Lawbob Squarepants has given me a new PTSD bible to roam through showing the new, improved Rand McNally© DSM 5 roadmap to the mind. Personally, being stark raving mad as the USAF described me, I have no interest in wandering the highways and byways of the interior facets of my mind. If they are bent, so be it. Wondering why or cataloging all the obsequious behavioral aspects solves no useful purpose. I’m 64. Too late.
Nevertheless, because such a large number of you from the Iraqistan Olympics are returning looking like GI Joe/ Jane missing a substantial amount of those two thousand body parts you began life with, I feel it is imperative that you all examine the playbook that VA is using to measure you on the mental plane. Obviously, the VA panacea is to deny and declare them all personality disorders and offer Thorazine by the truckload. Problem solved. The miracle of medication.
Some may say I am “enabling malingerers” or teaching to the test. I disagree. I see it as an aspect of the Freedom Of Information Act. I don’t think anyone should have “secret lists” like the Spanish Inquisition whereby you are summarily declared guilty in the absence of charges. More to the point, Glasnost is the order of the day according to Call me Bob McDonald. I simply consider I’m doing Secretary Bob a favor just like he did me on my Extraordinary Writ back in January. Remember, VA likes to say we’re all steakholders (sic) in this lifeboat. I agree. Beef looks good on me.
An open apprisal of the metrics used to determine pass/fail for PTSD should be no secret. Surely, these VA Masters of the Human Mind have methods to segregate the fakirs and wannabe MDDs. With that sure knowledge, an open discussion should be the order of the day which is why I decided to publish it.
The upside is that it might help even one Veteran to assess himself and ask that daunting self-interrogatory- “Shoot. What if I do have it?” I’d rather save one and risk enabling 3 with nothing more than a personality disorder to file a contrived claim.
Theresa, the owner of Hadit.com, put it most succinctly when she said “Leave no one behind. Not on a Jungle Trail. Not on a Desert Trail. Not on a Paper Trail.™. If you’ve ever been forced to leave someone behind, I can assure you, you’ll spend the rest of your life thinking about it; wondering how you could have done it differently; where in the hell was the promised TACAir; why the BUFF was too late. It may bend your brain…. or not. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
P.S. Here’s a new article about Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and PTSD.
P.S. The update I mentioned is detailed here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-08-04/pdf/2014-18150.pdf (it begins on the lower right).
I agree that veterans have a right to know the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Sure, some may use this knowledge to embellish or fabricate, but that is by far the minority.
An interesting DSM tidbit: The VA recently updated its regulations regarding mental disorders, including PTSD, but they neglected to change an important aspect of 38 C.F.R. § 3.304(f)(3), specifically with regard to the definition of “fear of hostile military or terrorist activity.” The definition retains DSM-IV Criterion A2, viz., “and the veteran’s response to the event or circumstance involved a psychological or psycho-physiological state of fear, helplessness, or horror.”
I have no idea what this means in legal terms, although during the transition from DSM-IV to DSM-5, VA instructed C&P psychologists to determine if the veteran suffered from either DSM-IV or DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. Should that still be the case? I personally believe so, since the PTSD diagnostic criteria are far from perfect, and because the veteran should be given the benefit of the doubt. I assume the VA would disagree. I do not know how the CAVC or Federal Circuit would view this issue.
” I have no interest in wandering the highways and byways of the interior facets of my mind”. Scary cow dung in there hoss.