Did you know you can file for a Mental Health condition due to your service-connected pain sites?
Are you connected for your back, knees, shoulders, or any other joints? Think about how your life has changed since your military service. If you cannot physically do the things you use to, that can take a toll on your overall emotional well-being.
Do you have children or grandchildren that you can not play with, without experiencing pain? You might feel that you are missing out on their lives or that because of your pain you have become a burden for others. This pain runs deeper than just the muscles and joints. This can really make a person emotionally unstable with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of self-harm.
What If My Service-Connected Disabilities Are Not Joints?
Do your disabilities negatively affect your life? If yes, then you can still file for a mental health claim secondary to the impact of your service-connected disabilities. If you are service-connected for diabetes, hypertension, and migraines these conditions can still cause a negative impact on your day to day life. If these disabilities cause you to avoid activities you once enjoyed, your emotions can be suffering as well.
What Kind of C&P Exam Will I have?
You might have a few C&P exams scheduled. The first would be a psych exam with a licensed mental health examiner. This exam takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. The examiner will complete a mental health DBQ that will cover from childhood to present day. Questions will include education and work history, family, and relationships. You will need to be open and honest with all of your answers.
The VA might also schedule you for C&P exams regarding your current service-connected disabilities that your mental health claim was filed secondary to. So if you filed a mental health claim due to the pain from your service-connected back, you can expect to go through a range of motion tests again for your back.
What Kind of Diagnosis is “Pain Disorder?”
Pain disorder is not the diagnosis a veteran will receive. Pain disorder is simply a description of the type of claim. Since this is mental health claim your diagnosis will vary depending on the symptoms you experience. Many veterans might receive a diagnosis of “Major Depressive Disorder due to pain”, “Anxiety Disorder”, or any other variation the doctor titles the condition.
You can also think about this claim as a Lifestyle Impact claim. If your life has drastically changed because of your service-connected disabilities your overall mental wellbeing might have changed too. Feeling depressed, anxious, sad, or frustrated can be very draining on a veteran. Personal relationships can be strained and quality of life can decrease. Physical pain and emotional pain can go hand in hand.