A veteran posted on the Veterans sub on Reddit describing his frustration with his disability claim, and not being able to find effective PTSD treatment.
Here was my reply regarding treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder, and balancing his right to receive VA disability compensation with efforts to heal and recover.
PTSD Treatment – What Works?
A lot of guys find it helpful to have a really good understanding of different types of treatment and self-help strategies. This site is excellent IMHO:
Yes, it is a VA site, but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. [The fellow who wrote the original post is not sure he can trust the VA.]
Plus that website is from the National Center for PTSD which seems to be relatively independent, and they’ve earned the reputation as being the premier PTSD research and educational institution in the world.
Vet Center Satellite Locations
Note that if you search on the Vet Center website for a location near you, the results will give you only the main office in your region. It does not give you satellite offices, private practice therapists who see Vet Center patients at no cost to you, or Vet Center therapists who meet with vets at other locations in your region. I don’t know why this info is not on the Vet Centers website, but that’s the way it is.
So I suggest searching on Vet Centers Locations page – but don’t click on the map for your state, instead use the search field at the top:
enter your Zip Code and click ‘Go’. Call the two Vet Center main offices nearest to you and ask them what they have available close to you.
Vet Centers are Different
Also, keep in mind that Vet Center records are very private. They are not entered into your VA electronic medical record. A doctor at a VA medical center cannot access them. Vet Center counselors–many of them vets themselves–are very pro-veteran. They don’t coddle vets (how would that help, right?), but they give a shit, for real.
Vet Centers – The Best Kept Secret of the VA – “There is one option [for combat vets] that is astoundingly easy to access even for active duty personnel but is still infuriatingly the best kept secret in the VA. The Vet Center.” Excellent blog post on ChicagoNow.
Don’t Give Away Your Power
Finally, and this might not apply to you, but watch out for putting too much hope into getting the benefits you deserve as the only way to get better. I know that might sound stupid at first, but think about it for a bit. See if you might be assuming subconsciously, “If I don’t get the benefits I deserve then I’m fucked.” As I’m sure you can see, if that is your underlying assumption, then you are giving the VA all the power to determine if you live a fulfilling life. Don’t give them your power.
Again, that might not apply to you, but I would be wimping out if I didn’t at least mention the possibility.
You deserve to heal and recover. Ask other vets how they’ve done it. Avoid the complainers and victims–look for vets you respect who are living better despite what the VA does or doesn’t do.
~ Mark D Worthen PsyD
P.S. Be sure to also review my list of VA medical and mental health treatment resources.