Disqualifying Mental Health Conditions
According to the Department of Defense, youâre disqualified from serving in the U.S. military if you have a current diagnosis or a history of most mental disorders. The presence of any disorder with psychotic features, such as schizophrenia or a delusional disorder, does not allow one to serve.
Youâre also disqualified if you have bipolar disorder or affective psychoses. For depressive disorders , disqualification from the service occurs if a person had outpatient care that lasted for more than 12 months or any inpatient care. A person with a depressive disorder must be stable, without treatment or symptoms for a continuous 36 months, to be eligible to enlist.
For anxiety disorders , a person cannot enter the armed services if they needed any inpatient care, or outpatient care for more than 12 months cumulatively. They must not have needed any treatment for their anxiety disorder in the past 36 months. Other disqualifying mental health conditions include:
Disturbances of conduct, impulse control disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or other personality or behavior disorders characterized by frequent encounters with law enforcement agencies, and antisocial attitudes or behavior also warrant disqualification from service. Likewise, a person may be disqualified from enlisting if their personality, conduct, or behavior disorder is believed to be a serious interference in adjusting to the military.
Documentation For An Other Designated Physical And Mental Conditions Discharge
With some of these conditions, local commands are reluctant to believe that the problem exists and to grant discharge. Medical or psychiatric documentation is vital.
The best documentation for a personality disorder is a current and thorough psychiatric evaluation. While the military will require psychiatric examination by a military psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist, civilians are usually more thorough and more sympathetic than military doctors.
Military commands and psychiatrists may demand to know why a civilian psychiatrist was consulted, even though it is perfectly legal to do so. Members can justify the consultation by explaining how their emotional state frightened them.
You may want to write a cover letter describing your difficulties in performing your duties and what you have tried to do to alleviate the problem. This letter is usually most effective if it is not a request for discharge but an outline of the problems you are having.
The GI Rights Hotline may be able to help you find psychiatrists or licensed psychologists who are generally supportive and willing to learn about the militarys criteria and procedures.
It is not helpful to give the psychiatrist a detailed account of how the military has made life miserable for you. Instead, you can discuss your own feelings and actions without simply laying blame on the military.
Can You Join Military With Anxiety
Can you have anxiety in the army?
It’s common for servicemen and women to have feelings of fear, anger, sadness and worry after returning from a deployment. Adjusting can be difficult for everyone. Some of the more alarming statistics include: 327% increase in reported anxiety disorders among service between 2000 and 2012
Can you join the military if you take antidepressants?
Are antidepressants disqualifying? (
Response 1: Antidepressants are disqualifying for one year after you stop taking them. You must stop with your doctor’s advice do not stop on your own. These medications often have to be reduced slowly to lower side effects and reduce risk of relapse.
What disqualifies you from enlisting in the military?
The military doesn’t accept just anyone who wants to join. There are age, citizenship, physical, education, height/weight, criminal record, medical, and drug history standards that can exclude you from joining the military.
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Abdominal Organs And Gastrointestinal System
The following conditions may disqualify you from military service:
a. Esophagus. Ulceration, varices, fistula, achalasia, or other dysmotility disorders chronic or recurrent esophagitis if confirmed by appropriate X-ray or endoscopic examination.
b. Stomach and duodenum.
Gastritis. Chronic hypertrophic or severe.
Active ulcer of the stomach or duodenum confirmed by X-ray or endoscopy.
Congenital abnormalities of the stomach or duodenum causing symptoms or requiring surgical treatment, except a history of surgical correction of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis of infancy.
c. Small and large intestine.
Inflammatory bowel disease. Regional enteritis, ulcerative colitis, ulcerative proctitis.
Duodenal diverticula with symptoms or sequelae .
Intestinal malabsorption syndromes, including postsurgical and idiopathic.
Congenital. Condition, to include Meckel’s diverticulum or functional abnormalities, persisting or symptomatic within the past two years.
d. Gastrointestinal bleeding. History of, unless the cause has been corrected, and is not otherwise disqualifying.
e. Hepato-pancreatic-biliary tract.
Cirrhosis, hepatic cysts and abscess, and sequelae of chronic liver disease.
Cholecystitis, acute or chronic, with or without cholelithiasis, and other disorders of the gallbladder including post-cholecystectomy syndrome, and biliary system.
Note. Cholecystectomy is not disqualifying 60 days postsurgery , providing there are no disqualifying residuals from treatment.
Diagnosis And Classification Of Psychiatric Conditions
Military policies regarding psychiatric conditions are based on standards and diagnoses adopted by the American Psychiatric Association , and reflect the views and assumptions of the mainstream psychiatric establishment in this country. Nontraditional psychiatric diagnoses and therapy are normally treated with contempt in the military setting. The military uses the classifications, definitions and criteria set out in the Diagnostic andStatistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the APA, Fifth Edition . This manual attempts to define individual psychiatric disorders, listing specific symptoms and criteria for each and often including detailed discussion of conditions which may be related to or mistaken for others. DSM-5 also attempts to consider gender, racial and cultural differences which may affect diagnosis, including behavior which may be entirely appropriate in one culture or religion but considered symptomatic of illness in another. A few military regulations, which have not been recently updated, refer to prior versions of the DSM, usually DSM-IV-TR , but military evaluations and decisions should be based on DSM-5.
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My Adhd Diagnosis Fight Or Flight
After we redeployed from Afghanistan, I returned to the States and continued my military career, climbing the ranks and looking forward to the next exciting venture, going from Georgia to Alabama to Kentucky to Kansas, and then on to West Texas.
My growth had been steady, but as I moved up the ranks from a young officer with clear, prescribed tasks, to a Major in charge of wide-ranging organizational directives, problems began to appear.
Flying was never an issue. I honestly found it a reprieve from the daily hardships of office work, but I found it harder and harder to manage the demands of my new executive positions. I had problems integrating with other teammates, and would see things from a perspective that often clashed with that of my organization. I could work with those who saw the world as I did, but experienced significant friction with the ones who did not share similar views.
Focusing was also becoming a lot harder. I would get easily distracted by less critical issues as I worked to resolve the larger ones. My professional relationships threatened to deteriorate as I found myself screaming at some of my colleagues over conflicting issues. I was forgetting things, like peoples names and recent conversations.
But then she asked me another question: Do you always speak this fast?
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General And Miscellaneous Conditions And Defects
The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:
a. Allergic manifestations. A reliable history of anaphylaxis to stinging insects. Reliable history of a moderate to severe reaction to common foods, spices or food additives.
b. Any acute pathological condition, including acute communicable diseases, until recovery has occurred without sequelae.
c. Chronic metallic poisoning with lead, arsenic or silver, or beryllium or manganese.
d. Cold injury, residuals of, such as: frostbite, chilblain, immersion foot, trench foot, deep-seated ache, paresthesia, hyperhidrosis, easily traumatized skin, cyanosis, amputation of any digit or ankylosis.
e. Cold urticaria and angioedema, hereditary angioedema.
f. Filariasis, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, uncinariasis or other parasitic conditions, if symptomatic or carrier states.
g. Heat pyrexia, heatstroke or sunstroke. Documented evidence of a predisposition , recurrent episodes requiring medical attention or residual injury malignant hyperthermia.
h. Industrial solvent and other chemical intoxication.
i. Motion sickness. An authenticated history of frequent incapacitating motion sickness after the 12th birthday.
j. Mycotic infection of internal organs.
k. Organ transplant recipient.
l. Presence of human immunodeficiency virus or antibody. Presence is confirmed by repeatedly reactive enzyme-linked immunoassay serological test and positive immunoelectrophoresis test, or other DOD-approved confirmatory test.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is also an anxiety problem.
The disorder causes persistent mental or emotional stress which is usually a result of some form of trauma.
Unfortunately, PTSD is a common mental illness that gets diagnosed to patients who previously served in the military.
While it is rarer for people to try and join the military with PTSD it is not completely abnormal.
Unfortunately, the military considers PTSD a disqualifying mental health condition.
If youve been diagnosed with PTSD you likely wont receive a waiver.
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Neurotic Anxiety Mood Somatoform Dissociative Or Factitious Disorders
The causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment and induction are a history of such disorders resulting in any or all of the below:
a. Admission to a hospital or residential facility.
b. Care by a physician or other mental health professional for more than six months.
c. Symptoms or behavior of a repeated nature that impaired social, school or work efficiency.
Adopt A Healthier Lifestyle
Our minds and bodies are linked, and how we treat our bodies can affect how our mind works. Making exercise a priority and part of your daily routine can dramatically help with anxiety. Whether its going for a run at lunchtime or walking to work rather than driving or getting public transport, moving your body is a great way to reduce anxiety. Limited caffeine and alcohol intake can also help, as well as ensuring you have a healthy diet and sleep routine.
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Can You Join The Army With Stds
Most STDs won’t disqualify you from joining the military. … HSV1 and HSV2 will not keep you from joining and the only STD that may is HIV. It’s always best to contact a military recruiter before you decide to join the military. Recruiters have dealt with these issues before and can advise you on your specific condition.
Tumors And Malignant Diseases
The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:
a. Benign tumors that interfere with function, prevent wearing the uniform or protective equipment, would require frequent specialized attention or have a high malignant potential.
b. Malignant tumors , exception for basal cell carcinoma, removed with no residual. In addition, the following cases should be qualified if on careful review they meet the following criteria: individuals who have a history of childhood cancer who have not received any surgical or medical cancer therapy for five years and are free of cancer individuals with a history of Wilms tumor and germ cell tumors of the testis treated surgically and/or with chemotherapy after a two-year, disease-free interval off all treatment individuals with a history of Hodgkin’s disease treated with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy and disease free off treatment for five years individuals with a history of large cell lymphoma after a two-year, disease-free interval off all therapy.
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Health Conditions That May Not Allow You To Join The Military
There are many specific medical conditions that may disqualify you from joining the U.S. Military. These include conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, epilepsy, heart issues, Aspergers, and PTSD.
If you struggle with any of the conditions mentioned below, it is a good idea to speak with a local U.S. Military recruiter. They can provide more specifics regarding the condition, and whether or not youll pass your medical exam at MEPS.
In general, the U.S. Armed Forces tries to support people from all backgrounds with a variety of conditions. They realize that no one is perfect, and we all have issues.
It is always their ultimate goal to help you get enlisted if you want to join the military.
With that said, the U.S. Military still needs to exercise caution if the condition may put you, or others in harmful situations.
Armed Forces Applicant Cites Discrimination Over Anxiety Diagnosis
Brandon Cooper, a young Newfoundlander who wants to follow a family tradition of military service, says the Canadian Armed Forces have discriminated against him because his application was rejected over an anxiety diagnosis.
I just want to do some time for my country, give it some service, Cooper, 17, told CBC News.
I don’t think that people should have to hide the fact that they have a mental illness- Brandon Cooper
Cooper, who lives in Mount Pearl, comes from a family whose members have served during the Second World War as well as in recent missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He said it was hard to believes that that a diagnosis of general anxiety disorder made a couple of years ago was going to keep him from continuing that line of service.
While recently completing his military application, Cooper said he passed his physical and aptitude tests with ease. However, while filling out the medical section, Cooper said he was truthful when he answered yes for anxiety.
So I checked off I have general anxiety, and then probably two months after that I got a letter in the mail that said I was denied,” he said during an interview.
“The fact that I was turned down immediately because of anxiety brings up a big deal to me, because if I wasn’t to check off that box, then would I be in the Armed Forces right now,” Cooper said.
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What Are The Treatments For Anxiety Disorders
There are a number of effective treatments for anxiety disorders that can help you cope with these symptoms and greatly improve your quality of life. Many Veterans have found effective ways to deal with their feelings of anxiety.
Treatments for anxiety disorders can involve counseling, medication, or a combination of these two. Counseling can help you learn new ways of thinking, practice positive behaviors, and take active steps to move beyond your symptoms. Medications work in different ways to affect the chemicals in your brain that may be associated with anxiety disorders.
My anxiety didnt go away overnight, but it certainly got easier for me to deal with as I continued my treatment.
Anxiety disorders often occur along with other mental or physical conditions, including depression or alcohol or drug problems, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, it will be important to treat other problems in order to get the full benefits of anxiety disorder treatment. You may need to work with your doctor or counselor and try different types of treatment before finding the best one for your symptoms.
In addition to getting treatment, you can adjust your lifestyle to help relieve anxiety symptoms. Try to work these into your daily routine: