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Describing post traumatic stress in combat veterans

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Misdiagnosis of PTSD as another preexisting disorder is becoming used by DoD doctors to discharge military personal with no outside benefits

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Remember those who are supporting our freedom yesterday, today and in the future

Remember those who are supporting our freedom yesterday, today and in the future

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Post-Traumatic Stress Residential Rehabilitation Program (PRRP)

Personal Introduction letter to Denver Veterans Affair program.

At the present time, I have a VA Service Connected disability rating of 60%. This is divided into 50% PTSD and 10% for shrapnel wounds. When I submitted my Stressor to the Veterans Administration, I presented only a description of events and not what I experienced, nor what I feel today. I am requesting a review for a higher rating based on additional information provided here and the accompanying supporting documents.

Through therapy I am learning to recognize many of my PTSD problems that I was not aware of before. These symptoms have been so much a part of my life that I did not recognize them as being out of the ordinary. Since Nov 1996 I have emotionally continued on a downward spiral fighting my ingrained PTSD. With the help of the Colorado Springs Vet Center I've entered VAMC-Denver to get additional help with my PTSD.

My family background is traditional and is based on an extended family that included a great deal of interaction between grandparents, uncles/aunts and their children. Family get-together's, family picnics during the summer stand out in my mind the most. Although my father died when I was only 9 years old, the "Father Role" was filled by one of my uncles, my uncle Phil. He encouraged me and basically supervised my life for the next several years until my mother remarried. One of my personal disappointments today is that all my aunts and uncles are gone now and I only remember two of them.

I attended Miami Military Academy for five years until a major influx of students from Cuba, at which time many students, including myself left campus. I attempted to attend public school in California but did not like the loose structure of the classroom. At age 17, I entered the U.S. Army.

Since leaving the Army I have found life difficult and trying. Many times over the last 30 years and especially more often in recent times, I have felt that ending my life would be best for me. I have accomplished little in my life and my depression has taken its toll and I'm very tired.

In support of my request please review the included detail information provided. This information is an expansion of my original Stressor Report submitted to the Veterans Administration in December 1996 or January 1997.

Within this new report I have emphasize my deficiencies in the areas of work, unable to accept authority in the workplace, is very stressful for me and I get feelings that its necessary for me to change jobs because of the lack of satisfaction where I have worked. Although I do have a BA degree, it did take me 10 years to finish college with several changes in college majors because I could not find a subject that I found interesting or I had the ability to do well in. I have a difficult time remembering material, concentration and short-term retention of lecture presentations and feel going back to school is out of reach for me because of these shortcomings.

I have been married 4 times, all but one of them for less then one year. I've had over 12 live-in girl friends and over 400 short-term or one-night-stands. I have found that I do not allowed anyone close to me on a personal level and still don't today. I am a person who would rather be out in the middle of nowhere than being forced into socializing with most if not all people.

Anger is the main controlling force in my life and I use it as a tool to protect myself from harm that may and has accrued in my life since and during Vietnam. This perceived danger can happen even in my life today and has been reflected in daily events as simple as yelling a people for blocking an aisle at a store while I'm trying to pass by.

I must admit that I do spend time confused as to the date, place or time that I'm in. Finding it necessary to relay on others for appointments, I'm usually at least a day or two off but its not uncommon for me to be at least a year off. While teaching, it was necessary for my secretary to keep track of events I needed to go to since I would forget where I was supposed to be.

I find it difficult to adjust to changing events or circumstances around me but especially in the business world. I have either quit or have been fired from many jobs since 1967 when I returned from Vietnam. I have found that the stress of working and making business decisions or the responsibilities related to work is very frustrating for me. Its very common for me to have anxiety attacks at work, worrying about if I'm doing the job correctly and if so will I remember to continue that way. It is not uncommon for me to start a new job, find it enjoyable, work hard and learn about the position than become bored in a very short time. I have even received promotions and than become so concerned about my performance that I quit and move to a new location just so people would not have to trust me.

I have been in heavy combat situations over six times, several short term fire-fights and many jungle patrols. Since going into the Denver PTSD program even more events and their related flashbacks have been added to my memory as each recollections happen. Each flashback event presents me with their own images and many are now on a daily basis. Most flashbacks are vivid when they occur. With people dying, trees blowing apart and my fear and terror. Some are seen as in-complete events and not seeing all that had happened nor with other people in them. Others visions are only images in a small window of the fight. Many nights I find it hard to go to sleep, stay asleep or I wake up with cold sweat dreams that I do not remember.

The stress of thinking about or trying to go to school, finding work or working on family relationships makes me want to run away. That is my normal course of action since my return from service.

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