Depression Trauma And Ptsd
Depression is a common problem that can develop after trauma. When you are depressed, you have feelings of sadness or low mood. And those feelings are longer lasting and can get in the way of your daily life. Learn about the relationship between depression and PTSD, and what you can do to get help.
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Diabetes And Secondary Depression
In those who suffer from different types of depression, the risk factor of developing diabetes increases by about 20%, even after adjusting for other factors like exercise and diet when compared to the general population. To make matters worse, those with diabetes actually have an increased risk of developing depression and similar symptom patterns of depression. The two disabilities seem inextricably linked, with depression making existing diabetes worse, and diabetes worsening depression as well.
Veterans With Dysthymic Disorder
Dysthymic disorder is characterized differently than major depressive disorder.
Those who have this disorder will often have irritable mood or mild depression in addition to feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, problems decision making and concentrating for long periods.
To receive a diagnosis for this disorder, it requires that the patient has felt this way for two or more years, and the symptoms they are suffering are severe enough that they prevent normal functioning in the world.
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How The Va Assigns A Disability Rating For Service
You didnt want to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, but now that your doctor has confirmed it, youre starting to understand the need for treatment. You know that your symptoms are interfering with your ability to work and making it difficult to interact with your family, friends, and coworkers, but the rating you got from the VA disability doesn’t seem to accurately reflect the severity of the symptoms.
Depression And Heart Disease: Other Va Studies
Mental disorders and heart attack riskâBy examining the health histories of more than 350,000 Veterans over a seven-year period, researchers from the St. Louis VA Medical Center reported, in 2010, that those with depression are at about 40 percent higher risk than others for having a heart attack.
General anxiety and panic disorder seem to raise the risk to a similar extent, and posttraumatic stress disorder also raises the riskâbut to a lesser degree. Researchers are continuing to study whether treating these mental disorders reduces heart risk.
Vascular depressionâIn a follow-up study, whose results were published in 2012, researchers found that those who had depression in middle age were at an increased risk of developing vascular depression in old age, and that their mid-life depression could be a causal risk factor.
Ischemic heart diseaseâIn 2014, researchers at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System reported that Veterans with depression are more likely to complain of increased chest pain related to ischemic heart disease.
Ischemia is a condition in which blood flow, and therefore oxygen, is restricted or reduced in a part of the body. Ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, is the term given to heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries.
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Depression And Heart Disease: The Heart And Soul Study
The Heart and Soul Study is an ongoing project led by VA and University of California, San Francisco, researchers. It is helping to determine how psychological factors influence the outcomes of patients with coronary heart disease.
A total of 1,024 patients in the San Francisco area, including 440 Veterans, were enrolled in the study between 2000 and 2002. Researchers have followed them ever since to understand the association between psychological factors and cardiovascular events.
A 2008 paper by study researchers, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, provided evidence that the link between depression and heart disease may hinge largely on behavioral factors associated with depression, such as lack of exercise and increased rates of smoking.
The most recent study by the Heart and Soul team, published in 2016, further explored whether depression is mainly a cause or a consequence of poor health behaviors.
Antidepressants And Cardiovascular Dysfunction
Several antidepressants used for psychiatric treatment can cause problems with your heart. Many older tricyclic antidepressants used to treat this psychiatric illness have been shown to cause fatal arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats. While newer SSRI antidepressants like fluoxetine, citalopram and escitalopram do seem to cause less symptoms, studies show SSRIS also cause arrhythmias, which can increase the likelihood of a cardiac event.
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How Does Va Diagnose Or Evaluate A Veterans Depression And Anxiety For Va Disability Benefits
From a diagnostic perspective, VA relies on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition published by the American Psychiatric Association to rate all mental health conditions. Again, for PTSD there is criterion requiring a stressor however, depressive and anxiety disorders have separate diagnostic criteria. As long as the veterans particular symptoms meet the frequency, duration, and severity outlined for those conditions in the DSM-5, they should receive proper diagnoses. Once a diagnosis is reached, VA will apply the General Rating Formula for Mental Health Conditions found under 38 CFR § 4.130.
The possible disability ratings are: 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100 percent. All mental health disability ratings are based on the severity of the condition and the resulting level of social and occupational impairment.
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Does The Va Give All Ptsd Veterans A 50% Disability Rating
One of the most common misconceptions among veterans is that they believe they will receive an automatic disability rating of 50% if they are diagnosed with PTSD. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. A veteran must first meet a very specific set of criteria in order to get an automatic 50% rating.
First, in order for a veteran to get an automatic 50% disability rating, they had to have been discharged from the military as a direct result of their PTSD symptoms. This means that if they were discharged from the military for any other reason, the automatic 50% rating does not apply.
Also, veterans that do get an automatic 50% PTSD disability rating are only guaranteed to have it for six months. After the initial six-month period is over, veterans will have to be re-evaluated to ensure that they still qualify for the 50% disability rating.
Some of the criteria that will be looked at during the re-evaluation include:
- The severity of PTSD Symptoms
- Frequency and duration of the PTSD symptoms
- The severity of social and occupational impairment
- Has the veteran experienced remission periods?
- The ability for the veteran to readjust into civilian life
Once you have been re-evaluated, the VA will decide whether or not you still qualify for disability based on the criteria listed above. In some cases, they may decide to extend your disability period. They could also either reduce or increase your rating based on the severity of your symptoms.
Applying For Va Health Benefits
If you arent eligible for VA compensation benefits, you may still be eligible for health benefits.
If you or a Veteran you know is experiencing any sort of mental or physical health issues, getting them enrolled in the VA Health program would be a priority over applying for compensation benefits. This may be the case if a veteran has active suicidal ideation, as the risk of suicide is greater. Prompt medical care or hospitalization can ensure that the veteran is safe.
Often times, untreated physical health issues can lead to a mental health crisis, such as depression from chronic pain or an inability to maintain a job or get relief due to lack of medical care. To see if you are eligible for VA Health benefits, you can go to VA.gov.
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Faq: How To Win Your Anxiety Va Disability Benefits Claim
Can I get VA disability compensation and benefits for ANXIETY VA Claim? Yes. The Department of Veterans Affairs will pay veterans with service-connected ANXIETY monthly compensation.
Is ANXIETY considered a disability? The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes ANXIETY as a mental condition that may be related to service, and ANXIETY is therefore compensable.
What is the disability rating for ANXIETY? The VA will give you a disability rating based upon the severity of your ANXIETY, specifically related to your level of occupational and social impairment. If you are considered service-connected, you will receive a VA disability rating for ANXIETY of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%.
How much does the VA pay for ANXIETY? If your ANXIETY claim is approved, you may receive up to $3,350.87 per month. That is currently the max that the VA will pay veterans with ANXIETY, if at the 100% rating criteria for ANXIETY. 100% rating for ANXIETY.
Can ANXIETY be permanent? Some veterans may receive a permanent and total rating. If your ANXIETY is not expected to improve, you may obtain the status of permanent disability.
Can the VA reduce your disability rating for ANXIETY? Yes. Unfortunately, sometimes the VA will lower a veterans ANXIETY rating. If that happens to you, file an appeal with new and material medical evidence for ANXIETY and challenge the VAs decision.
Va Disability For Depression And Co
Unfortunately, depression often isnt the only struggle veterans deal with after their service. Former service members face a range of common co-occurring disorders, which can make each condition more difficult to treat.
Some of the most common disorders that simultaneously occur with major depressive disorder include anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and schizophrenia.
More than two-thirds of Afghanistan and Iraq combat veterans with PTSD also experience depression.
You can apply for VA disability benefits for PTSD and depression at the same time. You will probably receive a single rating for all your mental health conditions. Vets with more severe symptoms typically receive higher VA ratings.
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However A Variety Of Factors May Contribute To The Onset Of Depression Such As:
- Deployment, particularly with combat exposure
- Bereavement over the loss of comrades or loss of family members while deployed
- Long duty hours
- Frequent relocation
- Physical wounds, such as traumatic brain injury , which can damage the brain and trigger depressive symptoms, the loss of a limb or other disfiguring or disabling wounds, which can lead to depression.
Depression may be a symptom of service-connected PTSD, including cases in which medication for PTSD symptoms cause the depression. A study at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York found that about half of Veterans with PTSD also had a diagnosis of major depressive disorder .
% Va Rating For Depression And Anxiety
The 0 percent rating is reserved for a very mild presentation of psychopathology. If VA awards a 0 percent rating for depression or anxiety, it has determined that the veteran has a qualifying diagnosis, but the symptoms do not result in functional impairment or require medication. Importantly, a 0 percent disability rating is non-compensable, meaning the veteran will not receive monthly payments for that condition.
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Why You Need An Attorney
When dealing with the VA, its important that you have someone on your side who understands veterans law. If your PTSD rating has been reduced, a PTSD attorney can help you appeal the reduction in an effort to get your rating back. In addition, the VA often fails to follow their own regulations when doing a rating reduction, and a PTSD attorney can help identify any VA errors that could result in a reversal of the reduction. So dont wait when calling After Service, LLC.
Seeking Immediate Help Help
First, if you or a Veteran you know is currently experiencing symptoms that include suicidal thoughts, thoughts of self-harm, or thoughts of harming others, waiting may not be an option.
- if you or someone you know is in immediate crisis.
There are immediate avenues that can also be pursued.
- Veterans Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255
- local community crisis centers and referrals are available through any crisis hotline
- your local hospital
- Your local VA Service center
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Obtaining Va Benefits For Service
To obtain VA benefits for depression, the Veteran must demonstrate that he or she has been diagnosed with depression and that its existence is service-connected. As suggested above, depression may be diagnosed as a secondary issue brought on by a primary physical or psychological condition, for which the Veteran may already have a disability rating.
C& p Exams For Depression
When determining a rating for a mental illness, the VA will normally send veterans to Compensation and Pension Exams, for a doctor to review all the veterans symptoms and give a medical opinion. Since there is variability in this process, it can be extremely difficult to predict the exact rating a veteran will receive.
Understanding the way that the VA rates a mental health condition like depression is a crucial aspect when filing a claim for VA disability compensation. Veterans who understand the initial claims process will have the insight and knowledge that is needed, with one foot already in the door. Check out one of our top interviews with Psychologist Dr. Vonetes here!
Major Depressive Disorder In Veterans
Major depressive disorder is characterized by a persistently depressed mood, as well as long-term loss of interest in life or pleasure.
To receive a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, you will need to have at least two episodes of depression that last two weeks each.
Many symptoms accompany this type of depression including lack of interest in most activities.
You will likely have trouble sleeping, or maybe sleeping too much.
With this disorder, you will typically feel fatigued and depressed throughout the day, in addition to thoughts of suicide and death.
Understanding The Vas Automatic 50% Ptsd Rating
If you are a veteran that has recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder , you have probably heard that you will get an automatic 50% disability rating in order to receive disability benefits. There is technically an automatic 50% disability rating for PTSD. However, not every veteran that has PTSD will get a 50% disability rating automatically. Furthermore, the automatic 50% disability rating is only for a limited time and covers a very specific set of circumstances. Here is a look at the VAs somewhat confusing 50% PTSD rating.
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Am I Eligible For Va Disability Compensation
You may be eligible for VA disability benefits or compensation if you meet both of these requirements.
Both of these must be true:
- You have a current illness or injury that affects your mind or body, and
- You served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training
And at least one of these must be true:
- You got sick or injured while serving in the militaryand can link this condition to your illness or injury , or
- You had an illness or injury before you joined the militaryand serving made it worse , or
- You have a disability related to your active-duty service that didnt appear until after you ended your service
What Happens After Va Grants Service Connection For Ptsd
Once a veteran establishes service connection for their PTSD claim, the battle isnt over. The veteran must do what he can to make sure the VA gives him the correct compensation.
Compensation is based on the rating VA assigns a veteran . This rating is based on how severe the veterans PTSD symptoms are.
Because the ratings are based on the veterans symptoms, its important to have medical records. These records should detail the symptoms the veteran suffers, and how they affect the veterans life.
Again, this is another area where having medical opinions is crucial to building a strong case. The max rating is 100%, but this is hard to get. A lot of veterans end up with a 70% rating and unemployability because they cannot work.
The VA will use a C& P exam to help them determine what the appropriate rating is. A veteran should review the PTSD rating criteria that VA uses. The veteran should discuss with family and friends how they see PTSD affecting the veteran. This will give the veteran evidence he needs to assure the C& P examiner as a full picture of his problems.
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Speak To A Lawyer Who Can Advocate For Your Va Claim
Receiving VA disability compensation can be complicated, so having a veterans disability attorney on your side can be helpful. Hill and Ponton is a nationwide law firm advocating for the rights of veterans everywhere.
Our lawyers have over 30 years of experience in social security disability law and were always ready to speak to veterans who have questions about the VA disability claims process, if theyre eligible, and what disability benefits theyre entitled to.
When To Seek Legal Help
PTSD can be debilitating and life-altering. If you are struggling with PTSD and you feel that you are entitled to disability compensation benefits, you dont have to fight this battle alone. Contact an attorney that is experienced with VA disability benefits today. An experienced lawyer will be able to review your case and give you advice on the proper steps to take in order to get the benefits that you deserve.
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