PTSD Help reasearch

#1
I am looking for information that clarifies the following question.
If a serviceman or woman diagnosed with PTSD or PTSD type problems embarks on a course of alternative or complementary therapy, and subsequently makes a full and complete recovery. Does this have any impact on his or her pension or disability allowance?
This question is raised as part of research for http://www.ptsdhelp.co.uk/ using the example that if a serviceman / woman loses a limb and receives a prosthetic limb they can become an Olympic athlete if they desire or continue on a relatively normal life injury not withstanding without loosing their Pension or disability allowance.
Because PTSD is an emotional injury with no physical damage (for the purpose of this question any physical injury is separate from the question)and many sufferers do not seek help for fear of loosing their pension or allowance and this is seen as a barrier to them seeking treatment. Your responses and experiences are welcomed.
 
#2
Interesting consideration.

But then again, if the symptons were still present, but the sufferer had learned to deal with them, then surely that is similar to dealing with a physical injury, like your example?

I'm just saying that because I have residuals left over from a sh!t patch* I had in the army, around 2002 & although I deal with what's remained, it is very much still there & I was advised I'd still qualify for a war pension.

*It's not PTSD, btw.
 
#3
Hypnos said:
Because PTSD is an emotional injury with no physical damage (for the purpose of this question any physical injury is separate from the question)and many sufferers do not seek help for fear of loosing their pension or allowance and this is seen as a barrier to them seeking treatment. Your responses and experiences are welcomed.
Having known someone who suffered from it acutely after service, I cannot imagine he would have not opted for treatment for fear of being financially worse off. Some cash in exchange for living with the demons that possessed him? Not worth it. I think there are more pertinent reasons why people suffering from PTSD do not seek help. Such as fear, re-living events and opening 'the box', and in his case just regular counselling did nothing to help him in between, but in fact made it worse as he'd spent many years trying to bury it.

(PS Hypnos, that isn't you Craig, is it? 8O )
 
#4
Amazing Lobster Thank you for your response.
So having been diagnosed with PTSD and qualifying for a pension. If you are able to discharge all the symptoms this would not have any impact on your pension even if you declared that you were symptom free for say 5 years
 
#5
What do you mean by regular counselling ?
 
#6
Hypnos said:
Amazing Lobster Thank you for your response.
So having been diagnosed with PTSD and qualifying for a pension. If you are able to discharge all the symptoms this would not have any impact on your pension even if you declared that you were symptom free for say 5 years
Sorry Hypnos - I must not have been clear enough with my post.

I think it's an interesting question, but I don't know the answer.

I had a bad patch when I was in the mob. I still have symptons (that are not PTSD), but I can deal with them now.

On the basis of this, I was advised by SSAFA and my regimental association, that because I still have the symptoms, I will qualify for a war pension.

I'm really don't know about your case, but I'm was under the impression (from what I was told), if the symptoms are still present, but now the individual is able to cope with them, they probably would qualify.

But, please don't take my post as advice, I just thought it might give you a better idea. Maybe you could contact the Royal British Legion and ask them?

Cheers,

A_L
 
#7
I have PTSD and a War Pension.

I haven't ever met another serviceman/woman who has PTSD and has been symptom free for any length of time. But then I only usually meet other PTSD sufferers at Combat Stress. Some sufferers have through drugs and therapy been able to live a more normal life but they still recieve treatment and /or take medication. Nor have I heard of a serviceman/woman who had PTSD that has been completley cured.

Having quickly looked at the website mentioned I feel (rightly or wrongly) that this is another attempt at "pay us money and we'll cure you" and I would steer clear of it.
 
#8
i was diagnosed with PTSD back in 2003 after returning from op telic i have been informed on numerious occasions by different quacks that i will never be cured of PTSD you can control it to a certain degree with CBT and medication but i was told no matter what there will be all sorts of triggers that will remain and remind me ,some of the triggers i know about and some i don't know about . i resolve to the fact that i don't sleep that much due to hyper arousal and when i do manage to sleep with the help of medication i still get the intrusive dreams and still get the flashbacks. although i have my pension it does state at the bottom of the letter from the pensions agency that the secretary of state has the right to decreas and or stop my pension at any time in the future ....
 
#9
Hypnos said:
What do you mean by regular counselling ?
He was offered and even began regular counselling specifically for PTSD, but he never made it beyond the assessment phase. The institution could only offer once per fortnight and he had to travel a long way to get to it. Both the travelling and coping with the time in between with thoughts now freshly in his head if anything made his symptoms worse, and finally it was too much.

Combat Stress offered help after an initial interview, but said he'd have to wait 5 months. Just the prospect of that was too much, I don't think he understood that Combat Stress couldn't offer acute help or intervention.

I'd refer you to him directly but it killed him in the end last October.
 
#10
.Sven said:
I have PTSD and a War Pension. I haven't ever met another serviceman/woman who has PTSD and has been symptom free for any length of time.
DITTO, as by the nature of the illness and the total lack of understanding by the NHS of how to deal with ex servicemen with Combat / Service Related Mental Health illness and not always PTSD, we are between a Rock and a Hard place in respect of anything that resembles treatment, other than being topped up with prescribed medication and sent home "Out of sight, out of their minds" and the families too!

The IAPT document sent out from the Dept of Health at the end of last year, mentions the word Veteran in it's lists of group to access help and support, however, when in that list veterans appear BELOW prisoners and others, it begs the question who seriously the Dept of Health / NHS take the needs of ex serviving members of Her Majesties Armed Forces.

It is amazing that IF you are still serving, you are refered to what WAS the Priory Clinic, however, the new contract is with the Staffs and Shropshire PCT's with immidiate effect so the SPVA inform me.

The is a Military Assessment Programme run by one Dr Ian Palmer at St Thomas's in London, where any GP can send any ex members of the armed forces for an assessement. Dr Palmer is an ex military shrink, he then reports back to the GP as to what would be the best for the individual and his / her family.

The TAVR have their own programme.

There are manyh fine reports that can be accessed here on the internet about the need for more to be done and reports from the SPVA who say very few have accessed the 'Priority Treatments' that are and have been on offer for some time for those ex military who need psychological help.
However, agaijn if the local GP does not know, who can the individual be sent forward for the care and supoort they need?

I don't mind being a Mushroom but I hate the smell of Horse Manure!!
 
#11
milsum said:
Combat Stress offered help after an initial interview, but said he'd have to wait 5 months. Just the prospect of that was too much, I don't think he understood that Combat Stress couldn't offer acute help or intervention.
I my limited experience of Combat Stress I would have said that if the symptoms presented at the initial interview were that bad he would have got an emergency admission and not had to wait 5 months.
 
#12
.Sven said:
milsum said:
Combat Stress offered help after an initial interview, but said he'd have to wait 5 months. Just the prospect of that was too much, I don't think he understood that Combat Stress couldn't offer acute help or intervention.
I my limited experience of Combat Stress I would have said that if the symptoms presented at the initial interview were that bad he would have got an emergency admission and not had to wait 5 months.
Not what they said to him at the time, and not what they said to me after I told them he was dead. I quote "We cannot respond to emergencies" and "we are unable to meet our demands at present". Not a pop at Combat Stress, I think it's disgrace that it requires a charity to support ex-servicemen with this illness, it's just quite sad that there it little directed provision when it is so far down the line.

They were happy that he was in the GP's care. The GP was happy he was in the care of the counsellor (second time lucky, the first GP didn't have a clue), the counsellor was happy he was in the care of the GP and/or county health services, the county health services stiched him up, gave him some pills, and sent him home.

I did have a nice email from the man who visited him from Combat Stress though. He even went back to check on him and tell him he had an admission date, but he'd been dead a week.

Just an illustration of how poorly these things can end up being monitored when no body takes responsibility for someone as ill as he was, and how badly cases of PTSD can be treated in different parts of the country.
 
#13
I got diagnosed with PTSD in 2005 some 14 years after leaving the RAF... Without dwelling on reasons, some contributory factors were Service related, others were not. I've attended Combat Stress in the past, and found them to be a real lifeline in terms of not feeling alone. I'm lucky in that my work BUPA cover is funding my ongoing treatment ( shrink, drugs, and soon to be EMDR and a Pyshcholigist ) so I havent had need to attend CS regularly.

I dont think I can answer the original question, since I didnt know about this until so long after the event, but I'm interested in the response of fellow Arrsers in the post above regarding whether you're ever cured. I had a bit of a wobble recently and left the missus. In a previous meeting with my shrink, when things had seemed more under control, I told him that I didnt want PTSD to define me, and like a typical head doctor, he replied with a question... "What do you mean ? "

I had to really think about that ( damn me and my buzz words ! ) and what it came down to was that I didnt want to live my life constantly quoting my PTSD as the reason for doing things and acting in certain ways. I thought that at the time, since I was doing so well, I had the power to control it.

Fast forward a bit. Head fit, and major flare up of symptoms, and there I am, letting it define me and how my life is lead.

Can you be cured ? Not in my experience so far. Can you control it ? Sometimes. Can it destroy your life ? Sure as hell. Last year, I almost lost a good friend due to two serious suicide attemtps as a result of this disease. My wife wants someone to tell her that I'm going to be cured one day. So far noone, my Shrink included, has been able to reassure her on that score.

Is it something that should be considered when talking about pension / disability rights ? I think so. I actually dont want a "war pension" since I dont feel I deserve it, as I cant blame what happened on the Forces. I am quite upbeat in my thinking about the way in which PTSD and mental health in general is seen though, since I think there is a growing weight of opinion on the subject, and VERY sadly, a growing number of ever younger sufferers. I hate the word timebomb, but that's exactly what we're creating right now with the current level and type of operations.

Sorry for the rambling nature of the post. It's the product of a rambling mind, due to a bit of a med cocktail side effect right now ;)

Sammers.
 
#14
#16
.Sven said:
I have PTSD and a War Pension.

I haven't ever met another serviceman/woman who has PTSD and has been symptom free for any length of time. But then I only usually meet other PTSD sufferers at Combat Stress. Some sufferers have through drugs and therapy been able to live a more normal life but they still recieve treatment and /or take medication. Nor have I heard of a serviceman/woman who had PTSD that has been completley cured.

Having quickly looked at the website mentioned I feel (rightly or wrongly) that this is another attempt at "pay us money and we'll cure you" and I would steer clear of it.

Having also looked at this website, there is the reassurance that 'complementary therapies work'. Unfortuantely, for many of the therapies listed there is absolutely no evidence whatever that they do.

Our old 'friends' Human Givens and EFT are mentioned on there and many posters will remember the previous threads about these snake oil therapies. Human Givens claims to 'cure' PTSD with one session for most people. Clearly total nonsense.

However that said, the site also has links for CBT (NICE Gold Standard treatment for PTSD) and EMDR, both of which have been shown to work and are sensible strategies. It is worth saying that you should approach your GP/NHS about CBT first, as you should be seen as a priority if it can be shown that the PTSD is due to military service.

This site is very much buyer beware. the prices are cheap enough but just make sure that there is evidence for these therapies, by which I mean properly researched and published evidence, not some random person saying 'I saw someone once and now I'm cured'.

Whilst some have good evidence, others most definitely do not.
 
#17
psychobabble said:
.Sven said:
I have PTSD and a War Pension.

I haven't ever met another serviceman/woman who has PTSD and has been symptom free for any length of time. But then I only usually meet other PTSD sufferers at Combat Stress. Some sufferers have through drugs and therapy been able to live a more normal life but they still recieve treatment and /or take medication. Nor have I heard of a serviceman/woman who had PTSD that has been completley cured.

Having quickly looked at the website mentioned I feel (rightly or wrongly) that this is another attempt at "pay us money and we'll cure you" and I would steer clear of it.

Having also looked at this website, there is the reassurance that 'complementary therapies work'. Unfortuantely, for many of the therapies listed there is absolutely no evidence whatever that they do.

Our old 'friends' Human Givens and EFT are mentioned on there and many posters will remember the previous threads about these snake oil therapies. Human Givens claims to 'cure' PTSD with one session for most people. Clearly total nonsense.

However that said, the site also has links for CBT (NICE Gold Standard treatment for PTSD) and EMDR, both of which have been shown to work and are sensible strategies. It is worth saying that you should approach your GP/NHS about CBT first, as you should be seen as a priority if it can be shown that the PTSD is due to military service.

This site is very much buyer beware. the prices are cheap enough but just make sure that there is evidence for these therapies, by which I mean properly researched and published evidence, not some random person saying 'I saw someone once and now I'm cured'.

Whilst some have good evidence, others most definitely do not.
My bold.

The 6 sessions at £35 per session sounds good but 6 sessions are not enough. I assume after you're hooked by the first 6 sessions you then end up paying full cost.

I've seen enough of these type posts which all seem to start with "I'm doing research" then link to a website that wants money for a cure.

But thats just my opinion nothing more.
 
#19
I have two relatives who receive War pensions and both are diagnosed with PTSD. Both are ex Army. There lives have been really screwed up by this thing, and gradually, it affects everything and evreyone around them.

The treatment, and general awareness of PTSD among professionals and supporters? No comment. Even after all this time, because it's invisible most of the time and hard to quantify, people feel abandoned and say the system has let them down. They won't let on to many, about psychological problems, or how they feel, for fear of being labelled dangerous or a "mong". And I don't blame them.

One of my brothers looks as if he copes well, there are occasional flashes of distress, which he calls triggers but doesn't know what triggers him. Certain dates, reminders, and exposure to the News triggers him. We know if he's struggling because he changes slightly and goes off on his own. for a bit. Living with it he says, isn't great. He's lost his family through it and has hardly received any help in nearly 20 years. He's jumpy around noise, twitchy, and sensitive. Most people around him are intolerant, he says.

My cousin has PTSD as well, diagnosed fifteen years after the events. She doesn't cope well, and the tell tale shadows across the face come and go, she changes often, and is difficult deal with.

PCT's don't seem to have much of a handle on it, not in the same way as other disabilities which are readily visible and accepted.
She's tried several GP's but has a good surgery now, who are very supportive. The medications don't work she says, but she's taken to lots of exercise, change of diet and relaxation.

It seems as if PTSD is a bl**dy curse. Attitudes to mental health problems are hard to live with, and the very people supposed to understand and help PTSD sufferers so far haven't been much use.

Until folks change attitudes to mental health, these people might be condemned to a living hell.

That's our few pennies worth.
 
#20
Combat Stress should be a PART of the WHOLE, NOT the whole!

It seems that too many are ONLY getting the services that CS provided once they are there, so where is the "FREE and the point of use NHS"?

After having yet another really bad 24 hours, feeling like sh1te even thinking about leaving the house, the mental health affecting the pyhsical pain that I am in for 24 / 7 and that for the past week has been much worse, so the overall; picture has been LOW.

However, being diagnosed with PTSD + (Panic & Anxiety Attacks) as well as moderate phsical pain, the PAIN since April 1988 and that is tiring enough on it's own and little more can be done. Although in 92 I was told I would be in a wheelchair within 10 years, I have not reached that pointg yet.

The PTSD was diagnosed in the mid 90's but THEN I WAS on so much prescribed medication I have little or NO recall for some SEVEN years, although part of that was to do with the attitude of my then and now EX wife. I know from when I was discharged in 92, I tried to include her in all the consultations I had with medical professionals and then Relate (total waste of time, NOW I say thank god).

I have my SAFE zones, this is one of them, driving my motability car is another, because I am in control, however, even when I have been in ANY shop where I have visited for the past 9 years, there are days when and there is no trigger, I can't face going in, or when I do, the shop walls start coming in on me and people heads get larger and larger. Of course there are time when I can contol and have very light symptoms, while on other days these feelings are acute, making me feel totally useless within the now limited world I find myself.

The NEW lady in my life has at least helped me to level my life off for more of the time, although the past 24 hours she has helped me to work / get through the worst, she gives me the space I need and understands me when I have bad days.

I could have retreated into myself over the last nine years being with her, I know there have been times when I have BUT she has the knowledge and understanding to do what is right for US moving forward together.

Where is the NHS, FCUKING NOWHERE are usual, I get my repeat prescription every month, I have my annaul review and health check (Blood weight ect) BUT to be honest even when asked for such as Pain Clinic or Psychological Therapies, I seem unable to get on the waiting list. Although when in a very REAL crisis some years ago, it took the CMHT EIGHT weeks to phone me, so you can imagine the Anglo Saxon words THEY heard that morning.

Perhaps it is NOT the fault of the Family GP, they just don't know what is on offer, or where, or how to access it, although the Dept of Health would have you believe otherwise. So someone is NOT telling the TRUTH and so there is little or no TRUST is the GP system. Yet IF I was living in the Hull PCT area, they have a dedicated service for ex military with Combat / Service Related Mental Illness, so if they have, why don't ALL the other PCT's up and down the UK. Although Hull PCT does has a plus, their CEO 'Chris Long' is himself EX military!!

When Criminals are, or seem to be a higher priority for treatments, it does set the bar very high and fails to maintain.

The problem is getting those ex military to admit to themselves they have some Mental Health illness and seel help and the government belief that WE are either from deprived childhoods, or are DRUNKS, excusing them from their responsibilties by blaming other factors beyond the NHS's remit!

It is reported that since the end of the Falklands Campaign, those once discharged, some 300 + have committed suicide and only NOW the Mod are doing work of the numbers of those affected with mental health or as they see it, those who have committed suicide after their discharge. If the Mod are up to speed, they will set the questions and levels at to NOT accept anything that would question care in or the after service care.

The system that is in place NOW is still as bad as it was in the mid 90's, although at least for those still serving they were getting the care from the Priory Healthcare Group, now it's the Staffs and Shrops PCT and STILL the veterans has to fight for what then need to cope in an ever increasing pressurised world after military service.
 

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