waiver for depression

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by anonymoususer, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. anonymoususer

    anonymoususer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was appointed to USAFA Class of 2017. Over the past year or so I've been in a depressed state. At first I didn't really recognize it, and then I wrote it off as just temporary feelings in a turbulent time of life, but over the past few months it worsened considerably to the point where I started seeing a psychologist. It was only in the past few weeks where we could reasonably understand the feelings, and in the past week where we learned their implications for USAFA. Not really the best time to learn of this stuff.

    We learned from DoDMERB that at this point we should not report these issues before heading out to the academy. Rather, they said we should wait until I am assigned a physician during BCT and given a physical to report the new issues, at which point the waiver process would begin, though I would not find out if I am still qualified or not for 1-2 months (BCT would probably be finished).

    What is the likelihood of receiving the waiver, even with a positive letter from my psychologist saying I'm ready to go?

    I mean not to burden anyone with my own personal problems, but to gather as much information as I can to make an informed choice. Thank you for any advice you have.
     
  2. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    9
    There are so many layers to what you just posted. Just my personal opinion:

    1. While the academy is your first choice as an educational institution, you need to consider if it really is a good fit for you. Doolie year is not an easy stretch, if you do not feel emotionally centered, it can make it much more challenging.

    2. Even if you are given a waiver, there are always some implications for having such a diagnosis on your record. You might not have the same options as others for a career path after graduation.

    3. There are many challenges to succeeding in college, and many ways to get to where you want to go in life. be flexible in your approach and life will present itself in many ways.

    Best of luck,
     
  3. John41057

    John41057 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Depression

    Very well written answer!
     
  4. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    57
    There isn't much to add to falconfamily's answer, but I would like to emphasize the importance of you feeling ready to go.

    Basic is extrememly mentally and emotionally demanding and as cadre, I saw a lot of breakdowns from kids with no history of problems. That said, if you feel you are "through" and have a solid handle on things now, that is the most important thing. I can't really tell you what USAFA will do, but I can share my experience and opinions.

    If you make it through basic training without any more problems, in my opinion that would be the strongest evidence that you are "good to go." Depression is not viewed the same way it used to be.

    In my senior year the stress of falling grades and the potential for a medical discharge both due to a severe injury and the death of a close friend combined with some family health problems put me in a pretty bad place. I ended up talking to a psychologist at the Academy for several months, and that was the best thing I could have done. I was able to get everything under control and put my focus where it needed to be. So far that history has not come up at all, and although I am at the start of my career, I don't see it causeing any problems for me in my future.

    In short, if DoDMERB says you can go, you feel emotionally stable now and know how to cope with extreme amounts of stress without backsliding, and you know for sure the Academy is what you want, then I see no reason not to go. If any of those things is not true, perhaps you need to reassess and consider other options.

    Best of luck to you and feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.
     
  5. anonymoususer

    anonymoususer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate all of your input on a difficult issue.

    I do want to go the academy and I am fairly certain it is a good fit, but recently I have not been feeling mentally 100%. Yet I have this intuitive feeling which, correct or laughably incorrect, says that the first year challenges may in fact jostle me out of this condition and not allow any time for ruminative, depressed thoughts. The rigors may force me to adapt my thinking. The flip side of all this is, as USAFA10s said, the very real potential for backsliding. That being said, USAFA is something I'm extremely reluctant to give up.

    USAFA10s: I'm really glad things worked out.
     
  6. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    9
    Good luck to you! I really hope that everything works out.
     
  7. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    74
    Whatever you decide or they decide, being aware of your feelings is quite important. Remember, there are many people there who are ready, willing and able to help, please remember that and reach out if needed. Talking about how you feel (as I am sure you have done with the psychologist) is MOST important. There have been some tragedies at USAFA like any college campus and these issues are addressed regularly at USAFA.

    I would recommend listening to the DOMERB and your psychologist who likely knows you well by this point. If you and they think you can make it, then you may be stronger for it.

    I wish you well and remember, although USAFA is your first choice, I am sure it is not your only choice and you will be successful anywhere.
    I would suggest, as many have before, to put a deposit on another school for the fall. That isn't to encourage you to leave, but rather an insurance policy against unforeseen circumstances. You could get appendicitis or another illness during BCT and need to leave for something totally not under your control. We did that for my DS for exactly those reasons and were happy that we didn't have to use it. It was $200 well spent
     
  8. tennisfan88

    tennisfan88 USAFA 2014

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had to deal with this after I was accepted. I was going through some really rough times when i was in civilian college but it was nothing chronic, just a really bad semester. I went to see a psychiatrist or psychologist (can't remember, was awhile ago) and they put me on Zoloft for a while.

    After I was accepted, the fact that I was on Zoloft popped up on my records and they said I needed to get a waiver for this. I had to go to my psychiatrist (or psychologist) and basically have them write a letter to DoDMERB saying I wasn't chronically depressed over a long term or anything and was just going through some really stressful/rough times. After I sent it in I was all cleared up and never heard about it again.
     

Share This Page