What Symptoms Of Ptsd Should I Bring Up At My C&p Exam
Nightmares are of the most intense symptoms of PTSD. However, as awful as nightmares can be, they only fall under the 30 percent rating on the VAs rating formula. Therefore, it is important to consider other symptoms like anger and difficulty dealing with authority. These symptoms, even if they arent as frequent or intense, show the true measure of the severity of the disability. Loved ones usually are better at observing these, so written statements from those individuals may be helpful as well.
Recently, the VA has insisted that C&P examiners use Disability Benefits Questionnaires . The VA created DBQs to streamline the VA claims process intended to ensure that the record is complete to decide a VA disability claim. According to the VA, there are more than 70 DBQs, covering the majority of disabilities, including PTSD. .
When the exam is over, the veteran should ask for the examiners business card.; After the exam, the veteran will want to order a copy of the exam report. The veteran should check that the person doing the examination was the one who wrote the final report.
Do Va Examiners Always Do Multiple Psy Tests
VA examiners do not always administer multiple tests to determine if a veteran is malingering. If a veteran scores M-FAST score of 6 or higher, the VA doctor may report the veteran is possibly malingering.; Because that one word is now a part of the veterans claims file, the PTSD claim will be even more difficult to win. The veteran will likely need an independent medical opinion that refutes the allegation of malingering.
The Army recognized this back in 2012.; It issued policy guidance on the assessment and treatment of PTSD.; The memo stressed that the diagnosis of malingering should not be made unless there is substantial and definitive evidence from collateral or objective sources that there are false or grossly exaggerated symptoms that are consciously produced for external incentives. The memo noted that there is considerable evidence that malingering is rare among veterans and that malingering is unlikely to be a factor in the vast majority of disability determinations. Even the VA concedes that Vietnam veterans may have elevated scores on tests due to their chronic post-traumatic difficulties. In fact, no test for malingering exists which can reliably tell which symptoms are being exaggerated. Tests like the M-FAST, MMPI-2, PAI, and TSI are the best available.; That said, the tests findings can easily result in labeling veterans with genuine PTSD as malingers.
Adverse Childhood Experiences Test
The ACE Study is one of the largest scientific research studies of its kind, with over 17,000 mostly middle income Americans participating. ;The focus was to analyze the relationship between childhood trauma and the risk for physical and mental illness in adulthood.
Over the course of a decade, the results demonstrated a strong, graded relationship between the level of traumatic stress in childhood and poor physical, mental and behavioral outcomes later in life. No new study participants are being accepted into the study. ;However, you might like to know your own ACE Score.
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Summary Of Education And Training
Degree: MA, PhD, PsyD, EdD
Training: Graduate courses in human behavior, development, personality, research, statistics, psychotherapy, assessment, ethics. Two years for master’s degree, four to six years for doctoral degree, followed by one to two years of full-time internship.
Can prescribe medications: In certain states with additional training.
Degree: MD, DO
Training: Medical school with broad focus on biological functioning followed by specialized residency about mental illness and its treatment, with a focus on medications .
Can prescribe medications: Yes.
How Is Ptsd Diagnosed
Because we all experience different life events and react differently, PTSD doesnt look the same for everyone. For example, a person who has been in a serious car accident may have different symptoms of PTSD than someone who was injured in military combat.
Only trained health professionals can diagnose PTSD. They often do so according to criteria set by the DSM-5.
There are no lab tests to diagnose PTSD, but a doctor might still order these to rule out any physical illnesses that may be causing your symptoms.
A mental health professional will also want to spend some time talking about your concerns, medical and personal history, recent events, and symptoms.
Theyll want to know if youve directly experienced, seen, learned of, or been exposed to any traumatic events and if your symptoms followed this experience.
Because whats traumatic for one person might not be for another, mental health professionals are trained to understand an individuals unique experiences and feelings.
There are several treatment options available for PTSD. How fast your recovery is will depend on many factors, though. It could be between 3 and 24 months.
Health professionals usually use a combination of psychotherapy and medications to treat PTSD.
Types of psychotherapy that have been used to treat PTSD include:
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Setting Goals For Ptsd Therapy
What sort of goals should you look at when talking to your doctor or therapist about PTSD therapy? This depends on your symptoms, how severely they are affecting your life, and your own personal goals. For example, would you like to be able to go to a concert but you avoid them because crowds make you too anxious? Would you like to learn how to drive but a car accident made you too fearful? Discuss these goals with your doctor or therapist so you can work towards them as part of your therapy.
Aside from specific goals you may have, the main goals for PTSD therapy include:
Coping with symptoms or your reactions to triggers
Learning how to cope when confronted with your triggers or if the symptoms return
Learning how to avoid negative self-talk and to think positively about yourself
If you have , anxiety or problems with addiction, these will also be addressed in your treatment plan.
When To See A Professional
The debilitating symptoms of PTSD can make living, working, and interacting difficult. In fact, many people struggling with post traumatic stress disorder can turn to unhealthy coping skills like substance abuse or self-harm in an attempt to minimize or escape from their emotional distress.
If you have been experiencing symptoms for longer than a month, it could be helpful for you to talk with a professional. When you are dealing with nightmares, flashbacks, and a negative outlook about yourself and others, it can begin to feel like things will never change.
Finding a qualified professional to help can make all the difference, bringing back hope through the sharing of your experiences and helping you learn healthy, effective ways of coping.
PTSD Discussion Guide
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Is It Easy To Diagnose
“With properly skilled doctors it can be very easy to diagnose, it could take a few hours,” says Prof Greenberg.
But he says doctors must have a good suspicion of PTSD before starting to diagnose someone, as patients may not bring up their trauma history.
It can also be a challenge because some people deliberately “overinflate symptoms”, sometimes for financial reasons, while others seek to avoid the stigma of a PTSD diagnosis.
Does Being Labeled A Malingerer Hurt My Ptsd Case
Unfortunately, bias against the malingering veteran still exists among VA examiners.; This bias can hurt those whose PTSD has legitimately gotten worse. Therefore, it is just as important to use the tips in this section during any subsequent PTSD exams.; You must be prepared to submit evidence that your PTSD has gotten worse to back up the increased rating claim.
NOTE: In the early 2000s, the VA published a Best Practice Manual for PTSD Compensation and Pension Examinations. This manual gives very technical, detailed instructions for clinicians administering C&P exams for PTSD, including the tests used for malingering, such as the MMPI-2. It is unclear how much weight VA C&P examiners give this manual since it has not been updated in over 10 years.; Be that as it may, VA has not officially repealed it. Also note that because the manual pre-dates the publication of the DSM-V, its analysis revolves around the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-IV, including the Global Assessment of Functioning scale.
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The Difference Between Ptsd And Stress
Not everyone who has experienced a traumatic event will develop PTSD. After a traumatic event, it is normal to have strong feelings of anxiety, sadness, or stress. Some people may even experience nightmares, memories about the event, or problems sleeping at night, which are common characteristics of PTSD.
However, these symptoms do not necessarily mean that you have PTSD. Think of it this way: Headaches can be a symptom of a bigger problem, such as meningitis.
However, having a headache does not necessarily mean that you have meningitis. The same is true for PTSD. Many of the symptoms are part of the body’s normal response to stress, but having them does not mean that you have PTSD.
There are specific requirements that must be met for a diagnosis of PTSD. These requirements are outlined in the;5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders .
What Tests Does Va Use To Determine Whether I Have Ptsd
The VA uses the criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition to evaluate whether there is a valid diagnosis of PTSD. The PTSD diagnosis must satisfy all of the DSM-V criterion to validly diagnose PTSD. If the veterans PTSD does not meet the diagnosis, the VA will deny the claim. Therefore, it is important that the veteran thoroughly document all PTSD symptoms.; The veteran needs to be open and honest with her treating providers. This will give VA a true picture of the way the PTSD has impacted her life.
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Ptsd In Children And Teens
Children can have PTSD too. They may have the symptoms listed above and/or symptoms that depend on how old they are. As children get older, their symptoms are more like those of adults.
- Young children may become upset if their parents are not close by. Or children may have trouble sleeping or suddenly have trouble with toilet training or going to the washroom.
- Children who are in the first few years of elementary school may act out the trauma through play, drawings, or stories. They may complain of physical problems or become more irritable or aggressive. They also may have fears and anxiety that don’t seem to be caused by the traumatic event.
If you think you or a loved one has symptoms of PTSD, see your doctor right away. Treatment can work, and early treatment may help reduce long-term symptoms.
Trauma & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Trauma and PTSD: After a traumatic event, it is normal to think, act, and feel differently than usual. Most individuals will start to feel better after a few weeks or months. However, If your symptoms last longer than a few months, are very upsetting, or disrupt your daily life, treatment may help.;If thoughts, feelings, reactions about a trauma are bothering you. The only way to know for sure if you have PTSD is to talk to a qualified mental health care provider who is an expert in the assessment and treatment of trauma & PTSD. The provider will ask you about your trauma, your symptoms and any other problems you have.
There are several treatment options available. For some people, these treatments can end symptoms altogether. Other individuals find they have fewer symptoms or feel that their symptoms are less intense.
Several research trials have shown that patients with trauma or PTSD have;co-occurring mental health problems . In some cases, symptoms of these co-occurring disorders improve with successful PTSD treatment.
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Other Types Of Treatment
- Other types of counselling include group treatment and family therapy.
- Other types of medicines include:footnote 3
- Other antidepressants like venlafaxine may also be used.
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as phenelzine .
- Mood stabilizers such as carbamazepine . Mood stabilizers are sometimes taken with other medicines used for PTSD.
- Antipsychotics such as risperidone . These medicines may help with symptoms like nightmares or flashbacks. More research is needed to find out how well these drugs work.
- Prazosin , which is used for nightmares and sleep problems related to PTSD.
If you are using medicine, take it exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if it’s not helping your symptoms or if the side effects are very bad. You and your doctor will decide what to do.
Some people who have PTSD may try complementary or alternative treatments to manage their symptoms. These treatments may include acupuncture, meditation, and hypnotherapy. These treatments may be helpful for some people with PTSD. But more research is needed.
Talk with your doctor about any complementary health practice that you would like to try or are already using.
Who Diagnoses Ptsd And What Does Getting Diagnosed Involve
Mental health professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers are all qualified to make the diagnosis of PTSD, says Thomas D. Harpley, PhD, a clinical psychologist in San Diego, California. A primary care provider also can make the diagnosis, he says. Who makes the diagnosis may depend on your insurance, Harpley says. If you need a referral to see a specialist, you may see your PCP first and then get referred to a mental health professional.
PTSD may be diagnosed with an interview that assesses various criteria, Harpley explains. There are also psychological tests for PTSD that can help make the diagnosis, but it would be highly improper to reach a diagnosis based solely upon psychological test results, he says.
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Ptsd Symptom Scale Interview
The PSS-I is a 17-item assessment tool that asks patients to identify a singular traumatic event that they believe is causing their symptoms. Symptoms from the past two weeks are identified and assessed as they relate to the DSM-5 diagnosis criteria.
The PSS-I-5 contains 24 questions, with 20 focusing on symptoms and four focusing on symptom distress, interference, onset, and duration.
Arousal And Reactivity Symptoms Include:
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or on edge
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having angry outbursts
Arousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic events. These symptoms can make the person feel stressed and angry. They may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
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Support Groups And Social Support
There are times when you may need a shoulder to cry on or a ride to the doctor. You may want to learn more about PTSD or talk with others who have PTSD. You need people who understand what you are going through and will help you and care about you. This is your support network.
Support takes many forms. You can find it in seminars and groups led by professionals, in groups made up of others with PTSD, and in your relationships with family and friends.
Psychologist Training And Qualifications
Psychologists are people who have either a PhD or a PsyD in a field such as clinical or counseling psychology. In some cases, a psychologist may have an EdD .
To get a PhD, PsyD, or EdD, a person must go to graduate school. Graduate programs in clinical or counseling psychology usually last about five to six years. During that time, psychologists receive extensive training in the assessment and treatment of various psychological disorders.
In meeting with a psychologist, you want to first make sure he is licensed by the state in which he is practicing. You may also want to ask about his professional orientation. It can also be important to ask about his training and area of expertise to make sure he’s a good fit for you.
Depending on the type of training received, each psychologist is going to have his own beliefs and ideas about the origins of psychological disorders and how to treat them. These beliefs and ideas are generally referred to as an “orientation.”
Moreover, don’t forget the importance of having a personal connection with a mental health provider. Even if a psychologist is perfectly qualified doesn’t mean he is the right provider for you.
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Who Is Affected By Post
About 4% of children under age 18 are exposed to some form of trauma in their lifetime that leads to post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, of those children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, about 7% of girls and 2% of boys are diagnosed with PTSD.
Psychiatric Nurses Or Nurse Practitioners
Psychiatric mental health nurses can have different levels of training. Most are registered nurses with additional training in psychiatry or psychology. Psychiatric mental health advanced practice registered nurses have a graduate degree. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are registered nurse practitioners with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems. In most states, psychiatric nurses and psychiatric nurse practitioners can prescribe medicine.
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Automatic 50 Ptsd Rating
Many veterans have heard that VA Disability rules allow for an automatic 50 percent disability rating for PTSD. However, there are actually no ratings for PTSD that are considered automatic, because any veteran diagnosed with PTSD must meet specific rating criteria that is based on their level of social and occupational impairment as a result of their condition.
Who Is Affected By Ptsd And Ptsi
There is not a lot of information on who is affected by PTSI but research into PTSD statistics can start to give an understanding of whose diagnoses may be affected with the name change.
About half of women in the country and 60% of men experience a traumatic event at some point in their lifetime. About 7% to 8% of the population will develop PTSD at some point in their lives and 8 million people can develop this disorder in a given year. PTSD is more common in women and it could be contributed to the fact that more women experience traumatic events.
PTSD can also develop in teens and children following a trauma, just as it would develop in an adult. More than one-fifth of children that are raised in foster care are also diagnosed with PTSD, mostly triggered by physical or sexual abuse.
PTSI in the military is on the rise due to better detection and increased awareness. However, the military is also not the only profession that has seen a rise in the condition, as there is also a rise in first responders.
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