New guy, recently diagnosed, receiving care through VA

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MaffooClock
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02 Mar 2022, 11:03 am

Okay, brain, let's type out one thought at a time, okay? I've got a record player that was made in two thousand fourteen... Ugh.

I received a ASD diagnosis this past Monday, which wasn't surprising, along with ADHD and anxiety disorder. My doctor made a point to say that he would characterize it as Asperger's, except that is it no longer a recognized diagnosis.

I was diagnosed with ADHD about five years ago, which at the time explained a lot of things about my life, but as time went on I still felt like something had been missed. It was a subconscious thought, really. I've always, always felt like I was on the wrong planet. Like many of you, I believed "Everyone has their quirks, everyone has their problems, just deal with it... and while you're at it, make sure you speak and act the way people expect so that you don't cause them discomfort..." [sigh...]

Now I know what stimming is. Holy cow, I had no idea what I was doing to myself by suppressing the incessant urges to touch my fingers together or wiggle a wrist with an open palm and a row of clenched fingers. You make people uncomfortable when you do things that they don't do. I suppressed that stuff even in private (most of the time). I'm now discovering that if I just squeek out a few stimmies, my anxiety and stress-exhaustion is reduced. mind = blown 8O

I'm rambling. Is that okay? Get to the point. Just because you found "your people" doesn't mean your audience isn't losing interest in your needless braindump.

:arrow: I'm 39. I'm an Air Force veteran. To my US veteran brothers and sisters, I have a question for you (which, in my mind seems like a dumb question, but here goes anyway): how many of you have received care through the VA for ASD or ADHD? What was your experience? How did you feel your needs were being met?

I've been receiving care for my ADHD through the VA all this time because, initially, I was self-employed and didn't have health insurance. I qualified for care through the VA, but I always felt guilty for taking advantage of a benefit for an issue that really wasn't on the guvmint to take care of -- I didn't have PTSD or any of those accompanying psychological conditions that "real" veterans suffer from. But again, I was technically qualified, and I needed it, so I took it and no one told me not to. You're still a mooch, dude.

I think all veterans will agree with this statement: the best of the best (in healthcare) don't go work for the guvmint. That's a rude thing to say, though, because these are professionals who worked hard on their education and earned their degrees and credentials. But still. I never had full confidence that my VA psychiatrist had enough understanding, let alone experience, to adequately handle ADHD. But, he knew how to prescribe Adderall, and it helped, so it was good enough for me.

But my ASD diagnosis came from a licensed and accredited psychologist, whom I sought after mounting internal concerns that my ADHD needs weren't being met at the VA. Now, I'm even more certain that my needs are out of their depth at the VA (although, what I need probably hasn't changed -- just keep the "sit down and color" candy and the "chill out, bruh" candy coming so I can be productively functional).

I think I already know the answer: step away from the VA and seek private care, hopefully from someone who specializes. So then why are you still posing the question?


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Last edited by MaffooClock on 02 Mar 2022, 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Armenni
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02 Mar 2022, 11:29 am

Hey man, same here. Just registered to the forum, early ADHD diagnosis, recent ASD diagnosis. 31 y.o.

Just a civilian though, from another country, so I can't help you with your VA questions. But wanted to welcome you anyway. Feels good to know you are not alone :)

Cheers!



Double Retired
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02 Mar 2022, 5:00 pm

Hello! Welcome to WP! And then getting to your question...

My bride and I are both U.S. Air Force veterans.

She was diagnosed with ADHD as a child (though I think way back then they called it "Hyperactive") and she did not outgrow it (my understanding is that about ½ do outgrow it); I was diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild) at the age of 64 (and my understanding is that about none outgrow that). Neither of us receives treatment for those "disorders", though. We've been muddling through adulthood OK without treatment. Well, in my case, there couldn't have been treatment because: there was no applicable diagnosis for me in the DSM until the year I turned 40; and I didn't know I had it 'til I was 64 and retired.

Well...we're old. We do see medical providers for a lot of things...just not ADHD or Autism.

And the VA doesn't even want to talk to me. I am officially "Priority Group 8g". Effectively, I'm at the end of the line and the whole line isn't getting in. But part of why I'm 8g is that I don't need them so I guess it's OK...we both have other ways to get medical care. (We weren't self-employed.)

As for the quality of VA care...I think it varies from place to place. My still-living and very old Dad is very happy with his VA care.

And you're not a mooch. You earned it. They committed to giving you veteran's benefits when they hired you (rather than paying you a lot of money and promising to keep you safe). That was the deal you made and that they made.

Though I suspect you might be right about considering non-VA sources for ADHD and Autism support. Somehow I doubt they have a lot of experience there. (For PTSD or missing limbs, however, I'm guessing they'd probably be a great resource!)


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The Bride
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02 Mar 2022, 6:22 pm

Hi, and welcome!

I'm The Bride. Yeah, *that* Bride. As my dearly beloved mentioned, I'm also an Air Force vet. And you're not a mooch. Seriously, you made a contract with the DoD that said that you'd give up a lot - up to and including your life if asked to - and medical care was part of their end of the contract.

Oh, I was also diagnosed with ADHD (called ADD with hyperactive tendencies back in the day) when I was in 4th grade. Also back when it was quite rare for young girls to receive such a diagnosis. Placed on meds up until I went on active duty during the tail end of the Vietnam conflict. Learned how to function without them, but it was a struggle at first.

Because I am a Vietnam-era vet, I rank a little higher for getting medical care from the VA, but since I'm retired and can still get treated in the military medical system, I go that route instead. Though the few times that I've had to utilize the VA system I got good service. But it was not for ADHD.

I think that you may have to explain your diagnoses to the docs and see what happens. Civilian doctors can make bad calls too, but you'll always be your own best advocate (I have a long and checkered medical history to prove that).

Anyway, all the best and keep aiming high!


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AnonymousAnonymous
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02 Mar 2022, 7:29 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)

Thank you for your service and there are many members here
on WP who served their country's military services.

I am not a veteran, but my father was in the US Army.

I do not believe he was on the spectrum.


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IsabellaLinton
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02 Mar 2022, 7:36 pm

Welcome MaffooClock!

Your posts are really relatable. :!:



MaffooClock
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06 Mar 2022, 8:28 am

The Bride wrote:
Hi, and welcome!
...
Anyway, all the best and keep aiming high!


Thank you! That makes me feel a lot better.

Friday, I had my first appointment at the VA since my ASD diagnosis, and of course I shared this with my psychiatrist (the diagnosing psychologist gave me a hand-written note on letterhead to share). As well, I shared my concern about maybe being in the wrong place, and the psychiatrist said, "Why do you feel that way? If you want to receive your care here, there's nothing wrong with that..."

So I ask myself, "Bro, 'imposter syndrome' much?"


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MaffooClock
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06 Mar 2022, 8:30 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Welcome MaffooClock!

Your posts are really relatable. :!:


I wish this forum had a 'Like' feature on posts. Thank you :)


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autisticelders
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07 Mar 2022, 5:33 am

I wish the forum had a like feature too. So many times I want to acknowledge or agree but it seems like cluttering up a conversation to interject with just that comment. I made an exception this time LOL Son is a veteran and gets all his care through the VA, He has been satisfied with the care he has received. A lot of the doctors are military doctors to begin with who have a lot more experience and skills with military related issues, injuries and mental emotional "stuff" from combat/ active service and etc.
Glad you are with us.


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Tim_Tex
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07 Mar 2022, 10:40 am

Welcome to WP from a fellow Texan!


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