ADHD anxiety options? New here

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by que12354, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. que12354

    que12354 New Member

    Mar 26, 2017
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    My son is a sophomore in high school. Top 10% of his class, eagle scout athlete high test scores and grades. He came home interested in armed forces options after career day. I started to think this may be a good option for him and then stumbled upon info suggesting his ADHD:anxiety diagnosis might be a no go. Seriously?

    I am shocked that the armed forces can discriminate like this in 2017. What are the options. I don't think he can go off meds during his senior of high school when he's trying f to keep grades up and look at options post high school. I am so sad to have read this info. A kid who works hard is highly intelligient and functions well would be turned away for this diagnosis....

    How easy is a waiver? Do you get your congressman involved? What branch is eaisest to get a waiver, etc. how can we best plan ahead?

    What a huge miss for our armed forces. Most often people with this diagnosis are intelligent. Energetic and love structure. I don't get it!

  2. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent 5-Year Member

    Nov 3, 2009
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    Is he interested in enlisting or entering a commissioning program to be an officer? Does he have an IEP? In either case, the disqualifying conditions are warranted. The military will test even the healthiest and brightest of applicants. Though there is significant structure in initial military training there is little structure in daily life after that training.

    Here is the Department of Defense Instruction 6130.03 (Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services). Use CTRL F to do a key word search for ADHD or anxiety.

    Additionally, each service has additional limiting criteria.
  3. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

    Jan 31, 2013
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    No job is more demanding or dangerous than the military. You act as though it would be ridiculous for the U.S. to have strict guidelines for the conditions and medications allowed.

    What if your son was on a forward operating base in a hostile environment and couldn't get his medication due to enemy activity, weather, etc?

    He will be tasked as an officer with guiding troops. He may indeed be a great leader and a brilliant officer, but if he has to rely on Meds to function, it would be quite unusual.

    In any case, DODMERB evaluates candidates. He would probably be DQ'ed and the academy could ask for a remedial if they wanted. I doubt it though if he has been on Meds for ADD or ADHD in high school. Certainly not if he would need it to function afterward.

    Sadly, some conditions do prohibit people from certain careers.
    Laurantwins likes this.
  4. 5Day

    5Day Member

    Nov 18, 2015
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    The military does not have the same hiring limitations that other organizations have. They discriminate based on medical fitness, physical fitness and age. They even discriminate based on where you can have a tattoo. Service academies discriminate on marital status. The military has a unique mission and unique rules. You can debate whether or not it is right, but it is a fact.
    Laurantwins likes this.
  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

    Sep 27, 2008
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    If the Armed Forces turn out not to be an option, your bright son can serve in other ways in civil service, applying those brains as an analyst at intelligence agencies and other Federal organizations. These can be very structured. They like STEM but also those who understand history and politics from an analytical perspective, and know how to systematically research and think through complex problems. There are many intern programs for HS and college students, designed to introduce them to the agency or department, and perhaps lead to a job after college with excellent pay and benefits.

    Here's an example:

    The military's stringent physical and mental accession standards are conservative for many reasons, but they are mostly to maximize the readiness of any unit to fight and minimize the impact of a member being unable to contribute in a combat situation. There are those with ADHD who serve, having met the accession criteria.

    The military is a structured environment, yes, but it's designed to train its members to operate in the chaos of war, in extremely high-pressure, dangerous, unpredictable situations, with extreme physical and mental stress.

    The general process is someone who wants to enter the Armed Forces completes a medical history. DODMERB reviews the history and either Qs or DQs the applicant based on the standards set in the accession publication in the link above. The Service then determines if they will waive or not waive a DQ'ed condition. The Services base their waivers on individual Service requirements rooted in operational needs. The Navy and Coast Guard are tough on most forms of color blindness, because of the ability to see navigational signals.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
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  6. seacadetmum

    seacadetmum Member

    Apr 26, 2016
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    Luckily DD is only ADD (which Sea Cadets has gone far in helping her manage) and has never been on medication. She had an IEP starting in 6th grade to now but made the decision to drop it going into HS. The school doesn't adhere to it much anyway and once she found out it affects SA applications she had no interest in having one.
    You have to keep in mind that once these new officers are deployed they are responsible for many lives and dealing with different personalities. If an officer can't get his meds for some reason, will he still be able to effectively lead? Or will he put other lives in danger because his executive functioning has disappeared? My friend's son is extremely bright and has ADHD/Anxiety, while overseas doing an international program, he went off his medication and literally disappeared for a week. His parents had everyone looking for him and they found out he had basically barricaded himself in his room.
    Could you imagine if he was an officer in the military?
    USNAbaby likes this.