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EdwardMH - 12/08/2015 10:58 PM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 7

Hello my name is Edward from Springfield, Mo (Hoping to move to Arizona someday) and I am new here. I at this time am not a certified diver I joined hoping to find information but if I need to be a real diver already I will delete my account if you wish.

My problem is this. I am a 100% P&T Service Connected (Not combat related) disabled Veteran (PTSD, Major Depression Disorder and Anxiety (all of which are under control with only rare issues), The VA has me on no meds at this time)) Last year I did a try Scuba class at DiVentures near me and LOVED it! However when I took the waiver papers for full Scuba classes to the my Doctor at the VA it was sent back to me unsigned with a note stating that for "LIABILITY" reasons she was not "allowed" to sign such paperwork, I went back showing her websites and documents of several Organizations that help disabled Veterans get into Scuba and explained the benefits of Scuba for PTSD to which she told me that in her opinion NO ONE with PTSD should be allowed to Scuba as it was a disaster waiting to happen, I tried to push the issue again and she raised her voice to let me know the topic was over to tell me the ONLY reason they wanted signed waivers was so if something went wrong the Doctor could be blamed not the School, Instructor, or Student.

I do not want permission for permissions sake I want to send my VA records to someone that can make an informed decision for a MEDICAL reason not liability as to If I can learn Scuba or not. I was hoping there may be people here who have dealt with the VA and know what I should do or where I should move to be near VA Hospitals that understand the connection between Scuba and PTSD relief.

In order to be "transparent" I am a victim of a violent rape, and one legit concern the VA brought up was what if I panicked thinking a dive buddy might mean to harm me in the water. (I find this a sound opinion) However I do not feel this is an issue as it does not make sense to me that someone would try something harmful in so dangerous a place that could put themselves in danger therefore I do not have anxiety/stress over the possibility. However that said I do feel I would prefer female instructor to improve my focus on learning.

So question #2 is are there any rape survivors or people who know of such that Scuba that I can show the VA that others Survivors have taken up Scuba with no ill effect?

Thank you for your replies in advance, and again if I need to be a Certified Scuba diver to be here please let me know and I will remove the account.

Edward (AstroEd) Henry
LatitudeAdjustment - 12/09/2015 7:41 AM
Good morning Ed, you may need to do your training with a group like or WWP to get around your doctors concerns. There are divers with both groups and others on this board so I’m sure you will hear from them.
Yes in helping a panicked diver you approach from the rear so they don’t take your reg and drown you. You just need to remember that you are both probably wearing full wet suits and rape can’t happen.
Eric_R - 12/10/2015 7:11 AM
Hello Ed and welcome to the forum.
I think your doctor has legitimate concerns but I also think that given a little time those concerns could be eased if you got involved with one of organizations Ray mentioned. It may take some time but if you focus on the end result you’ll be able to be involved in one of the most gratifying sports. Water is one of the best therapies both for the body and the mind.
EdwardMH - 12/10/2015 3:22 PM
Thank you both for your replies. I been to the scubaboard forums and chat room and enjoy talking to other Scuba divers but WOW does this hobby seem very costly, My only income is VA Disability and Social Security Disability I hope I can afford it LOL but I really want to try.
EdwardMH - 12/11/2015 3:53 PM
My main desire for this post was to find Options or right people to contact about the VA and waivers. I will check out the ones listed so far Thank you all. I anyone knows of which ACTUALLY VA hospitals have supported Scuba I would love to hear from you. I live alone and have no issues relocating to a new state to find a VA that will at least give me the chance to get a waiver accepted or refused for PROPER medical reasons and not Liability or a Doctors personal opinions
WaterBoy700 - 12/19/2015 1:42 AM
Try the VA in Palo Alto California m sure you can get assistance there . ?
WaterBoy700 - 12/19/2015 1:42 AM
Try the VA in Palo Alto California m sure you can get assistance there . ?
John_giu - 3/20/2016 8:04 AM
A quick google search found this>

I know there are a number of Scuba programs for vets.

Your while not addressing your particular concerns this might be a starting point.

Other than service related disabilities there are many other causes for PTSD.
I assume the concern is to what degree a person is effected.

A black and white answer of "NO ONE with PTSD should ever dive" seems a bit broad to me.

I’m not a medical professional, but how about a second opinion?

Good luck,

Thanks for your service.