I want to talk to you about how to get an official PTSD diagnosis.
As of this writing, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Version 5, is the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of all mental disorders. It's a big purple book that says DSM-V on the spine.
The version 5 came out in 2013, and this is important for us to know in case we got a diagnosis prior to 2013. The clinical definition of PTSD changed significantly from version 4 to version 5. So if you got a diagnosis before 2013 or had your VA compensation and pension exam prior to 2013, it may be time for a do-over.
In order to get a PTSD diagnosis, we have to have a no kidding, come-to-Jesus sit down with a mental health professional. It takes time and effort. We have to choose to be radically authentic with the clinician and the clinician has to know their DSM-V.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misdiagnoses out there.
It is important that we know our diagnosis and are symptoms better than anyone else, to include our therapist, our doctors, or our chain of command. The reason for this is that no one is going to be more invested in our recovery than we are.
We created a Quick Start Guide to help understand our PTSD symptoms and advocate for evidence-based treatment.