Chronic Adjustment Disorder; with mixed emotions (anxiety, depression) & suicidal ideation

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#1
A little background on my situation. I'm new to these forums, but I've been lurking for a long time reading. It took me until now to be able to open up to what's happening with me (even to nameless strangers on the internet)

I'm an AD O-3 with 15 years total time in service, 10 years active duty. I started my career as an enlisted reservist, and then crossed over in 2009 as an AD officer. Everything in my career was perfect until June of 2015. When I say perfect, I literally was THAT guy. NCO of the quarter at the Squadron, NCO of the Wing, CGO of the Quarter, GGO of the Year, award this, accolade that, #1 strat the whole nine years. My reputation was one of being strict, but fair. I've sent as many Airman to OTS as I have sent them back to the civilian world. I genuinely cared about the people under my charge.

In June of 2015 an event happened and I was under OSI investigation. Not wanting to go into the details of the event, the reader's digest version of it is: I was investigated for 8.5 months and no charges were ever preferred (not even a Article 32 hearing); however, due to the investigation I lost custody of my daughter.

I entered mental health treatment in March of 2015 for a work related issue, but luckily for me I was in treatment when the investigation happened.

In September of 2015, my world exploded, I had a massive bout of insomnia (100+ hours) and was sent to a VA Pysche Ward. That event, coupled with the on-going OSI investigation, drastically changed me. I basically withdrew from the world, was on more medication than I can remember (But some of the highlights include Lexapro, Trazedone, Vistrol, Seroquel, Doxepin, Remeron, & Zolpidem)

As the days turned into weeks turned into months, I began struggling cognitively with reading, function, etc. Several times during this period I took 5-12 days of leave (I had 70+ in the bank) which was totally out of character for me. I withdrew from my family, my marriage started to suffer, I began to get highly confrontational with anyone who got involved with me. A few times during this period I began cutting, basically practicing for a suicide attempt.

Fast Forward to Feb 2016, when the investigation closed, and I got orders to depart my duty station; which ultimately forced me to leave my daughter behind in foster care. I will note, that even though this investigation not a single piece of paper was given to me; not so much as a verbal counseling/LOC nothing.

I thought getting to my new duty station would help the situation, however, it didn't. I've been in treatment here (sometimes as many as x3 per week). I got tagged for a deployment, but my Mental Health team no-go'd that. I got a second deployment and they no-go'd that as well. At that point my commander initiated a CDE, but my mental health team basically trumped that and went right to an I-RILO.

My I-RILO was supposed to be off the base NLT 13 Feb; however, my doctor told me on Tuesday he still wasn't done with my NARSUM (even though he sword he'd be done with it).

I know they say you have to trust the process, but right now I'm not doing well mentally. I have periods of 40-50 hours where even on 4 different medications I get 0 hours of sleep. I've gained 35 pounds since October, and I doubt I am going to be able to maintain physical standards anymore. Coupled with my mental health disorder, I suffer from debilitating migraines where the room spins and I vomit. I have to take Nadolol and Amitriptyline nightly or I can't function the next day, and I have been described Zolmitriptan for migraines. I've also had my left shoulder operated on twice, and last April had to have an anchor in my upper arm to repair the bisceps tendon. So, my brain and my body have seen better days.

After all this time, I basically have no friends left because I just explode on people for no reason, my wife and I are divorcing, my career is shit-canned I've been told I will be a "Do Not Promote" on my PRF for Major this year due to the fact I'm not deployable and my leadership can't count on me to perform my job (which is odd, because they give me the hardest projects and then give me kudos in writing afterwards)

I don't want to be the guy who gives up on his career, but really at this point should I be directing my efforts to my post-military life? I'm just terrified that I will get separated without benefits and my children will suffer.
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#2
You will not get separated without benefits, make sure that you put that worry behind.

After eight years of service, and based upon the narrative that you have described above, you are a candidate for a MEB, from what you have written, chronic adjustment disorder is a appropriate diagnosis for the purpose of completing a MEB.

CAD is a compensable condition and more than likely you will receive 50% TDRL (if found unfit by the PEB) and probably a little bit more based upon any other conditions that occurred during your 15 years of service.

Legal and family issues can be very difficult to deal with, especially when you add in the challenges that officers face in today's military. You are expected to be perfect all of the time and from what you have written, this has taken it's toll on you currently.

I encourage you to continue treatment, study and learn about the MEB/PEB process and do whatever you can to ensure that you remain in communication with your daughter (if currently permitted).

If you have any questions about the MEB/PEB process please do not hesitate to ask.
 

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
So I got a chance to see my Initial RILO package today. It was interesting seeing everything they talked about.

Not surprising they said I'm suffering from a chronic adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression.

They said that my initial diagnosis was Adjustment Disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood.
Then it was Major Depressive Disorder, Single Episode, Moderate with Anxious Distress.

What I did find interesting was "indicated the member suffers from a severe psychological disorder, including personality decompsensation, social withdrawal, disordered affect and is erratic....chronic maladjustment"

They also had a set of stuff where they said

Premorbid Predisposition
Social/Industrial Impairment - Moderate
Impairment for Military Service - Marked


What I do find funny is that none of this was ever said to be in any of my 60+ sessions I've had.
 

Beergod0352

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
Sounds like your personal life .... reflected on your military life.

Don't know your personal life. Just the bits you told us. My "guess". You'll get booted with a severance. I can't picture how these events that caused your breakdown and stuff had to do with the military. An investigation is just that. An investigation. You said you weren't disciplined afterwards. Divorce is hell and most of us have been there. Trust me. I was married 15 years, 3 kids and lived on base. Came home and everything was gone. That's my personal life and personal issues that the Air Force didn't do to me. I've been busted down and so on for DWI when I made MSgt. Lol. Wore the stripe for about 2 hours. Either way I'm just ranting on. Everyone has their issues. I think you honestly lost your wife and had to seek counseling for it and went on some meds. It happens. It happens to the best of us. That decision impacted your career. The meds your on probably make you non deployable... hence non promotable and the bridge just keeps crumbling down. If I'm not right on any of this then correct me. I wish you the best of luck. I retired last year Air Force. In "my" experience, I predict severance and a hand shake.

Unless your medical records show that because of the "rigors" of the ongoing investigation. I had a mental breakdown or some crap like that and it shows some connection.

Sorry to sound like a prick. I'm not. Just telling you how I see it and my 2 cents
 

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#5
Well I have to say I was quite shocked today when I had my therapy session.

I've been in treatment since March of 2015. I've just completed my 41st session of therapy since June. My psychologist and I had started making good progress with my Chronic Adjustment Disorder.

I had my C&P exams last week, and I found out the VA diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depressed Mood Disorder.

The next few months should be interesting as I wait to see how all this plays out.
 

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#6
From my VA C&P Exams:

Diagnosis 1: Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Diagnosis 2: Major Depressive Disorder

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity

Symptoms:

Depressed Mood
Anxiety
Chronic Sleep Impairment
Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events
Disturbances of motivation and mood
Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships
Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a work like setting.
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#7
The wording in your DBQ lines up with a 50% rating.


Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships ................. 50
 

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#9
Yeah, sadly, I don't think my C&P therapist had enough time to crack open my skull and look at me.

I have over 1800 pages of Mental Health records. I highly doubt she went through them all.
 

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
And off goes my package today after sorting through the Impartial Medical Review stuff. Nothing was added to the DOD side, however, all the inconsistencies were corrected.

Was informed that the recent turn time for this area (Scott) has been about a month.
 

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#11
The hits just keep on coming.

After being treated for breathing issues for years, I got diagnosed with Sleep Apnea.
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
#12
The title of this thread mentions suicidal ideations. I recommend when the time comes, to submit a VARR for an increase to 70%. Look at the VaSRD mental health criteria for 70% and then carefully comb through your MH medical records and copy anything that matches the 70% VA verbiage in your VARR. I did this and was bumped from 50% mental health to 70% mental health.


Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas,

such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood,

due to such symptoms as: suicidal ideation; obsessional rituals

which interfere with routine activities; speech intermittently illogical,

obscure, or irrelevant; near-continuous panic or depression affecting

the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively;

impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods

of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and

hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including

work or a worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain

effective relationships 70%
 
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jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#13
I have already prepared a VARR submission and prepared 11 different documents as exhibits.

I am really surprised that the VA person didn't check some key boxes under symptoms. She even states pretty much the box contents in her narrative.

I'm just hoping for the process to work quickly so I can get to the VARR part.
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
#15
I have already prepared a VARR submission and prepared 11 different documents as exhibits.

I am really surprised that the VA person didn't check some key boxes under symptoms. She even states pretty much the box contents in her narrative.

I'm just hoping for the process to work quickly so I can get to the VARR part.

Ok, wasn't sure where you were in the process. It's great that you did a VARR with that many exhibits. Hopefully you'll get an increase.
 

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#17
Got my stuff back from the IPEB.

50% for my Mental Health Disorder
20% for my shoulder
10% for my Tinnitus

0% for my Migraines (WTF? Over?) I think this was a mistake during my C&P because I didn't understand the question

and of course my Sleep Apnea isn't in there because it wasn't diagnosed until after the MEB package went in. However, Sleep Apnea is the exception to the rule about adding an item after your claim is started, because the VA doesn't do the sleep studies and i actually had mine done at the place the VA would send me.

So, my next step is my VARR for my mental health disorder. Have it all written with 96 pages of exhibits pulled from my medical record going line by line down their list of why I wasn't rated higher
 

Warrior644

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#19
Got my stuff back from the IPEB.

50% for my Mental Health Disorder
20% for my shoulder
10% for my Tinnitus

0% for my Migraines (WTF? Over?) I think this was a mistake during my C&P because I didn't understand the question

and of course my Sleep Apnea isn't in there because it wasn't diagnosed until after the MEB package went in. However, Sleep Apnea is the exception to the rule about adding an item after your claim is started, because the VA doesn't do the sleep studies and i actually had mine done at the place the VA would send me.

So, my next step is my VARR for my mental health disorder. Have it all written with 96 pages of exhibits pulled from my medical record going line by line down their list of why I wasn't rated higher
Indeed, congratulations on the recent receipt of your IPEB findings! :D Take care! :cool:

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#20
AH yeah that wasn't clear.

The unfitting condition was my Mental Health.

the shoulder and the Tinnitus were VA ratings.
 
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