A Helping Hand for Vets With PTSD
The Wall Street Journal
Feb 29, 2008
February 26, 2008 - Imagine you are a young soldier wounded in Iraq. Your physical injuries heal, but your mind remains tormented. You are flooded with memories of the bloody firefight you survived, you can't concentrate, and sudden noise makes you jump out of your skin. At 23 years old, you are about to be discharged from the military, afraid you'll never again be able to hold a job or fully function in society.
For the thousands of young men and women who apply for disability benefits upon return from Iraq and Afghanistan, these fears are becoming a reality.
When a veteran files a psychiatric disability claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an examiner is assigned to determine the extent of incapacitation. As part of the assessment, the examiner requests a psychiatric evaluation to obtain the veteran's diagnosis. Once the veteran is diagnosed with a service-related mental condition (typically depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or another anxiety disorder) the claims examiner assigns a disability rating.
The most severe level for a veteran leaving service is 100%. But even a 50% rating denotes significant impairment (e.g., "difficulty in understanding complex commands"), according to the Veterans Benefits Administration.
click post title for the rest
From Aug. 15, 2006
BRAVO LARRY SCOTT,,,,FROM VA WATCHDOGDISSING PTSD VETERANS HAS BECOME A LIFESTYLE FOR DR. SALLYSATEL -- And, she's at it again in her latest "think-tank" article --"...new compensation awards will coincide with the retirement years..." --"...how to distinguish between...those who are seeking a free ride..." --"...some veterans' advocates...remain too ready...[for the] quickreach for the disability claims form..."Dr. Sally is on a roll again!In her latest article for the American Enterprise Institute "think-tank" she uses innuendo and negative buzz words to paint veterans with PTSD as losers, liars or both.Background here...
Latest story here... http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.24781/pub_detail.aspfilter.all,pubID.24781/pub_detail.asp
Stressed out VetsBelieving the Worst about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
By Sally Satel, M.D.
"Dear Dr. Satel: You are an ideologically constipated coward." So begins one of several dyspeptic communications I've received recently from Vietnam veterans and others.
What provoked their ire was a remark of mine quoted in the Washington Post on June 20.
Under the headline "Iraq War May Add Stress for Past Vets; Trauma Disorder Claims at New High," the article suggested that the current war is responsible for a surge in disability compensation among veterans' ranks.While I do agree that current news coverage may prompt anxiety, sleeplessness, and distressing memories among veterans who have led productive lives since leaving Vietnam, I told the Post I was "skeptical" that veterans who had functioned well for three decades would now be permanently incapacitated.
My sentiments are unpopular--you "right-wing, bloviating [expletive deleted] pseudo-psychiatrist," wrote another reader on his blog--but my point is actually an encouraging one. That is, even if veterans are undone by news and footage of fighting in Iraq, few are likely to endure a subsequent lifetime of chronic anguish or dysfunction of the kind that requires long-term disability entitlement............
Aug. 31, 2006
RIDE, SALLY, RIDE -- Dr. Sally Satel continues to ride PTSD veterans.From Slate.com: "Once a [veteran] receives a monthly check...hismotivation to hold a job wanes." --- "...a lingering threat areclinicians who are too quick...to reach for thepermanent disability claims form."go to VA Watchdog and read the rest of what this witch says.
For her information, as if she wants any real information when she can just keep claiming what she has in her own mind, no matter if it is based in fact or not. Let me tell you the story of a man named Jack who came home from Vietnam and went to work while his father told him to get over the clear signs of PTSD.He came home in 1971. He went to work, got married and separated more times than he can remember by the time we met. He still worked, off and on, as much as he could. Each job he applied for he looked for one thing, if he would have to spend his work time with anyone or not. He only applied when he would be able to be alone.In 1990 he was diagnosed by a private psychologist, who apparently was well informed regarding PTSD unlike Satel. The days of being unable to get off the couch because of nightmares hitting too hard followed by flashbacks were not enough to cause him to want to stop working. He wanted to work. He felt he was doing something with his life.
Finally in 1993, he agreed to go to the VA since they were the experts in PTSD. He was again diagnosed with PTSD and in the 98% range. He still wanted to work. This was followed by six years of claims and appeals. Once the VA diagnosed him with service connected PTSD, our private health insurance would no longer cover him for any mental health treatment. He was told it was the responsibility of the government.He was finally awarded disability from the VA for PTSD in 1999. Once this was finally given, he was able to file for protection from losing his job under Family and Medical Leave Act. He kept trying while his condition got worse. He still wanted to work no matter what his VA doctors told him about the added stress level to his condition. He kept trying. He ended up taking early retirement because of his disability.Jack is not unique, except to me, and like all others in the VA system, they make treatment impossible without an approved service connected disability rating. He made a lot more money working than he is on VA disability.
Now Satel can make any kind of outrageous claim she wants but we know what is reality. We know what it is when we live with it everyday of our lives. For her to claim this is an easy thing for any veteran proves she knows nothing about those who suffer with PTSD. One of the biggest things to these veterans is denial. They would rather do anything other than to admit they have PTSD. For her to slander any veteran claiming they get a free ride is beyond incompetence. She needs to have her credentials revoked. Satel should be brought before a committee to answer for the damage she has done to those with PTSD.I am sick and tired of fighting to get our veterans into treatment while Satel gets to harm them. There are too many Satels in positions supposedly seeking to help veterans and doing nothing but harm to them instead. These people need to be forced out the jobs they clearly have no business being in.