Need Advice

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by 2019KPmom, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. 2019KPmom

    2019KPmom New Member

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    My 2019 mid disclosed that he thinks he is dealing with depression. I think he may have been feeling this way for a quite a while but finally decided to talk about it. He didn't seem like himself when he returned from sea in October and in November he discussed wanting to leave the academy but ultimately decided to stay. I recommended that he reach out to the counseling services at USMMA. Per the website they are 100% confidential. He is concerned about talking to anyone about how he is feeling because he is afraid of possible repercussions. Any advice from parents who may have been through this with their mid?
     
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  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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  3. Jeepman

    Jeepman Member

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    I echo AROTC here. Depression as an official medical diagnosis has a ripple effect on so many things, including career options, insurability, etc. If he can get through it without meds, that is ideal. Sometimes, it is all about talking it out. Just my two cents....
     
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  4. THParent

    THParent Member

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    That's the problem with seeking help for mental health issues in our society. There should be no stigma attached - but there is - and this is what stands in the way of most considering seeking help. I should point out that "depression" is technically a "mental health issue", unless it's just because there's snow at King's Point and everyone is depressed. That's not all that uncommon in the Winter.

    Personally, I think that being introspective enough to think that you may need some help, is a step in the right direction.
    Talking with the Chaplain is a stellar idea, as well.
    @AROTC-dad is spot on there.
    The Chaplain may be able to ascertain that your Mid "just needs to talk" and in fact doesn't necessarily need to seek medical help.
    It is a great place to start.

    In my day it was just "suck it up and move on!" Thankfully, we have come a long way since then.
     
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  5. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

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    do you have any work connected programs that are confidential? ie i work for a state and we have a referral program for employees/families that is totally confidential and you can have 3 free sessions (could be medical, financial... etc) with a referred service
     
  6. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

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    “Mental health counseling in and of itself is not a reason to revoke or deny eligibility for access to classified information or for a sensitive position, suitability or fitness to obtain or retain Federal employment, fitness to obtain or retain contract employment, or eligibility for physical or logical access to federally controlled facilities or information systems.”

    “In the last seven (7) years, have you consulted with a health care professional regarding an emotional or mental health condition or were you hospitalized for such a condition?”

    This is from the SF-86 form for a security clearance.

    Don’t over think/worry it. I don’t disagree with starting with the clergy and stick to counselors who are not “health care professionals” and you should be fine professionally speaking. Your M/Ns health is more important than any future employment opportunities, I would advise my own kids to get any help they think they need and let the chips fall where they may.
     
  7. ProudKPDad

    ProudKPDad Member

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    2019KPMom: I also concur with the advice given here by AROTC, THparent, and KPEngineer. Perhaps your mid needs someone to talk things out with, who understands what life is like at KP. As parents, out natural inclination is to shield and protect our kids from any type of harm. Chaplain may be able to help him work through this. And stay away from the meds. Seems like a quick fix, but usually just masks the real problems. My DS refers to winter at KP as the "Dark Days" for a reason. Spring is coming. Encourage him to hang in there...
     
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  8. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15' 5-Year Member

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    Sea can be tough for mental health too:

    http://gcaptain.com/study-a-quarter-of-seafarers-polled-reported-signs-of-depression/

    Echo all above about dealing with the problem at hand.

    My bigger issue here is the continued lack of faith in Rick Sager and crowd at Paton. I can't blame anyone who doesn't want to go there for fear of the consequences, I suspect this is a military wide problem, but KP was particularly awful.

    I went to Patton twice:
    Plebe year I had a dentist say, out loud, "Oh ****" when she was doing a filling, a filling that had to be redone six months later, and as I later discovered probably wasn't necessary in the first place. I also went when I was sick 1/C year, argued with the doctor, I said I was sick, she said I wasn't, boring middle part, I threw up in a trash can, she then conceded I might be sick... sigh. Bedside manner isn't a thing.

    It is just the culture that keeps people away. They're not welcoming. They're not helpful. It starts with the receptionist and works it way up to most of the doctors. I found it really strange during indoc when we had an hour long class at patton where they kept saying "No matter what they tell you up the hill, we're here to help you!" My confused plebe brain said "If they're really here to help, why do they have to put this disclaimer on things?"

    I could go on.... but long story boring, get the help you need, though I'm understanding if you want to try and work that without Patton having any knowledge of things.

    A 65' once told me "If you're sick stay in your rack. If you're really sick, hitch hike to the Mariners Hospital... in San Francisco."

    In all seriousness it is so disappointing this is still an issue.
     
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  9. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

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    I had a similar issue with Paton in the 70s. I was feverish and sick. The Physician's Assistant (Mr. Billie?) who ran the joint said that I wasn't. I puked, but not so neatly into the trash can and was threatened with having to clean it up. . . The source of my sickness was only found by a fluke, since I missed and dental appointment, so the dentist came up to see me. Abscessed tooth. . . a quick root canal and all was better. . .

    As to the subject at hand. . . I don't know if I would call some of my mental conditions at KP depression. . .although there were certainly some depressing times. Coming back to the joint after sea year, especially when looking at a straight 18 months at school when one really wants to be out to sea. . . but personally, I internalize a lot of these kinds of things. Others do not and I understand that. As stated, probably the best is to start a casual discussion with the chaplains. . . often times it is good just to talk these things out.
     
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  10. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    I went to the mental health guy at Patton a few times. They basically put a disclosure form in front of me right away so that the guy could talk to the commandant's department. I basically just played it cool and nothing came of it. That was plebe year. But, a girl in my company was set back for depression/anxiety. Another guy I know in band was set back for depression. If it's just a mood, I'd say don't go stir the pot, but if he needs it he needs it and it should be dealt with. I'm curious though why is this coming out after he gets back from sea and passes projects? This should be the best time for him at KP.
     
  11. Soldiergriz

    Soldiergriz Husband, Dad, Soldier

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    My heart is heavy reading this thread.

    The Army has come a long way on this topic, but, we've got to continue to do better. I know dozens of serving officers who have asked for and received the help they needed without repercussion. Many however, still believe it will negatively impact their careers.

    We need the next generation to fully break the stigma - real or perceived. Please advise your son to seek help until his challenges are fully remedied. The Chaplain is a great person to start with as advised above.
     
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  12. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15' 5-Year Member

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    You sign a similar disclosure for sea year physicals... they date it so that it stays valid for the rest of your time at KP. It says they can share any of your medical stuff with the dant' or the ATRs.

    Me "Do I have a choice to sign this?"
    Patton "You don't have to sign, but we have to share this with the ATRs and Commandant if you want to go to sea"
    Me "So if I don't sign this I'll get kicked out?"
    Patton "Yes"
    Me "So I don't really have a choice"
    Patton "Yes you do, but you'd get kicked out if you don't sign"
    Me "Kay...."

    My EDI developed a narcotics addiction when he was out to sea. He was in class in Fulton Gibbs going through withdrawals. Left in the middle of class to go to Patton. Patton's response when he showed up:

    "Narcotics addiction you say? Here, pee in this cup"

    Failed the drug test and was doing the red folder walk of shame (...I hear they changed the color) a few days later.
     
  13. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

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    I was not my happiest at that point at KP in my day, for the reasons I cited above. I REALLY liked sailing and wanted to get back to it as soon as possible. . . and that 18 month stretch. It took a couple of weeks for me to NOT quit and go to sea as a QMED. . . and focus on the task at hand. . . .
     
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  14. BackgdInvestigator

    BackgdInvestigator New Member

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    For security clearance investigations, seeking help for mental or emotion issues is not normally a disqualifying issue.

    Simply, it is an urban myth that seeking help while in the military for mental/emotional health will kill your clearance. Actually, seeking, reporting the treatment, and following your treatment plan is a mitigating factor in the adjudication process.

    --Every service member I have investigated for their security clearance that lost their clearances for mental health fell into one of two categories/behaviors:
    A) Sought help/treatment outside the military medical system and did not report the treatment to the military.
    B) Did not follow the treatment plan prescribed by the military medical folks to include --- not showing up for their appointments.

    I can not tell you how often I have had a military medical provider tell me that the Subject failed to report for or cancelled their last ____(fill in the blank) appointments.
     
  15. 4Honor

    4Honor New Member

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    2019KPmom, how is your DS doing? Did he get the help he needed? I see the original post is back from April and hope all is well.
     
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