Got diagnosed


it’s been several years since I posted, or have been active here. I recognize some of you regulars who are still around, even though I’m likely to have been forgotten. I was never diagnosed, not through the VA, but really felt like something was wrong with me beyond just having anxiety and panic, which were the VAs diagnoses.

The VA didn’t think I met criterion A, and at lest one therapist wouldn’t consider the diagnosis because I had aphantasia, and she felt that meant I couldn’t have reemergence.
Part of why I didn’t qualify for Critereon A was that my panic attacks started in the Navy when I was shoved from behind by a chief while operating the ships diving planes. I was ordered to lower our deprh, which requires pushing the yoke in. I pulled it instead, not comprehending that I was pulling it instead of pushing. I was repeatedly ordered , louder and louder, to lower the dept and kept pulling, increasingly frustrated amd confused that it wasn’t working and the ship wasn’t diving, but pulling up. My chief shoved me from behind, pushing me into the sticks and so pushing the ship into the dive that was ordered. I had a panic attack, my first. I hyperventilated and was terrified at having been hit and at having been messed up so severely. How could I have mixed up pushing and pulling the yoke?
I’ve been flat out told that didn’t meat criterion a and disqualifies me from ptsd. But what we’re looking at in therapy outside the VA is another incident where a friend of mine was crushed by machinery while underway. He crawled inside a very large, thirty foot long hydraulic ram to clean up oil. He did this without telling anyone what he was doing. He was crushed by the ram during a routine turn. He died on a helicopter en route to a hospital.
We had the same job on the ship and stood the same watches. The ram he crawled into was one I too was responsible for maintenanibg and cleaning, and I thought about it every single time I would walk any the ram, about how it just have felt, what would have happened if I heard him scream, could I have helped? What was it like to clean up afterwards?
A few months before this incident, he got stuck in some pipes in a binge was scared. I helped him stay calm and helped pull him out. I felt like it was the same situation but I wasn’t there the second time to help him.
This is all in addition to a CSA years ago that come to realize has affected me most of my life in ways I never anticipated.
I frequently feel like I’m in danger, that someone’s going to hurt me because I’m messing up and won’t realize it. I still feel guilty about my friends death. I haven’t had the opportunity to be around similar industrial machinery or set foot on a sub, but after the next took only low end, low responsibility jobs and ignored any skills I had learned, despite technical jobs I had qualified for being much more beneficial. I couldn’t stand to do anything similar to my job, still can’t imagine doing it without feeling anxious or guilty. And the panic attacks still happen. All this happened around 2008 or 9 if I remember correctly. Hasn’t stopped.
Having talked things over with my new therapist, she’s confident I have PTSD and even said that the navy was being neglectful by not giving me the diagnosis.
Part of me is worried I just shopped around for a therapist willing to give me the diagnosis I want, but really have felt neglected by the VA as far as my trauma goes, whether or not I have PTSD.

sorry about the wall of text. Thank you for listening. Been crying and eating chocolates all day after some intensive group, but wanted to get this off my chest. Any feedback or advice would be appreciated, or even hugs.
Thanks for your time.


Hey hey hey 😁 Welcome back @GwenDR !!! Damn good to see you!

but really have felt neglected by the VA
f*ck the VA. ‘Nuff said.

Part of me is worried I just shopped around for a therapist willing to give me the diagnosis I want, but really have felt neglected by the VA as far as my trauma goes, whether or not I have PTSD.
Maybe. Or maybe you found someone who took into account your entire life, and the constellation of symptoms in your present life, and made an informed decision based on all the information available, about what’s the most useful & effective for you. <<< If it looks stupid, but it works? It ain’t stupid. >>> Whenever I get hung up on the Dx thing -rare these days, but it does happen- I just revert back to old names. A soldier’s heart. High spirits. Badly used. Brutalized. Okay. So let’s WORK with that; minimize the weaknesses and play to the strengths, and become who I want to be, where I want to be.

I haven’t had the opportunity to be around similar industrial machinery or set foot on a sub,
I have a hunk of one of my dad’s subs… smaller than a baseball, weighs nearly a zillion pounds. (Only a very slight exaggeration 😉 Fawking heavy.) As DENSE as that motherf*cker is? It still SMELLS like my childhood. Metal & oil brings back a flood of memories; cigar smoke, rivets on the bulkheads, banging my shins when I didn’t lift my leg high enough, starch & whatever the f*ck they made that terrible beige fabric out of (are those Charlies in the Navy? Alphas?), chlorform squeaks, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches… a thousand things. To ME all good memories, but if someone started listing out things uniquely USMC -or worse, my MOS- I’d lose my shit 6:7, hence the spoiler.

I think it’s because you just don’t FIND that metal anywhere there aren’t boats about. So it just HITS the memory centers in my noggin, as there are no new memories competing with the old.

Thanks to the Internet it’s a helluva lot less difficult to acquire than it once was (the only way we got some was extended time in dry dock following an explosion. The entire surviving crew got a piece or two for luck, which was a thing at the time, no idea about now)… if you’re ever interested in evoking that time period on your own terms, rather than randomly. I flirt like hell with/around my triggers, chipping away at them until they’re gone, but I know that’s not everyone’s balliwick.

🌠Again, damn good to see you!


Thanks, Friday, so much. When I mentioned people I remembered, you were at the top of the list. It had never occurred to me to get su pieces or memorabilia as a way to expose myself in a controlled manner. I’ll look into that. Thanks!