PTSD? I can't discuss it.

Discussion in 'PTSD and Mental Health Conditions' started by NLynn, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. NLynn

    NLynn PEB Forum Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi,

    I am about to face an MEB for a long list of medical conditions including severe fibromyalgia, chronic rhinitis, plantar fasciitis, arrhythmia, vcd and quite a few more. I was in therapy and on meds in 2007 for depression & anxiety but it didn't really help, so I gave up. I have been struggling with these things for years now as well as from obsessive compulsive disorder. The anxiety & depression, coupled with the constant pain and the other things have gotten so bad that shortly before my MEB referral, my leadership was so concerned with my mental state & pain levels that they put me on a modified work schedule and pushed me to see a psychiatrist. Yesterday I had my first meeting with a counselor (turns out he wasn't a psychiatrist) at Mental Health. I spoke with him for quite a while about the issues I have. At one point he asked me if I have ever been subjected to an event where I felt my life was in danger or other people died. I told him yes. He wanted me to elaborate but I told him that I can't due to its sensitive nature. Then he asked if this event still bothers me. In an effort to get off the topic, I said no. I don't know why I did that. I kinda panicked.

    Here's my dilemma. I have broken down in tears for many many years when reminded & I have nightmares about it, sometimes for 3-4 nights straight. This event has been bothering me for a very long time & coincides slightly (1 year later) with the onset of my original anxiety, depression diagnosis. The problem is (besides the fact that I've never wanted to discuss it with anyone) that the event is classified. The potential loss of my clearance is one of the reasons I haven't sought mental health counseling in years. I have been thinking about it all night now & am somehow realizing now that this might be the reason for my OCD, anxiety, depression, or at least a contributing factor. What do I do?
     
  2. CW2 Retired

    CW2 Retired PEB Forum Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Thank you for your Patriotic service in defense of our freedom!!!!!!

    Be proud first but realize that asking for help is a big step.

    It sounds like you have PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) It does not become PTSD until it is determined that the issues will most likely last forever. Not all Traumatic events will linger in your mind thus separating PTS from PTSD.

    You can go to Behavioral Health and as long as you are not planning on hurting yourself or others than your clearance should not come into question.

    As far as the event being classified, this little story may help you.

    I met a ranger with PTSD. He was angry and felt as if he were weak because he had to get help. (NOTE: I’m not a BH counselor just another Soldier that people find easy to talk too) He felt betrayed and could not tell what happened because he did not want to compromise a mission.
    So he changed the names and places but kept the events the same. He used first names allot because they can’t be traced. He was able to tell about the ambush he was in near “who knows where"(That’s what he called it). Talking helps, and finding someone who can discuss the pain and feelings not the details of the missions is important. Depending on the post you are at they may have a Intensive Outpatient Program that is designed to help soldiers dealing with PTSD related issues.

    If you can tell me where you are at I can relay the contact information to you.

    The Chief
     
  3. grizz13

    grizz13 PEB Forum Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,408
    Trophy Points:
    143
    I understand completely on the situation of a past event, my counselor kept proding about somethings in my past, I ended up blowing up on her and told her the she needs to stop asking because my life would be in danger if i ever said a word about the event. From that point on, no question was ever raised again. You do need to say that you are having nightmares and unwanted memories of the event so you can correctly be diagnosed. You sugar coating it, is not going to make anything better, you will not be treated correctly, you will suffer through it and not get better. Yes I am being abrupt with my comment, but it is the truth, you need to stand up and take care of yourself. How can you take care of your family if you can't take care of yourself?!?!!? Ask yourself that, I did, and I am getting better every week that goes by.
     
    hucklebuck likes this.
  4. usafaviator

    usafaviator PEB Forum Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,235
    Trophy Points:
    78
    I know that the AF often has counselors and chaplains with clearances for situations like this. I understand where you are coming from....other than local training sorties, everything that I do is classified (most TS/SCI) and it is hard to find somebody to talk to without the risk of "challenging" our clearances. Whatever you do, don't resolve to keeping everything bottled up just because you fear clearance issues. Find somebody that you can talk to (doesn't have to be a doc). Good luck, hang in there!
     
  5. Snacks

    Snacks PEB Forum Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    84
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I agree with Aviator. You gotta live with yourself forever. Your command and your clearance aren't gonna be there for you 50 years down the road if you are having issues. Find someone that you can talk to it about. Your health is the most important thing you have.
     
  6. NLynn

    NLynn PEB Forum Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi everyone and thank you so much for your replies. The whole MEB process & trying to get myself fixed has left me feeling really alone and it means a lot to realize that I'm not alone. I am at Travis AFB in Ca. I went to my security manager yesterday and discussed it all with her. I'm going to see the Psychiatrist on Tuesday and will talk to him about it. Thanks again everyone.
     
  7. grizz13

    grizz13 PEB Forum Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,408
    Trophy Points:
    143
    I am glad you asked the question! It does hurt by not knowing the information, but it feels good that you got the info doesn't it???:)
     
  8. NLynn

    NLynn PEB Forum Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    1
    So it turns out I might not have PTSD. I have been seeing mental health regularly now and while I'm not 100% certain, it seems as though the thoughts are actually related to my OCD. I didn't know OCD could manifest itself this way. This might sound silly but I always thought of OCD as being more along the lines of repeated hand washing and fear of germs. After talking about all of my day to day thoughts, even the bad ones that keep me awake at night, my "rituals" and being told about how they match the symptoms of OCD, it sounds quite possible that that's what I'm dealing with. I was also diagnosed with anxiety and depression. All of these problems have been going on for 5-6 years now. Being a woman in the military (where we're often viewed as weaker) and the potential loss of my clearance have kept me from seeking help sooner, but just talking about it has felt really good. I've also started taking Prozac now. Thank you all for the encouragement (or push) to seek help and I would definitely recommend the same to others. Dealing with the whole MEB is stressful enough, add onto that a mental health condition and it could be a recipe for disaster. Hopefully I'll be a little better equipped now as I proceed through the MEB process.
     
  9. grizz13

    grizz13 PEB Forum Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,408
    Trophy Points:
    143
    I'm glad things are going in a better direction for you, just because you have a mental condition doesn't exclude you from having a secret clearance, I have seen MH for years and I got my clearance while I was being treated. If the Prozac doesn't help ask your doc to look into Celexa, it really helps with anxiety and anger ALOT.
     

Share This Page