeing an uptick in commentary claiming veterans are to blame for a variety of things, not VA. Further, they believe veterans are liars who can fake out trained VA examiners.

Psychiatrist Sally Satel believes veterans should not get disability compensation without submitting to years of VA treatment first. She was also seen numerous times badmouthing Vietnam veterans, as if those veterans have not been through enough trauma from the system after being drafted, “I’m not saying PTSD doesn’t exist, but it’s gotten out of hand. I mean, if you see a lot of action and then you come home you have a hard time walking your dog by the bushes at night, maybe you just avoid the bushes.”

How outrageous to belittle an entire group of veterans in this way – especially the same group of veterans who were experimented on with Agent Orange type chemicals after being drafted? This is like telling female rape victims to avoid men rather than seeking help and treatment after acknowledging their reaction to a real stressor.

For that past 20 years, Sally Satel has been very outspoken about her misguided suspicion that PTSD can generally be treated by VA doctors if treated right away and therefore should not be disabling in most instances. Now, based on the above reports, we know VA has absolutely no clue if its treatments are actually working after spending billions.

How is it that this well respected expert can make such unsupported claims to the detriment of veterans?

Sally Satel claims veterans are duping the system. Mark McVey claims veterans are abusing PTSD benefits. Still, there is no proof of such defamatory claims against our nation’s heroes.

Read More: https://www.disabledveterans.org/2014/06/20/veterans-offended-anti-veteran-boston-globe-oped/

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Voc Rehab Survival GuideBenjamin Krause is an award winning investigative reporter, Veterans Benefits Law attorney, and disabled veteran of the US Air Force, where he served in its Special Operations Command. He attended Northwestern University and  the University of Minnesota Law School using VA Vocational Rehabilitation.

While in law school, Benjamin won his decade-long fight for full disability benefits and now helps others do the same with this website and his guide, the Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans. Since its first publication in 2011, the guide has helped the veteran community receive millions in untapped benefits through the VA Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment program. 

Connect with Benjamin on  Google+,  Twitter,  Facebook and LinkedIn.

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18 Comments

  1. Fox News is reporting this morning that 42% of employers will not hire veterans if they have a diagnosis of PTSD.

    This means that having a diagnosis of PTSD is a double-edged sword.

    On the dull side of the blade is PTSD deniers decrying veterans as malingerers.

    And on the other dull side of the blade are human resource idiots that refuse to hire veterans with PTSD.

    While it was with courageous honor and commitment that wounded warriors with PTSD served America in its darkest hour, it was the final betrayal they experienced when they came home that hurt the most.

    THIS IS WHY WE MUST NEVER SURRENDER OUR VETERANS’ PRIVILEGE TO THOSE WHO HATE US!

  2. There will always be those who sit on the side lines and claim to have all the ANSWERS, but I say go to WAR and get the REAL FACTS. Then we will respect your OPINIONS, because that is really what all these EXPERT articles are.
    We have studied the Brain for centuries and we still have not gotten it RIGHT. Each one of us is inherently DIFFERENT, to say we REACT the same to certain STIMILI well, if you do not know how IRRATIONAL that is , then you might be suffering from PTSD OR SOME OTHER MENTAL DISEASE.

  3. As Sun Tsu wrote in The Art of War, “know your enemy”. To wit, John Henry as owner of the Boston Globe is an avowed communist. He hates America, absolutely detests the US Militatry and despises veterans. He is a billionaire that owns most of the print news media corporations in America. He is the ultimate hypocrite because if he was a real commie, which in itself is deplorable, he would redistribute his great wealth to the poor. Anything his socialist communist staff say should be filtered heavily, to the point that you need to reverse every claim they make in order to convert their distortions, exaggerations and outright lies to truth. Newspaper can in fact be held liable for slander and libel, as The National Enquirer and other tabloids and even mainstream news sources have learned over the years. The Legal Division of American Legion and independent attorneys who have a dog in the fight in defense of our honorable, heroic veterans may want to take a look at a major class action lawsuit, and other legal actions, against this Anti-American bastard from communist hell. Good digging for truth on this whole travesty, Ben. This is truly the stuff that major lawsuits are made of, and humongous jury led damage awards!

    • Bruce, the Dali Lama was asked during an interview about political thoughts since he was driven from Tibet. This interview took place in Japan. And Buddhism there seems to have a split of what is right to do. But when asked that question one would think his answer would be anything but this, Communist as well as a free Society. I believe the New Pope is showing the people “he is kicking butt as he takes names! He is unusual, he stopped the money laundering, has fired quite a few, I am sure he is not done there, won’t where Gucci Slippers or Golden Robes and on a Sunday Morning Mass even said the “F” word during mass. He has critized the rich for allowing others to do without, and I think he had quite a few words to say to Mr. Obama! He especially has been very vocal about our government as well. Two things, 1. My youngest son is a Pastafarian, I guess some noodle Diety that I am not familiar with, and as close as I can get, I can make my own ravioli’s. ( no more, too much of a pain and time consuming) basically though what my son is an Athiest. “He does not have imaginary friends.” But he did drive his mother to the brink of insanity when she made a cheesecake, washed and put away the stuff to do it, sat down after a long day and watched a bit of TV and drank one beer. The next morning, the cheesecake was gone. Okay, I looked all over the kitchen, second guessing myself. But I check the garbage, yes, one beer can, actually recycle, we “liberals are all Californians,” as one Tea Bagger reported why he left the state, ( I had to “school him.” trust me, I just like to mess with someone’s head when they make such stupid generalizations regarding topics!) This child was given the name my “Son of Anarchy,” can you guess why? Think of the cheesecake, he wasn’t even three yet, it only got worse and man I am damn grateful he broke the mold!
      In every environment when it comes to political ideologies and styles, did you think we were to become a “Captialistic Society that is even changing as we type our thoughts?” The period of transition came to be Vogue during the Industrial Revolution and think, if the Chinese hadn’t come here now who would have done all that work for railroads? You do realize that several of those that were the originators of that document opposed this type of society and they were some pretty awesome dudes too in their youth!
      But Son of Anarchy, stated, ” I like that new Pope, he is awesome and not afraid to speak his mind!”
      2. I grew up hearing the Hawaiian Wedding song as an alarm clock. I am not kidding and was damn happy to be away from that alarm, so just in case, “Betty” (mom) sent me a cassette. But she was also a pretty good artist too. So you can imagine who walked through our doors. My appreciation for one artist, Frida Kahlo. And on my Facebook page I had Frida as me, but a Daft Punk shirt on. If you know anything about her or care to see her work, Google it. She supported the Communist ideology, for many reasons, but when her famous husband came here to paint, she saw the food lines and the poverty, but was invited to big fancy parties. She to say the very least, was not impressed.
      Now, we are suppose to have freedoms, but, most Americans were brought to their knees using fear. Fear another plane, fear your water supply, wow, they passed out fear like you would get a breath mint to go with it. So, The Patriot Act was made, all of course to protect you, wait, or can take you with no reason given, to an undisclosed location, don’t get a phone call, have no clue when or if you will be released, and sometimes I wonder when an Amber Alert is flashing for a person considered elderly, ( which my understand that old is 40’s as one of my sons roommate wrote about his encounter and why the hell not! I read it, he is giving chances to all, but being a tall big guy? Never would know it. I stated 40’s? Old? We are doomed! )
      I wonder, “whatever will we change into next?” A POLICE STATE PERHAPS???? ——–>knows the answer, but let you guess!
      “Keep your friends close, but look your enemy in the eyes”

  4. This guy is full of shit. I have been fighting the VA for 33 year’s about my PTSD disability..they refuse so far to award me any PTSD rating. I have been on record and diagnosed by private and 2 VA Psychiatrist;s as having Chronic PTSD due to combat in Vietnam. However, because my outfit was covert and my mission’s were off record the VA has been fucking me. This will change and I pray that this is my final C & P with a victory. You cannot lie about PTSD…

  5. DC will wonder why the Veterans Party of America was created in December 2013. The politicians stopped caring and started to cut Veterans, and during the first half of 2014 the media have reported our decades of struggles with the very government which sent us to fight the wars. It is time to replace those who have forsaken the nation’s warriors.

  6. Well folks…I truly don’t know what to say, this is appalling. I am 100%, but was denied for ptsd, yet 70 % of my disability was ” M.H. as a direct result of pain suffered from injuries in the army ” Can anyone describe this bull ? I was given T.P.D. due to the M.H. issues which precludes beyond ” reasonable doubt ” those are the appeals board findings and words , not mine. My 17 yr old son was diagnosed at 3-4 yrs of age by the FEDERAL government with A.D.H.D., O.D.D . and P.T.S.D. related to seeing his mother and I fighting all those years ago… These M.H. problems have withstood the test of time, quack doctors, good doctors and the school system upheld the A.D.A.. Could someone even laughingly tell me why a child who admittedly has true M.H. issues….but obviously never saw combat, bodies, your friends there one minute and gone the next, receives a rating of ptsd and yet our own soldiers don’t. I am truly outraged by people and government ploys such as we are seeing today. I personally know appx. 1/2 dozen people who lost both legs in our ongoing 14 yr. war that the va has stated in their denial paperwork, your hands are fine, therefore you are employable….damn the loss of legs right ? OOhhhh I am so mad, I can’t even describe to you or continue til I relax. Charlie

  7. I find it fascinating that so many laymen know so much. I didn’t see any credentials that prove a “Bogus Theory” while sitting on the couch! As the wait time for my response on the idiot who tries an attempt to say “FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE,” and get a disability rating when you do! Actually, the Fake It Till You Make” was a TED TALKS woman who developed the way of giving a speech, because public speaking is extremely hard to do although some have a natural talent for it. But, that is speaking, on the topic of the NBC another one too, “AWESOME, WE HAVE SO MANY OF LUCY FROM CHARLIE BROWN AND THE PEANUTS HANGING OUT A SHINGLE AND HAVE NO DAMN CLUE!” I happened to ask if a Doctor states people are faking it, that doctor should become doctor no more. He has violated his responsibilities regarding Ethics and Treating patients, so really should be reported. But these individuals ranting and raving do they know what a DSM is or an ICD-9 or ICD-10 which is written by WHO? ( World Health Organization and just FYI, the VA is still using ICD-9, while others are making the switch or have made the switch to the ICD-10, and the good ole USA Lags behind many, wait mostly all other countries, “we sure are slow aren’t we especially when you claim second to none!) Again, this is all propaganda being spread around so many places you have to wonder, “is the government paying them to say it?” PTSD IS REAL, PTSD CAN STRIKE AT ANY AGE, and truly my concern is the 18 year old left home returns home after seeing so much death puts that in a compartment in their brain, but, starts to have a fascinating collections of guns. And one day, anytime in life, the trigger is pulled, and he begins to pull all his triggers too! ( hopefully it will be the idiot Vietnam Veteran) You do know that for years and years the government refused to acknowledge Agent Orange, but finally decided, I guess we better deal with it, BUT, what you do not know is that Agent Orange changes the structure of a genome in the DNA and can keep giving the gift that keeps on giving! How will they handle that? I worked with TWO men both served in NAM as they called it, one never had his own children, the other his first child was DOA, but the Doctor Stated you do not want to see it, it does not look human, but he did want to, his right, and what he described was horrifying to me, who Medical, has seen death of all kinds.
    Now, regarding treatment. IT IS A JOKE DEPENDING WHERE YOU ARE GETTING TREATMENT! In fact, what I stated, was ignored. But to call it a relatively new therapy, yes, it was, some chopped crazy crap that was useless and I am sure that certain people who can “stake a claim” of calling what they are doing IS NOT THAT TREATMENT!
    Now, tracking, there is a good question. There seems to be no “STRUCTURE, COHESIVENESS, COMMUNICATION, AND THE LIST IS GOING AROUND THE PLANET A THOUSAND TIMES!”
    Until you get it right, not use VETERANS AS YOUR WALKING TALKING HUMAN LAB RATS” I suggest look into community resources that can have a low cost or no cost and get the right treatment. To me, I think it is just like PAIN MANAGEMENT DOCTORS-YOU SEE 8 BUT NOT ONE DOES THE SAME AS THE OTHER-GO FIGURE, LAB RATS, “NO THANK YOU.” Here is a little something to enjoy, I loved this guy, because he was spot on, but see if you get it. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/vuEQixrBKCc

  8. I was told a few years ago by a man who was on 60% to go file, in the interview tell them the truth and let them decide. That’s not working the system. I should have gone. This January i was faced with losing my truck and retiring. It wouldn’t pass current Calif air quality, but i knew, and it did happen, they would give an extension. Now for 2 more years. The thing it made me do was analyze why i never got traction in life. Vietnam veteran, college degree, certified refrigeration, electronics AA equivalent, and my best job was unplugging toilets at night in a hotel. I can not work with others, i need night crew or as now, self employed and no employees. I have had employers ready to call the police, i cooled down by going on the roof and singing the marine hymn. My point is that i think i don’t have any problems, it is just denial. It is easy for me to prove combat, we in the air wing had it easy, i downloaded the after action reports with my name as crew member and sent in the missions we drew fire and returned, plus i have air medal’s. They scheduled a private shrink for monday. Now some are milking the system, but how much money have we sent to Iraq and they want more! Karzi is rich, now ISSIL is using our Humvee’s to fight Syria, we have trained and payed the ARVIN and now they won’t fight, oh, am i bad, wrong war, same outcome. we have money for foreign wars, but not american’s.

    • Ken, I saw your post, because I a “human barometer” I know when the weather will change, way before “too much metal in my back syndrome.” I am going to tell you something, and if not experienced it takes a little getting use to. Because of my knowledge, and “she, that is me” takes witnesses to confirm the poor job they ARE DOING when it comes to mental well being. We could say mental health, but for some reason society will shun you, and really, it is about your whole body and mind being on the same page to seek out free services, which there are civilians who are employed by the VA. And hey, you know if it’s a sour grape or not!
      I have been meditating since 1978, a very close friend and a very cool guy that I really do look up to, because in “certain areas” I am just way damn to nice. We sat in our Family Den, the parents were in Italy, he knew I wanted to learn, and taught me. Now I won’t lie and say I was setting myself to fail if it wouldn’t help, I had a few anxiety issues, and I just don’t like the man after what happened to me the first time, then he gets some jackass who is the friend of the assailant, ( father my ass )calls me, and it was a smack down that I really didn’t need, but, “I am a female,” and on many occasions could do the hurry up, but I can wait. Sure, I played the game, but me? Waiting for the right timing to strike back, and with words only he understood.
      Now I would tell you this could be a “beginning” to uncover or unlock the door. And I never knew that a soldier from WWII did this technique, a short book or DVD.
      1. Learn to relax your whole body when laying on a bed, you need to visualize each part and feel it relax, usually from top down, take good cleansing breaths, In through nose then count five seconds and slowly exhale as you count down. Practice, write down time you started and then ended. As you start to see how long you can go build it up to at least thirty minutes-because what we try next is bring a “movie in to view only as the past, the past is gone, the past cannot harm you, and you are still here.
      2. Now make sure in that physical state, totally relaxed, your breathing has slowed down to a rhythm and open the door and let “just one movie” and in your mind, repeat, it is the past, the past is gone, it can no longer have any control over me, my body and my mind as well as emotions. If you can try it, journal it, and you can sit through one full viewing, good. But if not, put the VCR on pause and go back to it at a later time, and I do mean later time as a day, a week, two weeks, get my point? But do not stop practicing the relaxation technique.
      We all have our “secrets” that we don’t share, and if you went in at a young age, it is harder for the mind to deal with, or psyche, so naturally the mind says “ME FIRST!” It takes you out of the picture, dreams still come and sometimes they are so well blended you can’t tell which is first, that is why you talk to your mind. No you don’t speak it, but you feel it, hear it, and let the mind know that you wish only one at a time.
      3. Now, when you’ve done this, and you start to feel discomfort, go back and calm yourself down.
      4. Another way to understand this, pretty everyone has a favorite spot, I do, and I see myself in that spot, it is up by Mammoth, CA The John Muir Trail. Nature gives me peace, so think of what your favorite place, bring it in, you can see yourself laying down, sailing, whatever gives you “inner peace.” You may keep this as also to bring in from step one and still keep the time. This is an important step because if you start having a panic moment, and the movie just goes on, bring this in right away and relax back down.
      I really suggest to look into your area and see if you can get some mental and physical well being. Look up your location and see if you can find someone to help. You can also call Adult Protective Services and tell them, it is not an emergency, but I am a Veteran and if you have seen the news lately, “they ain’t doing so hot! at the VA!” I need to find a psychologist or a psychiatrist to assist me because this is way more than I signed up for when I went to Vietnam and I wish to take “my and my body” back to the here, and be in the present moment.
      I am not a doctor, I am a veteran, I didn’t just have one event, I had three, and that IS NOT including all the married jackasses that believe because I was divorced, I must be lonely, um, no.
      Just remember “YOU HAVE CONTROL, IT IS WITHIN ALL OF US, AND IT WILL NOT HURT YOU EVEN JUST TO CALM THE MIND AND THE BODY AND SEEING YOURSELF IN A PLACE YOU ENJOYED.

      FOR ME, NO PEOPLE IN MY PLACE, I DID NOT WISH TO MIX THE TWO SO IT IS HIKING THERE AND WHEN MY BODY GIVES OUT, MY KIDS CAN DECIDE WHO GETS WHAT NUTS AND BOLTS IN MY BACK, BUT I WANT MY ASHES THERE, AND THEN STATED, IF YOU DONT DO IT I WILL HAUNT YOU THREE! Eh, never has worked in the past, I would call that guilt trippin my kids! 🙂
      Ken, I hope you just try the relaxation exercises don’t try to move rapidly, I can tell you, mine went way far back, and one event I was ready to call that jerk and tell him -“YOU KILLED HIM.” ( I am speaking about my baby brother, an incident that happened and hearing it, my mom got rid of every single Rose bush in the yard, and she had liked them. But I also remembered some good events as well, so it is good.
      Seriously, reach out for someone to assist you, it is way past time for you to have your mind and body as a working unit, “YOU DESERVE NO LESS.”
      Blessings Always
      D

  9. The VA’s “technic for treating PTSD” is all about getting the Veteran to BE CONVINCED and CONVINCE THEMSELF “that what I went through and **possibly experienced** was NOT AS BAD AS I HAVE REMEMBERED IT. Seriously!! I am 100% Svc. Connected and since I also now have Medicare, I do not use the VA at all. The civilian cognitive therapist I have gone to now for years told me about how the VA uses this exact type of SELF-DENIAL to instill DOUBT and in the end through getting people in Group Therapy Sessions to be ON RECORD verbally stating or chanting “what I imagined I went through was not NEARLY as bad as I have remembered or imagined it”….well, you use critical thinking and see exactly the type of PsyOPS the VA PSY Dept is playing!!! I would rather a witch dr. with a bag of old chicken bones be used to treat me medically than for the VA to EVER lay another hand on my person or talk to me condescendingly again!!

    • all I can say to my fellow vets educate yourself on gas lighting and gang stalking that’s what goes on in the va at San Diego in La Jolla I’ve been out for over 30 years got out 6 months early for my disability never received anything other than a hard time shame on the San Diego va I demand justice for these crimes thank you bill King

    • Namnibor, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU 200%, with the “let us play pretend, should we play, drink tea from empty cups, or make cities and roads on the ground using are imaginations using rocks and sticks? I preferred the latter, yes I had dolls, but I rather play in the dirt with my little brother, when done? Had to was my hands, yes I am strange. When it seemed that they did not want all information, “because we only had an hour,” I would just start, “stop that’s enough, blah blah blah!” Who is the person that has an hour that wants to speak the truth, but a damn social worker wouldn’t shut the HELL UP! I told the limits, ignored, now they wish to do WHAT I REALLY DO KNOW AND HOW IT IS SUPPOSE TO WORK, is nothing that is that specific type of therapy. I had called this wench, she just went on and on about trying everything? Well gee, now that is just one big lie she wishes to speak, I was annoyed, so I stated, “could you just shut the hell up and listen?” It was no longer about treatment, it was my back declining rapidly, to the point my life is 99% in bed, and my partner will tell anyone, “she has whole clear conversations in her sleep and he decides to watch, but after awhile he heads for the couch.” Yup, my family thinks mom must go into another form and never sleeps but runs her mouth.” I have a friend, since my stuff was 32 years ago, and way too much, I advised her, “DO NOT LET THEM TALK YOU INTO ANY OF THIS GROUP THERAPY CRAP THAT CLAIMS TO BE ONE THING BUT NO WAY IN HELL IS IT!” Guess what? They sure did try that out, numerous times.
      I hate when someone tells me to not think of something, it kinda pisses me off. I guess it is because I just have to know why that “they or anyone else” would ignore something at all? Would they say, “oh just ignore that big 10 inch wound in your stomach and you see your insides, it will just “fade away.”
      When I say mind is truly fascinating it is the way they are showing through neuro-science of what the mind can do, but realize these are new studies, have nothing to do with any therapy, and who the hell knows what the VA therapy is???? Whatever they think is new and they own it?

  10. We have a contretemps of immense proportions here. PTSD was and is a fact of life. The problem arose when the military artfully utilized “personality disorders’ to undermine true mental illness in the late 60’s and early 70’s when we returned from SEA. I know. I got one. Two years of off and on combat exposure turned me into a paranoid wreck. When i came home with back injuries, they used it as a fulcrum for malingering and a choice between taking a homosexual discharge or the antisocial w/ passive aggressive one. No discussion about the bent brain aspect. I recovered but it cost me a marriage and 20 years of my life. Being macho, I never sought help.

    The contretemps arises now where numerous troops are returning after repeated deployments. Some were never in a “hot” area where combat occurred, nevertheless they demand the same accommodations and the diagnosis of bent brain. Stressors, be they MST or actual combat, are nebulous affairs and exist in the mind of the bearer. Just as there is no meter to measure the scream of tinnitus in my ears, neither is there a gauge to ascertain just how off the wall I was when I came back. I sat in the Mojave desert for over a year talking to sidewinders and desert tortoises and avoided people.

    PTSD can be misdiagnosed and yes, there are goldbricks who are too lazy to work who will choose that path. I have helped a number get there but have also encountered the Vets who, in desperation, string together pearl necklaces of 0% and 10% ratings in a futile attempt to attain the Holy grail of 100%. The actions of a small minority tar and feather the many. One bad apple will have more impact than 100 misdiagnosed with MDD that isn’t technically PTSD.

    A standard for these claims needs to be established as with any other. Vets who claim this need to have been in combat-not just in the vicinity or within twenty to fifty miles of it. The threat of bodily harm, of fear of loss of life must be palpable. To claim you were “worried” or in fear of harm when none was present doesn’t cut it. To say you have PTSD because a buddy who was there was killed might fly, but if you were two hundred miles away in Bahrain, you were not endangered. To abuse the metric of stressor is to cheapen the process. I picked up a GSW in Laos in 1970 but never thought about it as a reason, in and of itself, for my aberrant behaviour later. It was a compendium of experiences. To me, the GSW was merely bad luck-being in the wrong airspace at the wrong moment. Losing my friends and not being able to land to recover their bodies is what haunts my dreams to this day.

    Major mental disorders come in all sizes and shapes. Make no mistake about it. But, like Sleep Apnea, they can be attributed to different ethos, Someone predisposed to mental instability may choose to blame it on the military. We see this frequently in those who served for a short period before being discharged. We see it surface 40 years later in Vietnam Vets, too. That does not make the person a goldbrick. It often is a final reckoning with a long illness and the person finally seeking help. I have compassion for combat and MST Vets. I sadly digress when asked to grant that to those who sat in Kuwait and worried that an IED might or might not get them.

    South of me at Fort Lewis’ Madigan Hospital, they had a PTSD assembly line production several years ago where troops ran the gauntlet and were diagnosed up or down. A nurse we sold a house to told us of the procedure. They were expected to complete 7-8 intakes a day with suggested prognoses. Margo said she would have been hard pressed to accomplish 3 a day fairly under the best of circumstances. That is how the process works in real life. The personality disorder or pre-existing denial technique is still in play lo these forty years later. Likewise, Vets looking for a cush compensation check are out there, too. I personally think a lot of the psychiatrists used to ascertain the truth are more disturbed than the folks seeking their help. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

    • I agree. There are the “few” who make it worse for those who truly were traumatized. I am such a person, young, smiled always, pretty much excepted everyone, but refusing to “party” the guy just would not shut up, holding my clean laundry, finally stated, “not interested, even if you were the last guy on the planet.” Now understand this, I am putting away my laundry, very much the “perfectionist” or “Type A,” because I took my job in the medical field very seriously. 15-20 minutes later, crazy man came out of nowhere beat the crap out of me. Shock? Not just me, but all who ran up and got him off me. This goes way more, trust that, but what 3-4 months later raped in my own barracks room. Now, imagine, no counseling offered, rape victims ended up being the one who was tried. Sad as that is, POTUS and his “executive order, ” just made me a victim again. I volunteered for him, and you bet I let him have it. “Karma? A funny word,” but let me share a very real and very true story! I finally went back to work, 2007, I left my past stored away, did my job, did it well, but an over zealous boss created the “monster” called failure. You see, this monster also had my health insurance company I had been paying for sent me a letter stating cut off. I asked, “what’s up?” No worries I am told, well um yeah, finally worry “HE” was. Because he didn’t pay the bills, I had already had a job, but, mess with my money, lie to me, not a good combo. Do you think I know who to call if he did not give my money back? Think on it. Now that word, “KARMA.” He was on the road didn’t feel well ended up in ICU for quite some time, and I know for a fact, worked in one, every piece of equipment you are charged for, his bill was quite hefty with no insurance, do you think I would wish that on him? NO. I do not believe revenge is a correct way to behave, I believe in my own way, forgive. That does not mean I won’t react, trust me, “Irish with an Italian attitude.” That’s me! I will rant and rave and get it out because growing up stuffing all that crap is not healthy. And stuff I did well! However, there is no way in hell can anyone do a C&P give a diagnosis she did, did not write my responses but her own even though I answered. And what she did not know, I just came out of a Fibro fog, so he, my partner reminded me lord 10 times, appointment in the morning! To say no interest or clubs, oh can I dispute her crap! Just one eval alone would suggest something else, and that is one who is “very involved within her community, and just came from volunteering doing data entry for the homeless count.” Then my first accident. Which my back declined, and as stated, I knew stuff moved, metal back I am. And I, I was right. Let me be clear, I called them on “their game.” Do you think they are happy? Do you think I care if they are? My Professor who taught my psychology would take this woman and chew her up, spit her out, then make sure she never worked again. You see, not me, “but them,” are in the spotlight! And gee, where is my medical record from Active Duty? The Official Copy in the Reserves? I question everything, and I can dispute them to the point that “careful how far you push me, for I shall push in a way you can’t imagine.” Revenge? No. Say early out, how about your confidence is gone, self esteem hanging in the balance, then hook up with a not so hot guy who really messed with my young mind!
      Her words and her statements can be proven wrong. Trust that, because those I protect, have my back, ( no matter the shape it’s in) and I would say, “be afraid, be very very afraid.,” because I have no followers, but, leaders, and they shall not lie. Let me say this, I truly thought the VA meant what they said, “we will help you,” but I am in touch with others who say it is not working and there is no help. My big thing? My back, my increased nerve pain, all I want is to be a bit better than I am now.
      WHO DO I CARE ABOUT? ALL THOSE WHO SHOULD TRANSITION AND A WAY HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE. FUNNY WHEN PRESENTED, TO PROFESSIONALS, THEY AGREE AND WISH TO SEE IT IMPLEMENTED. IT IS NOT ABOUT ME, I AM WAY MUCH STRONGER THAN THEY BELIEVE, AND DON’T MESS WITH A WOMAN WHO CARES ABOUT ALL “THOSE CHILDREN WHO SERVED, BECAUSE I CONSIDER THEM MY OWN.” I AM NOT BLIND, I KNOW THEIR SILLY GAMES, AND WILL THEY BE A FOOL? WHAT DO YOU THINK? I have a DSM, as stated, no fool here! But so unprofessional to make a “rash decision” and it disgraces the profession, and worse, it never looks good when you decide to fill in the blanks, change the answer given, you begin to see, “no professional at all.” My own Real Doctor will be writing them a letter, can I say screwed they are? He knows my health history, he shall not leave a word out.
      “If this country can spend billions of dollars on more war planes, it is time to say no more. It is time to spend it on the people who graciously give you their all, may go through tragic events, a door in the brain protects the body and then the whole well being of a person becomes fractured.” It is time to rise up, time to speak up, time to be loud and let them know, “enough with your bullshit I care attitude but don’t, ” we need to bring ourselves and be a huge force they need to contend with, strength in numbers. It maybe some who fake PTSD OR MST, BUT, “DO YOU KNOW THAT SANITIZING RECORDS IS A PRACTICE DONE?” AND SOMEONE DID DESTROY A WHOLE LOT OF RECORDS!
      POTUS-He has two daughters, he won’t be able to put them in a bubble, but he should concern himself that they may never experience a rape, I wouldn’t wish it on a soul. But again, “KARMA,” spins itself and seems to strike back faster, sad, may he will see the errors of his ways, then again he may not. As stated, when an idiot told me my Fibromyalgia and urinary tract infections or cystitis are not related, but she lacks the knowledge that it is true, but I will believe she lacks knowledge, a pass I give, to a point, and prepared I am to slam them back and say “SLAM DUNK!”

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