Not another mental elf thread

Hello all,

I have looked through various threads but would like to hear some more tailored advice if possible. First for some background:

  • Left through voluntary redundancy, 2013
  • Struggled with mental health after tour in Afghan (2012 tour ended)
  • Had survivor's guilt, couldn't sleep a wink, hated life, drank a lot, the thought of hierarchy made me physically sick, bit of a hand grenade from post tour onwards and the list goes on
  • After years of struggling and severely grinding on the missus (miracle she stayed with me), I eventually sought help through Combat Stress. I was caught slightly by surprise with a PTSD diagnosis (believe me, I didn't go into this process with preconceived ideas in my head), plus anxiety, depression, low mood
  • Put a claim in with AFCS a year or so later, which was rejected due to it not being a sufficiently qualified psych (apparently). Fast forward a bit, saw the highest qualified person I could who confirmed the diagnosis
  • AFCS paid interim payment at Level 12
  • I have been through CBT to little or no avail, though I was accelerating the process of it being over because of the fact it was just someone telling me I need to keep a diary and other things that didn't really help a great deal except making me more aware
  • Other than that, I haven't done a great deal as the CBT left me rather cynical. I now feel ready to try other options as I am still much the same. Reluctant to try medication because I've heard bad things, though I wouldn't mind not waking up multiple times in the night
My questions are:

  • I am due for review this year. I looked back and my first contact to get help with PTSD was 4 years ago, though I went to the doctor many moons ago (maybe more like 6 years) for tablets to 'help with sweating in public'. I would think everyone was looking at me and just sweat badly, even in the winter. Turns out these tablets were beta blockers for anxiety. What is the whole 5 year thing about at level 12/10, because the truth is I have been affected for over 7 years now, though I appreciate it's subject to evidence
  • Do I need to be doing more at this stage*, on the assumption there won't actually be an automatic review of the interim and I'll probably just be left on the same level if I don't act and it's just their way of covering themselves?
*CBT really did make me think that I'm never actually going to get better, just become more aware so I adopted a bit of a 'what's the point' attitude. It's so hard to get help and admit you have a problem but when the solution isn't really a solution at all, it leaves you rather cynical.

Any advice, experience or stories would be very gratefully received. Thank you