Spatial disorientation is a condition that causes confusion, vertigo, and brain fog. It is associated with neurological diseases like dementia but can also be a high-level symptom of mental health disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veterans who experience service-related spatial disorientation could qualify for a 70% percent rating for mental health.
In this article about spatial disorientation
What is Spatial Disorientation?
Have you ever had the feeling that you missed a step going down the stairs and felt your stomach drop out? You suddenly grab onto something and reevaluate whether you can be trusted walking downstairs without supervision.
Everyone seems to have a story like this at some point in their lives—a moment of dizziness or clumsiness that can leave you confused about whether you’re going up the stairs or down.
Some people experience more frequent moments of disorientation and in multiple situations. They might think they’re standing when they’re sitting. They might get lost at the grocery store. They might not know what day it is.
These episodes could indicate a more serious problem called spatial disorientation, which is a feeling of confusion about your physical surroundings.
The condition is a symptom of neurological disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s. The term is also used to describe the effects pilots and scuba divers can experience with changes in altitude and pressure on their inner ear. This article will focus on veterans with PTSD who experience severe intrusive memories that cause spatial disorientation.
How Is Spatial Disorientation Related to PTSD?
All forms of spatial disorientation are related to vestibular disorder, which affects the parts of the inner ear and brain that help control eye balance and eye movements.
Spatial disorientation related to PTSD stems from the initial trauma and the way that the brain experiences and relives this trauma. While spatial disorientation caused by PTSD can be treated with therapy to control symptoms, there is no definitive way to cure this particular symptom of PTSD.
Symptoms of Spatial Disorientation
When the vestibular system is damaged by disease, aging, injury, or trauma, it can manifest in a variety of ways that fall under the umbrella of spatial disorientation:
- Lack of balance
- Brain fog
- Vision impairment
- Difficulty maintaining straight posture or tilting the head to one side
- Needing to look down at the ground or grab onto a wall while standing
- Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
How Is Spatial Disorientation Related to Military Service?
PTSD is one of the most common mental disorders for veterans. Spatial disorientation is a severe symptom of PTSD and other mental disorders. While not all veterans suffer from PTSD, it is common because of the nature of the job. PTSD is caused by a combination of underlying neurological conditions and exposure to traumatic situations. War, death, and loss are all potential triggers for PTSD. Veterans experience these kinds of events at a much higher rate than the average person.
PTSD is diagnosed by a mental health professional. While it can be challenging for veterans to admit that they need mental health support, it is extremely important and can help them get the support that they need.
Veterans are also more prone to traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is also linked to spatial disorientation.
Can I Get VA Disability with Spatial Disorientation Symptoms?
The VA recognizes spatial disorientation as a symptom of a severe mental disorder including PTSD, which would most likely qualify for 70% PTSD rating compensation. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may also be able to qualify for total disability individual unemployability (TDIU), which pays a monthly benefit equivalent to a 100% disability rating.
Your disability rating is based on several factors, but the VA will primarily look at the degree of impairment of your day-to-day activities. If you are unable to hold down regular employment because of physical pain or emotional trauma and the way your symptoms manifest, you will most likely get a higher rating.
One of our VA disability lawyers describes the VA rating formula
for mental disorders and disabilities like PTSD.
How to Apply for Benefits
The process for applying for benefits begins with getting a proper diagnosis from a VA-certified doctor so you can present it to the VA as proof of your condition.
Once you are diagnosed, you can file a claim with the VA. Woods & Woods can help you with this process, at no charge, to ensure that you are correctly filing all your paperwork.
Call us today to discuss your VA disability appeal or your first application. The call is free and we won’t charge you a single fee until we win your case. We even pay for the postage for all of the documentation you send to our office. You can look for a VA disability attorney near you or call us and join the thousands of veterans living off of VA disability thanks to Woods and Woods.
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Frequently asked questions
Spatial disorientation is a feeling of confusion about your physical surroundings. Spatial disorientation PTSD patients experience severe intrusive memories that cause them to become disoriented.
PTSD is one of the most common mental disorders for veterans. Spatial disorientation is a symptom of PTSD and other mental disorders. While not all veterans suffer from PTSD, it is common because of the nature of the job. PTSD is caused by a combination of underlying neurological conditions and exposure to traumatic situations. War, death, and loss, are all potential triggers for PTSD and events that veterans experience at a much higher rate than the average person.