MILITARY VETERANS PTSD REFERENCE MANUAL
by Inous s. Parrish
The Veterans Administration is currently treating approximately 500,000 Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder cases. As of March 1998 a total of 101,978 of those veterans were receiving
compensation. There are literally MILLIONS of other combat veterans who suffer from PTSD
yet have no idea what is causing their problems or what to do about it.
If you are one of these veterans, you have a choice. You can continue to deny that you have
problems (multiple divorces, drinking/drug abuse, un-employability, lack of friends and social
activity, flashbacks and nightmares) or seek assistance, with the aid of this manual.
A by-product, not the primary intention, of this book is to assist you, the combat veteran, in
securing deserved financial remuneration due you because of your involvement in something so
heinous that it will effect you for the rest of your life.
This reference manual for military veterans, medical and professional Service Representatives
seeking information on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and how to apply for a disability
relating to PTSD. Sources for research and blank forms are provided as well
as a comprehensive worksheet.
History and Definitions of PTSD
Section I. GENERAL
01-01. General. Since you are reading this manual one of the followings
things is probably taking
a. You think you may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
b. You are being treated for PTSD.
c. You know someone who has PTSD.
Before you begin this journey you need to know what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is.
Less than a year ago I did not know what PTSD was and I believed that
Veterans who claimed to have PTSD were using their claims to shield them from the
consequences of their own stupidity or alcohol/drug abuse. Boy was I wrong.
In this chapter I will present a brief history of PTSD and define PTSD in
language you can understand so that;
a. You can determine whether or not you may be afflicted with PTSD.
b. When the time comes you will be better equipped to express your symptoms to your doctor,
justify your claim in your stress letter, and explain your condition to
Section II. HISTORY
01-02. General. Prior to the studies done on Vietnam veterans, there were very few scientific
studies of what we today call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
01-03. The 1800s. During the early 1800s military doctors began
diagnosing soldiers with "exhaustion" following the stress of battle. This "exhaustion" was
characterized by mental shutdown due to individual or group trauma. Like today, soldiers during
the 1800s were not supposed to be afraid or show any fear in the heat of battle. The only
treatment for this "exhaustion" was to bring the afflicted soldiers to the rear for a while then send them back into battle. Through extreme and often repeated stress, the soldiers became fatigued as a part of their bodys natural shock reaction.
During that time, in England, there was a syndrome know as "railway spine"
or "railway hysteria" that bore a remarkable resemblance to what we call PTSD today, exhibited
by people who had been in the catastrophic railway accidents of the period. In 1876 DR. Mendez
DaCosta published a paper diagnosing Civil War combat veterans with "Soldiers Heart": The
symptoms included startle responses, hyper-vigilance, and heart arrhythmias.
01-04. The 1900s. During WWI overwhelming mental fatigue was diagnosed as
"soldiers heart" and "the effort syndrome". An article published on a now restricted
Internet web site maintained by Med. Access entitled "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" states that
"...some 60,000 of the British forces were diagnosed with the problem and 44,000 of these were
retired from the military because they could no longer function in combat".
(www.medaccess.com/cfs/cfs_02.htm (this page is no longer accessible without a password))
The term "shell shock" emerged during WWI followed in WWII by the term
"combat fatigue." These terms were used to describe those veterans who exhibited stress and
anxiety as the result of combat trauma. The official designation of "Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder" did not come about until 1980 when the Third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published.
The above is only part of chapter one.
Other chapters include:
Chapter 2. Causes and Effects
The Way We Were
Memory, Concentration, Anger
Chapter 3. Traditional Treatment
Lack of Treatment
The Truth of The Matter
Chapter 4. Non Traditional Treatment: Professionally Assisted
Brain wave Altering
Chapter 5. Non Traditional Treatment: Self Help
Use of Color(s) In therapy
Sound Wave Therapy
Emotional Memory Management (EMM)
Write About It
Chapter 6. Medication
Chapter 7. Working with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Facilities and Services
Filing an Application for Disability
VA Claims Process
Appeal of Disability Determination
Social Security Benefits
Sequence of Events
Chapter 8. Writing The Stress Letter
Writing Your Own Letter
Getting Help With Writing Your Letter
Chapter 9. Primary Documentation Sources
Obtaining Information On Yourself
Obtaining Information on Other Soldiers
Chapter 10. Letters, Forms, Notices and Statements
Letters: Actions Not Requiring Forms
Standard Forms (SF)
Veterans Administration (VA) Forms
Chapter 11. The Past and Future