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Veterans Law

Mood Disorders After Military Service: You May Qualify for Disability

March 26, 2017

You may have been the last to realize that you were experiencing mood swings. Upon returning home from active duty, and perhaps with other disabilities, once the initial thrill of the homecoming and seeing all your family and friends subsided, you may have been left with a surprising range of emotions

Often, the family members and friends of a veteran are the first to notice that he or she seems to have changed significantly upon returning home from service.  The changes in the veteran may be troubling, such as depression, anger, insomnia, nightmares, and avoidance of certain people or places.  As time goes on and these changes don’t go away or get better, a veteran may need help. PTSD is a very common condition afflicting many veterans. Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Constant re-living of the trauma
  • Avoidance of situations or people who remind you of the bad experience(s)
  • Being easily triggered and easily agitated 
  • A very negative attitude
  • Aggressive and/or risk-taking behavior
  • Substance abuse

PTSD is a condition that may not have presented during service. It may take months or even years to manifest, and without treatment, it may never go away. If a veteran is diagnosed with PTSD as a result of an event during service, he or she may be eligible for service-connected compensation.  To be eligible for disability due to PTSD, the following must be available:

  • A diagnosis of PTSD
  • A direct statement from the veteran regarding the event that caused the PTSD, during active duty
  • Consistency of the stressor with active duty
  • A medical opinion stating that what the veteran experienced in active duty was sufficient to cause PTSD

Depression is another mental health condition commonly diagnosed in veterans who have returned from active duty.  The VA splits this condition into two subsections for disability compensation, to include major depression as well as dysthymic disorder, which may not be as serious but has the potential to last even longer. To claim disability, again there must be a diagnosis, a link to service, and medical evidence.

If you need help filing a claim or have been denied disability for a mental health condition and are considering an appeal, contact the attorneys at Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick. Let us evaluate your case and discuss your options. With many years of representing service members and veterans around the US, we have the experience to help you gain the benefits you deserve.

For immediate help, call us at 401-331-6300 or contact us online.