Odds for passing the DODMERB with previous anxiety/anti-depression

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by JacobBookout, May 21, 2017.

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  1. JacobBookout

    JacobBookout New Member

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    I've served 6 and a half years in the Active Duty Army. I'm reaching the end of my contract and have decided to finish my degree at a local University. I want to join the ROTC program there and pursue an Officer Commission upon graduation. I will be enrolling as a Junior. Upon entering the Army in 2011, I was under lots of stress from my grandmother passing, making it through basic training, and being sent to a duty station far away from home. I decided one day to visit behavioral health and see what type of relief they could offer me. After all, we are all told that seeing behavioral health will not have ANY negative affect on your career, right? WRONG. Seeking behavioral health has ruined numerous opportunities that I've tried to pursue over the years. I was prescribed medication for which I took for about 4 years or so. Just recently within the past year I decided to get off of the medication and I finished my final taper of medication within the last 6 months. I feel extremely better ever since I've been off of the medication. I will say that last year, I was thinking of becoming a recruiter. I actually PASSED the recruiting mental health exam, which gave me a certain pride that I had overcome the negative stigma of seeing behavioral health. I'm now trying to get into ROTC and was told by my program director that I will most likely face a waiver decision, which could take months and months, and there are still no promises with my situation. I reached nothing but success while I've served in the Army, including promotion to E5/Sergeant and excelling at this position. If I've proven myself successful while serving Active Duty, will the DODMERB see this and take it into consideration?
     
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  2. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G. 5-Year Member

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    Simply a history of depression isn't a DQ. Recent depressive episodes or MDD is an issue. Seeking behavioral health isn't a bad thing. Being treated for 4 years is more than just a transient diagnosis. I don't know, nor am I asking for your medical history. However, any psychiatric treatment that takes place over a span of over 6 months is listed as chronic (you cited 4 years). Without sugarcoating AND without knowing your history; expect to be DQ'd for chronic [insert diagnosis].
     
  3. JacobBookout

    JacobBookout New Member

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    Yes I'm fully expecting a DQ. Does a DQ mean that a waiver is possible? I'm not really sure how all of this works, just trying to get a better understanding of the system. I should have gotten off of the medication (Prozac) a long time ago. I'm not trying to dissuade others from seeing behavioral health. But I do think that it should be clear that there is a strong chance of it affecting their ability to pursue a higher level in their career. Green to Gold, Recruiting, Flight School, etc. just to name a few. I wish that I had someone to tell me that when I first went, because I probably wouldn't have gone. Was I under stress, yes I was. But I was also a young private who was out of my element and brand new to the Army. They basically said "here take this pill once a day and that should fix your problems." The reason that I took it for so long is because I was doing fine with it, so my doctor didn't want to change anything. Why change it if I'm doing good while taking it? Once I moved to my new duty station and changed doctor's, that's when I began the process of tapering off of it. Needless to say, I'm up for the challenge. I hope that the system will look at each candidate on a case by case basis, and not just see the medical history and throw it out.
     
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  4. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G. 5-Year Member

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    I saw a Soldier for about 9 months who wanted to apply for G2G. He applied and Cadet Command contacted me and wanted an opinion on the Soldier's treatment prognosis. The Soldier was stable, prognosis was excellent, and the symptoms were in remission. Cadet Command approved the G2G scholarship.

    Also, you can go to flight school with a history of behavioral health. My last BHO job was with a CAB with 101st ABN. If pilots, aircrew, and support staff weren't allowed treatment, you'd have a mishap several times a day. I would caution you against broad general statements about career advancement and behavioral health treatment. I believe the previous SMA was very vocal about his treatment with behavioral health.

    https://www.army.mil/article/87975
     
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  5. JacobBookout

    JacobBookout New Member

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    I wish that I could say good things about seeking behavioral help, but in my experience, I've had nothing but a negative stigma placed on me. I applied for G2G Active Duty option when I was at my first duty station. I had, in my opinion, a perfect packet. 3.8 GPA, 300 APFT Scores, Recommendations from multiple highly ranked Officers. I put so much of my time and effort into that packet only to have my dreams crushed when I called to check on it. A lady told me that I had been disqualified for the medication that I was currently taking and that I had to be off of it for a period of 1 year. A couple of years later I was applying for volunteer recruiter and was at the step of the Mental Health Evaluation. Again, I was told that I needed to either be off of the medication (Prozac) or have no dosage changes for at least 1 year. Thus the reason that I decided to stay on the medication because I was closer to reaching 1 year on a stable dose than I would have been had I gotten off and had to start that 1 year all over again. Later that year I applied again and passed the Mental Health Evaluation for recruiting. So, here we are now. I'm ETSing out of Active Duty and have been completely off of my medication for about 6 months. I'm trying to make a Career change and finally make my say towards becoming an Officer like I've always wanted to do, and I'm being told that I will face a DQ for the medication/anti-depression history? This is the stigma that I'm talking about. My apologies for not being a positive representative for Behavioral Health. It's not necessarily Behaviroal Health that's the issue, it's the rest of the Army placing strict regulations on things coming from Behavioral Health. Thanks for your responses DR. G, I do appreciate your time.