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Hello, My Name is Socks - Australian Military Veteran

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Socks, Jun 6, 2006.

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  1. Socks

    Socks New Member

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Socks and I have been reading this forum for a few months now and I have found it very helpful and I thought it was about time I introduced myself.

    I served with the Australian Army from 1975 till 1984. I am married with two grown up children who have left home and I live in Melbourne.

    I had a rather nasty experience in 1983 which at first wasn’t a problem but as time went by, began to pray on my mind and cause problems.

    I experienced bad moods, good moods, un-controllable anger and rage, unable to concentrate, bad dreams, bad day dreams, isolations and what I call "the black cloud".

    I was not a very nice person.

    For years I suppressed my feeling but eventually something had to change and I had to take ownership of my problem.

    About 12 months ago, I went to my local doctor who has been treating me for depression and he suggested that I should speak to the local Returned Services League representative to see they could help.

    I spoke to the local RSL representative who to my amazement had very similar problems himself and fully understood what I was going through. For the first time in years I felt as if I was not alone and that someone else understood.

    The RSL representative asked me to complete a form and told me to put down as much detail of my experience as I could remember.

    Putting down my experience on paper was very traumatic and caused me a great deal pain. Everything that I had suppressed for years came back to me in living colour.

    I could remember the experience vividly but I could not remember the date or the time or whether it was morning or afternoon.

    Eventually, DVA sent me to a Psychiatrist and we discussed my problem.

    At the same time, DVA sent me a questionnaire which when I completed and DVA sent this questionnaire to the Army historian who would investigate my claim.

    The Army historians report stated that "the applicant" may or may not have been involved in this incident as there was no proof other than "the applicants" statement and it was un-likely that "the applicants" claims are true.

    DVA asked me to respond to the Army historians report which I did quite vigorously.

    Once again DVA sent me back to the same Psychiatrist and we discussed my problems again. The DVA Psychiatrist said to me at the end of the appointment, you have experienced a life threatening situation and you are clearly suffering from PTSD and he didn't know why DVA wouldn't accept his diagnoses.

    This simply statement from the Psychiatrist was like a hammer blow to the back of the head and for the first time "the black cloud" had a name.

    I received a letter a few days later from DVA saying that I had be diagnosed as suffering from PTSD and they would accept responsibility for treatment.

    A couple of weeks later, I received another letter from DVA saying that while I had experience a traumatic event, this traumatic event was not an accepted stressor and PTSD would not be accepted as service related.

    This statement from DVA really p*****ed me off, If I hadn't been placed in this situation by the Army then I would not have had a life threatening experience.

    How can they say that a life threatening experience is not an accepted stressor.

    Anyway, I am now on medication and receiving counselling from a Psychiatrist who specialises in PTSD. I know it's early days but I do feel better.

    This is my story and I thank anyone who takes the time to read it.

    Regards to all and just hang in there.

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  3. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

    Hi Socks!

    Experiencing a traumatic event is enough stress,
    then the DMV is throwing all this BS and politics at you...
    take care of yourself,
    It's great that you have found a psychiatrist and are getting counseling
    This is so important, especially in the beginning

    I'm glad you are feeling better,
    this is a great place to vent and learn about PTSD
  4. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hey Socks, welcome aboard and very glad to have you hear. You kinda make me laugh about the issues your having with DVA, as it is very very familiar. Did you know, that if you can prove your PTSD was actually caused by your traumatic event within your military time, then you are actually entitled to TPI, gold card, the full works?

    I'm glad you have been reading here, and more happy that your now posting. Online communities can sometimes be a bit hard to handle when you first jump in, but damn they can be a lot of fun also.

    So... what gave you PTSD Socks, if you don't mind me asking?
  5. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Hi Socks,

    Welcome to the forum. Glad to hear that you are getting some help, understand the DVA stuff around.........although Anthony and I experienced that a lot less than others we know. Still they tried. At least 5 times that I can remember I rewrote Anthony's details, injuries (etc) just in a different order each time. Lucky for us I am a pedantic bugger and I kept copies of everything. Seriously, it would have been half a ream of paper each bloody time. Mostly I dealt with the paperwork as it either used to stress Anthony or make him angry, not good outcomes either way. I even have a Certified True Copy of the rollbook for one of his os trips - I just happened to work in the Orderly Room in the same unit, years after he was posted out. It also helped that we went straight to VVAA in Townsville where the advocate helped us heaps. If it weren't for them I think we would still be tied up in red tape!

    Have you approached CARO (Central Army Records Office), yep it still exists, to get copies of your service records? They used to do a Personal Occurance Report (POR) for people going overseas with the keywords 'emplane' and 'deplane'. This would prove that you deployed somewhere. Rollbooks that long ago would be hard to get but there might even be something on an old leave record that would indicate you were overseas. There were no automated systems in Defence in 1984 but I know the Orderly Room staff were a bit more thorough with paperwork because there were no computers. I would start with copies of your service documents, then try a leave record and then your medical documents (via Australian Defence Force Health Records- ADFHR) may even have something. If you haven't tried these avenues it may be worth the hassle. What about someone else who was there and witnessed the incident? Sorry, Orderly Room stuff is my bread and butter and I don't like seeing mbrs or vets stuffed around. Anyhow food for thought, if you would like some contact details let me know and I will be happy to source that info for you.
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