Many veterans are still reluctant to seek treatment for mental health disorders. Part of this may stem from fears about being “found out” by the military and facing repercussions in their careers.
It is widespread for veterans to suffer from more than one mental health condition. However, the VA considers each disorder’s severity and impact when assigning a disability rating.
Studies have shown that between 7 and 13 out of every 100 Veterans have PTSD at some point. PTSD can impact a veteran’s ability to engage in work, family and social relationships, and daily activities. Often, people with PTSD feel a sense of anger and bitterness over their experience with the military, their return home, or other aspects of life in general. Those feelings can lead to them feeling betrayed by various people, including their partners and children.
Those with PTSD must find someone they can trust and build relationships with. Therapy can be an intense and emotional process, so those with PTSD need to be patient. Many of the VA’s mental health specialty clinics and primary care offices have therapists on staff who can help with these issues.
While PTSD and depression are the mental health conditions that veterans often seek treatment. For bipolar disorder can also negatively impact a veteran’s life.
Suppose a veteran has service-connected bipolar disorder and a physical disability caused by the same incident. Such as losing a limb. In that case, these two conditions may have a shared “common etiology,” which allows VA to combine their ratings and award TDIU benefits.
The main elements of a successful psychiatric disability claim at Berry Law include an up-to-date diagnosis from a medical professional and details regarding in-service occurrences that precipitated or aggravated the condition. This can be accomplished through lay statements or in-service treatment records.
Veterans can be affected by various mental health issues, not just PTSD. The stress of combat, deployments. Other events on active duty may also lead to severe anxiety disorders, depression, adjustment disorders, and more.
To get a service-connected rating for depression. You must provide proof of its severity and your level of occupational and social impairment. To support your claim for depression caused by a specific event or incidents during your service. It is recommended to provide thorough medical records, statements from friends and family. Who witnessed your symptoms, and evidence that links your depression to the said event or incidents.
It is possible to have more than one mental health diagnosis (such as PTSD and depression), but the VA will only rate you for one disability rating. The higher the rating, the more money you will receive.
Veterans often experience a general anxiety disorder or GAD. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms may include excessive and persistent worry, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances.
Many veterans with GAD do not receive a diagnosis until after they are discharged from the military. This is normal, and a former servicemember can pursue compensation for this condition if they can prove a specific stressor in service caused it.
One of the best ways to prove this is through an in-service diagnosis of GAD. This can be done through a mental health DBQ, which the veteran’s healthcare provider must complete. Alternatively, this condition can be considered secondary to a primary service-connected disability like back pain.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Many veterans suffer from mental health issues due to traumatic brain injury (TBI), a prevalent cause of such problems. It can affect a veteran’s thinking, memory, and concentration, resulting in problems with everyday activities, such as driving or working. It can also lead to headaches, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Many veterans experience both TBI and mental health conditions simultaneously; the symptoms can overlap. Determining which conditions a veteran should be rated for when this happens can be challenging. Generally, the VA will only rate a veteran for one condition at a time, not both.
A veteran needs to have comprehensive evidence when applying for compensation. The best proof is definitive, documented evidence from a medical professional linking the veteran’s mental illness to a specific incident(s) during active service. Read more interesting articles on Ebeak