Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with a wide range of symptoms, but one of the most frequently overlooked is memory loss. Since the ability to recall information is essential for work and day-to-day functioning, it’s vital that Veterans have access to the resources they need to manage their condition.
How PTSD Can Affect Your Memory
Experts aren’t entirely sure why people with PTSD struggle with memory. To some extent, the sleep disturbances and general stress associated with a PTSD diagnosis might play a role. PTSD has also been known to damage the hippocampus, which is the part of your brain that regulates emotions, stores long-term memories, and helps you tell the difference between new memories and memories of past events.
Everyone’s experience is a little different, but PTSD can damage both long-term and short-term memory. You may find it difficult to remember certain events from your past, as well as phone numbers, dates, directions, or other details needed to complete daily tasks. Other memory-related PTSD symptoms might include:
- Struggling to stay organized
- Finding it difficult to concentrate for an extended period of time
- Having trouble following verbal or written instructions
- Being easily distracted by your environment
- Struggling to maintain socially-appropriate conversations with others
In severe cases, people with PTSD can exhibit memory impairment similar to that of a person suffering from dementia. However, counseling and medication combined with lifestyle modifications typically help improve PTSD-related memory problems.
Memory Loss and Your Disability Rating
Clearing documenting memory difficulties should result in a higher disability rating for your PTSD. If your condition is rated at 60% or higher and prevents you from seeking substantially gainful employment, you may qualify for TDIU benefits.
We Can Help You Access the VA Disability Benefits You Deserve
VA disability law is notoriously complex, and the memory-related symptoms of PTSD can make it even more difficult to navigate the application and appeal process. You may be tempted to simply give up or accept a rating that doesn’t sufficiently account for all of your symptoms, but help is available.
Our VA disability attorneys are committed to helping those who’ve honorably served their country access the disability benefits they need and deserve. To learn more, contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.