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Thread: Psychiatric history- does this automatically disqualify me from joining?

  1. #1
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    Default Psychiatric history- does this automatically disqualify me from joining?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to the forum so I hope I am posting this correctly. I have wanted to join the army for many years but assumed they wouldn't take me due to my psychiatric background.

    Basically, I have been on some sort of anti-depressant and/or mood stabilizer since I was a teenager, although I have never been actually "diagnosed" with any specific disorder. I have been hospitalized twice in the past (voluntarily). The first time was very brief- my mind and body went into shock after a traumatic domestic violence incident. A few years later I returned to a treatment center for about three weeks because I had severe bulimia and could not stop cutting myself (I know both were coping mechanisms in retrospect). I don't engage in either behavior any longer and haven't for many years. The last major issue that worries me regarding enlistment is the fact that I am currently on federal disability. Several years ago my doctor urged me to consider it, she sent in her professional recommendation that I be placed on psychiatric disability and I was approved.

    I am not proud of any of this in my past, or my present, but the past is over and I am trying to remedy the present to build a better future.

    Does anyone know if I even have a chance to join considering all of this information? Hypothetically, if I were able to safely stop taking my psych-medications and discontinue the disability, would that make any difference?

    Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!

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    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    First of - welcome to the site!

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I'd say it's very doubtful you'll be allowed to enlist with your history especially if you need meds on a regular basis. I'm not a Recruiter nor am I in the loop of recruiting policy so I advise that you call a Recruiter but don't expect a different answer. The Army can afford to be very selective these days due to the draw down of the Military & the war winding down.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
    Retired US Army 1SG/MSG, Airborne Infantry, G-3, Instructor
    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
    I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.

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    Thanks for the response, Glenn. I pretty much expected that. I was hoping that if I discontinued my medications (I am in the process of doing so) that it might make a difference. I will talk to a few recruiters to discuss it just in case though. Thanks again

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    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    Good luck! Come on back & let us know what a Recruiter tells you.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
    Retired US Army 1SG/MSG, Airborne Infantry, G-3, Instructor
    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
    I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.

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