Tuesday, June 5, 2007

PTSD - What is it ?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Overview
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur following a life-threatening event like military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people have stress reactions that don't go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop Chronic PTSD.

Severe acute or prolonged exposure to trauma may cause relentless long-lasting even life-time emotional effects. People who suffer from PTSD often suffer from nightmares, difficulty sleeping, and feeling emotionally numb, they also have flashbacks with intrusive thoughts. These symptoms can significantly impair a person's daily life.

PTSD is marked by clear physical and psychological symptoms. It often has symptoms like depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other physical and mental health problems. The disorder is also associated with difficulties in social or family life, including spontaneous volatile and intense mood swings, occupational instability, marital problems, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

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As an American Veteran, how do I file a claim for disability due to PTSD?

A formal request ("claim") must be filed by the veteran using forms provided by the VA's Veterans Benefits Administration. After the forms are completely submitted, the veteran must complete interviews concerning her or his "social history" (a review of family, work, and educational experiences before, during, and after military service) and "psychiatric status" (a review of past and current psychological symptoms, and of traumatic experiences during military service).

The forms and information about the application process can be obtained from Benefits Officers at any VA Medical Center, Outpatient Clinic, or Regional Office. The process of applying for a VA disability for PTSD can take several months, and can be both complicated and quite stressful. Be patient!!! KEEP The ORIGINAL and a COPY of Every Document from any and ALL Governmental Sources, plus anything that will support your claim.

The Veteran's Service Organizations ( DAV, American Legion, VVA, VFW ) provide "Service Officers" at no cost to help veterans and family members pursue VA disability claims. Service Officers are familiar with every step in the application and interview process, and can provide both technical guidance and moral support. In addition, some Service Officers particularly specialize in assisting veterans with PTSD disability claims.

Even if a veteran has not been a member of a specific Veterans Service Organization(VSOs) , the veteran still can request the assistance of a Service Officer working for that organization. In order to get representation by a qualified and helpful Service Officer, you can directly contact the local office of any Veterans Service Organization -- or ask for recommendations from other veterans who have applied for VA disability, or from a PTSD specialist at a VA PTSD clinic or a Vet Center.

"I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even In My Sleep" ,

by E. Everett McFall is Now Available Exclusively on AMAZON.COM

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