Adjustment Disorder -> PTSD?

RyderMix

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Greetings,

Is it common for PTSD to be misdiagnosed as an adjustment disorder? Or, is an adjustment disorder diagnosis ever a precursor to a PTSD diagnosis?

I’m currently active duty Air Force, 11 years time in service, Captain, prior enlisted.

My history:
- Diagnosed with an adjustment disorder with depressed mood in 2010.
- Hid my symptoms because I didn’t want it to affect my ability to pilot military aircraft.
- 2015, symptoms got massively worse affecting work and home life (still hid from medical treatment).
- 2018, in lieu of disasterous consequences in my personal life, I sought mental health treatment with the BHOP (not mental health). He diagnosed me with an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood. He has referred me to mental health for specialized treatment (after I brought up my combat experience).

I’m certain I have PTSD from my combat experiences...I’m just curious if this is a common progression for the diagnosis. The BHOP is a Psychologist (not clinical)...and the mental health doc that I’m scheduled to see is a clinical psychologist. What is the difference between BHOP and mental health?

Sorry for all of the questions...really anxious about what’s happening in my world.
 

JosephWC

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
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I was originally diagnosed with adjustment disorder with depressed mood after initially seeking help in the Navy. I was later told that this is actually quite common, as the ship's provider believed that my symptoms were due directly to my current situation in the military, rather than a consistent issue that affected all parts of my well-being. It wasn't until I continued with treatment with an outside provider that I was able to get the military to acknowledge the Major Depressive Disorder and PTSD that I quite obviously suffered from. It was a very lengthy process, but the change in diagnosis led to the PEB process and eventually my medical retirement (TDRL). I would consider getting an outside provider to make their own diagnosis while also advocating for yourself with the psychologist. The psychologist should have the authorization to refer you to a member of the military that can actually make an informed decision about your condition after a few session. Getting them to change the diagnosis might be step one towards the board process, if that is your current goal. Good luck!
 

chaplaincharlie

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Basically, BHOP is a MH practitioner that works in a primary care clinic. It was invented as way for people to get care without the stigma of going to MH clinic.

People can have more than one MH diagnosis. Adjustment Disorder is often given to protect the patient, even if a more "serious" disorder exist. Since you believe you have PTSD, I suggest you consider using the a Vet Center near you. Vet Centers are run by the VA. AD can use Vet Centers.

Go to:
https://www.va.gov/facilities/?zoomLevel=4&page=1&facilityType=vet_center
to find a VET Center near you. Vet Center practitioners treat PTSD and MST. My interaction with the staff at multiple locations has been very positive.


Best wishes
Mike
 

AF_GEN-X_FLYER

Member
Registered Member
Air Force flyer checking in.
Behavioral Health: At my present base their main push is to help you solve a immediate problems you're having and steering you to the correct help, resources or referrals for care. For my first visit they were able to get me referred off base for ADHD testing.

Mental Health tip: if you "hide" stuff from them (symptoms), than yes, they'll misdiagnosis you and treat you for something you don't have. I hid my ADHD suspicions for years for fear of losing my flight status. The symptoms created such drama in my life and that led to an adjustment disorder diagnosis. Treated with CBT and waiverable drug. Diagnosis lasted longer than 60 days...going on three years now. Since then...changed to Chronic adjustment disorder, lost flight pay, perm-DQ, sitting a desk job, made it through the last DAWG, scheduled for another DAWG in July 2019, ALC-2 coded.

Same suggestion: if you're in CONUS try the VET center. My mental health clinic is staffed with the B-team right out of college. Kinda hard to relate to dudes who weren't even born yet when I was in high school.
 

chaplaincharlie

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Air Force flyer checking in.
Behavioral Health: At my present base their main push is to help you solve a immediate problems you're having and steering you to the correct help, resources or referrals for care. For my first visit they were able to get me referred off base for ADHD testing.

Mental Health tip: if you "hide" stuff from them (symptoms), than yes, they'll misdiagnosis you and treat you for something you don't have. I hid my ADHD suspicions for years for fear of losing my flight status. The symptoms created such drama in my life and that led to an adjustment disorder diagnosis. Treated with CBT and waiverable drug. Diagnosis lasted longer than 60 days...going on three years now. Since then...changed to Chronic adjustment disorder, lost flight pay, perm-DQ, sitting a desk job, made it through the last DAWG, scheduled for another DAWG in July 2019, ALC-2 coded.

Same suggestion: if you're in CONUS try the VET center. My mental health clinic is staffed with the B-team right out of college. Kinda hard to relate to dudes who weren't even born yet when I was in high school.
It is unfortunate that many of the providers are less experience, but providers have to start somewhere. Vet Centers specialize in the PTSD and MST, so that get good at helping people with those diagnoses.
 

RyderMix

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Well, I was just diagnosed with PTSD and MDD this morning. I’ve also been dealing with footdrop for the past year..and I failed a PT test last month for the waist (everything else exempt).

I think I’ve finally convinced myself that I’m probably not going to make it to 20 years (11 currently). My concern is the looming impact of PT failures...as in I’d obviously rather not be admin separated for PT failures when I have these medical issues. Unfortunately, my flight doc has tried to avoid an MEB for footdrop because he thinks I should be able to retrain to something else...


At what point should I start to probe the doc about an MEB?
 
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