Although at a glance, this may seem like a negative thing to share on Christmas, I want to share this with anyone dealing with mental health issues because I am accepting the information as a positive thing.
I consider it a positive thing partly because I know that I am not alone, and partly because those of us who have dealt with the VA feel alone when things somehow get worse instead of better.
It would appear that something the VA attempted to put me through (the PE treatment program) has a high failure rate, with many reports of symptoms of service connected PTSD getting much more severe following the entrance into treatment.
For me, the treatment barely lasted 3 sessions, and already my symptoms had worsened more than I had ever experienced them before. The doctor I had provided me inadequate equipment to perform the treatment, and subsequently broke our contract after taking my episodes personally. She quickly transferred me into a substance abuse program, which did not make sense because I was not dealing with any immediate substance abuse issues.
The issues that surround all of that are a whole other story, but word has it from the Bay Pines VA Medical Center Patient Advocacy Office that the doctor trying to perform PE on me has since left the VA on less than satisfactory terms.
Needless to say, I almost became another suicide or equally bad statistic partly because I had been a statistic of a program that has a very high treatment failure rate. I take this information in a positive manner because I felt alone and I felt like a bigger failure than ever before; I thought it was simply “me,” but it turns out that it wasn’t “just me.”
Read more here to learn another perspective from a veteran who went through a similar experience: