Diagnosed with both PTSD and Adjustment Disorder

Tripolisix

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Greetings all

Over the past several months I've been dealing with mental health issues right after my tour in Afghanistan. I've been in the military going on 10 years

Post-deployment, the USAF BH provider referred me to a private MH clinic who diagnosed me with PTSD and MDD (I have the discharge paperwork). The provider on base was extremely reluctant and diagnosed me with adjustment disorder (Now going on 9-10 months) with NO change to CHRONIC AD which is per the DSM, from my understanding.

I've finally gotten to the point where I'm getting really tired of fighting the military mental health system and im finally looking for help on how I could go about getting my adjustment disorder diagnosis changed to PTSD if and when I decide to get out. I'm completely terrified on how this would affect me on the VA side of things. When I take my medical records to the VA will they scrub the private MH clinic PTSD diagnosis and replace with adjustment disorder(Not chronic)? even though I've been dealing with it for about 10 months? I'm terrified that if something were to happen that I would be discharged with no benefits and that I'm basically getting short changed for my service overseas which eventually brought me to the point of putting a gun to my head right after I got back.

Long story short, I dont know where to start or who to turn to for help on fighting this. Any suggestions, advice, or pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated. Thank you all!!
 

oddpedestrian

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All mental health ratings are evaluated the same the only issue here is it seems that you might qualify for CRSC if you retire out medically with a combat injury (PTSD). Is your MH problems based on the fear-based criteria? do you have a confirmed stressor from combat? That could be why the base provider has changed the diagnosis you really can't force them to change it you are not a doctor. The VA will rate either the AJ or PTSD the same based on social and occupational impairment the diagnosis isn't really all that important to the VA.
 

TOT31

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Greetings all

Over the past several months I've been dealing with mental health issues right after my tour in Afghanistan. I've been in the military going on 10 years

Post-deployment, the USAF BH provider referred me to a private MH clinic who diagnosed me with PTSD and MDD (I have the discharge paperwork). The provider on base was extremely reluctant and diagnosed me with adjustment disorder (Now going on 9-10 months) with NO change to CHRONIC AD which is per the DSM, from my understanding.

I've finally gotten to the point where I'm getting really tired of fighting the military mental health system and im finally looking for help on how I could go about getting my adjustment disorder diagnosis changed to PTSD if and when I decide to get out. I'm completely terrified on how this would affect me on the VA side of things. When I take my medical records to the VA will they scrub the private MH clinic PTSD diagnosis and replace with adjustment disorder(Not chronic)? even though I've been dealing with it for about 10 months? I'm terrified that if something were to happen that I would be discharged with no benefits and that I'm basically getting short changed for my service overseas which eventually brought me to the point of putting a gun to my head right after I got back.

Long story short, I dont know where to start or who to turn to for help on fighting this. Any suggestions, advice, or pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated. Thank you all!!
First and foremost, if you think you have PTSD and you have been formally diagnosed by med professionals, don't accept any PEB findings that don't recognize the PTSD as unfitting or change the diagnosis. If the PEB comes back disregarding your PTSD or acknowledges your PTSD but than down plays the severity, appeal the decision and seek a military disability lawyer who specializes in PEB med boards for representation in order to get the best possible outcome which is med retirement and va / crsc benefits. You will have a chance to review your MEB narrative for accuracy so if you don't see proper acknowledgement of your PTSD and the severity, address it at that time and ensure your evaluator understands and acknowledges your condition and severity which should reflect in your PEB narsum if they are doing the right thing. Don't down play or cover up anything during your evals.
 

PEBMember2017

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I would point out to be very leery of the Adjustment Disorder, I have heard countless horror stories of service members somehow found fit by a PEB, only to return to duty and face some b.s. administrative discharge under broad terms such as "inability to adapt" and all this other b.s.

Adjustment disorder is not considered ratable under DOD, and for years they would hand this "diagnosis" out like candy because they know this. I'm not a doctor, but I have a serious problem with this when it is clearly evident other mental health factors are at play.

It is imperative you get medical opinions and treatment from primary care providers and start your paper trail.
 
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chaplaincharlie

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...... I'm not a doctor, but I have a serious problem with this when it is clearly evident other mental health factors are at play......
Sometimes docs use a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder to help the patient remain in their current employment and avoid the stigma of another diagnosis. This happens in the military as well. Member with any mental health diagnosis ought to claim a MH condition when they meet with the MSC. The C&P examiner understand that AD is not compensable and will only rate that condition if there id no evidence on another rateable condition. The frequent use of an AD diagnosis may be incorrect but often it is not nefarious.
 

PEBMember2017

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Sometimes docs use a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder to help the patient remain in their current employment and avoid the stigma of another diagnosis. This happens in the military as well. Member with any mental health diagnosis ought to claim a MH condition when they meet with the MSC. The C&P examiner understand that AD is not compensable and will only rate that condition if there id no evidence on another rateable condition. The frequent use of an AD diagnosis may be incorrect but often it is not nefarious.
Well said, perhaps my thinking is misguided, and I'm aligned more with what you said.

Should it be that any and every MH condition should be ratable/compensatible to the degree that it effects a service member and their ability to perform their duties, especially if it threatens involuntary separation?
 

Tripolisix

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I would point out to be very leery of the Adjustment Disorder, I have heard countless horror stories of service members somehow found fit by a PEB, only to return to duty and face some b.s. administrative discharge under broad terms such as "inability to adapt" and all this other b.s.

Adjustment disorder is not considered ratable under DOD, and for years they would hand this "diagnosis" out like candy because they know this. I'm not a doctor, but I have a serious problem with this when it is clearly evident other mental health factors are at play.

It is imperative you get medical opinions and treatment from primary care providers and start your paper trail.


Thank you all for the responses. I didn't know one could hire a lawyer for a PEB; Great info.

PEBMember2017, you mentioned to start creating a paper trail? I've only been sent to 1 private MH facility outside the military that diagnosed me with PTSD when I got back from deployment. What other options do I have at this point to get more diagnosis' from outside sources? Would I have to pay out of pocket? Would the VA be an option even though I'm still on Active Duty?

Thanks, again for all your responses!
 

RonG

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Thank you all for the responses. I didn't know one could hire a lawyer for a PEB; Great info.

PEBMember2017, you mentioned to start creating a paper trail? I've only been sent to 1 private MH facility outside the military that diagnosed me with PTSD when I got back from deployment. What other options do I have at this point to get more diagnosis' from outside sources? Would I have to pay out of pocket? Would the VA be an option even though I'm still on Active Duty?

Thanks, again for all your responses!
VA compensation cannot be paid during periods of active duty. In fact, CH 61 retirees will have their retired pay reduced by the amount of VA compensation received.

These remarks do not address CRDP and CRSC qualification.

Ron
 

Tripolisix

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VA compensation cannot be paid during periods of active duty. In fact, CH 61 retirees will have their retired pay reduced by the amount of VA compensation received.

These remarks do not address CRDP and CRSC qualification.

Ron
I understand that, but as far as going to fight the "adjustment disorder" claim, how would I go about getting multiple opinions on a diagnosis outside the two I already have (DoD-adjustment Disorder and MH clinic- PTSD) while on Active duty.
 

RonG

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Unfortunately, I am not familiar with most of the medical processes since I had a regular, 20 year+ plus retirement. I do know a few things about payments and CRSC, but that is not the issue here.

Good luck, I'm confident someone with that experience will add to the conversation soon.

Ron
 

twilli1313

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I understand that, but as far as going to fight the "adjustment disorder" claim, how would I go about getting multiple opinions on a diagnosis outside the two I already have (DoD-adjustment Disorder and MH clinic- PTSD) while on Active duty.
I was in a similar situation a few months back. In January of 2019, I was diagnosed with adjustment disorder by a military psychiatrist and later diagnosed with PTSD by my civilian counselor as well as the VA representative that conducted my behavioral health C&P Exam. As long as the VA representative diagnoses you with it as well then it will certainly help. I appealed it on my MEB findings by requesting an impartial medical review (IMR) and the physician concluded that it should be changed from adjustment disorder to PTSD on my DA Form 3947 which is basically what they list all of your conditions on before sending off for ratings to the VA. I’m still waiting for ratings. I am fighting the fact that they found me fit for duty for duty on the PTSD side so we plan to appeal once the ratings come back. Best of luck and hopefully this provides some optimism. Keep fighting the fight and don’t give up sir!
 
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