Waiver for Anxiety

ROTC.candidate

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Jul 25, 2022
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I have been participating in the ROTC program for over a year, and my medical waiver for anxiety was recently denied. I am in the process of appealing, and I'm posting to see if anyone could help me at all with my situation because I feel strongly that the denial of my waiver was inaccurate.

During the peak of the Covid-19 epidemic, I wanted to see a psychotherapist for general support and self-care. It was a four-month wait to get a therapist with my health insurance, and I thought that the only way I could get timely appointments was to exaggerate my symptoms. I realize now this was a mistake. I attended only three phone sessions with a therapist and was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. On the fourth session, I was told I no longer had symptoms of anxiety and I did not schedule further sessions.

In addition to this, I did not present myself in the most accurate light during my DoDMERB psychological evaluation. I was driving to meet the doctor in person in Portland when my appointment was rescheduled on short notice to a phone consultation. To accommodate the new appointment time, I pulled over to a parking lot that turned out to be busy and had no shade on a hot day. Given these circumstances, I was distracted and don’t feel like I was communicating effectively during our phone call. The evaluator asked me about coping mechanisms and asked me how I would function in a deployment, and I gave very brief and minimal responses.

I am completely confident that I would be successful in the Army, and that I would have no need for a therapist for anxiety. I am a resilient person and I feel like I have ample evidence that I no longer have a disorder.

For example this summer, I am employed as a firefighter-EMT and regularly deal with periods of isolation from my family and friends during field deployment, as well as cope with stressful situations (fatal car accidents, heart attacks, fires, etc) as part of my daily work duties. In some ways, my work duty mirrors the experience I may have during military deployment, and I am excelling at my job.

Denial of a waiver would end my ROTC scholarship and ability to attend college, as well as end my long-term dreams of becoming an Army engineer. This means a lot to me, as I am proud to be an ROTC cadet and sincerely hope to complete my commitment to the Army. I have already reached out to Deputy Chief Mullen, who referred me to my case manager. At this point, I am very concerned that I may not get the attention my case deserves.

Any help with my situation would be greatly appreciated.
 

MullenLE

A GUY WITH "INTRICATE KNOWLEGE" OF DODMERB
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I have already reached out to Deputy Chief Mullen, who referred me to my case manager.
***Did you??***

APPLICANT: If you’d like, you may send me an email: lawrence.e.mullen.civ@mail.mil; provide complete name and last 4 SSN; provide the text of your Parent's posting above to YOUR email. The subject line of the email should be “ROTC.candidate- SAF =Waiver for Anxiety.“ Do NOT embed links in your email as I will not be able to view those. :wiggle:
 

Impulsive

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Feb 4, 2019
Messages
868
You had problems, received a diagnosis, and now seem worried you can't afford your college. Hopefully I am misreading your post, but maybe you may want to consider a lower cost school, financial aid, and getting your degree, THEN try for a Commission. It will allow time to pass, show you are capable, and devoted, and free of any symptoms. A lot of times, non-waiverable situations can change for the better after a few years (three or four). Your dream of being an Army Engineer seems attainable, maybe just not at your current school.
 

Hockey10

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Nov 8, 2019
Messages
163
I'll go along with Korab to a point, but I doubt the OP is lying now. I detect extreme panic. I believe, however, there is a bigger issue here. He lied to get health care. Has anyone else tried to get timely care? DW an I are in the field and we go nuts. Today, providers are employees of large, bottom of the line systems with no incentives to do a little extra. A quota to fill and home at 4 o'clock. Worse, there is no desire to do a little more, no pride in doing a little more. And what are DoD's standards? The handling of the cheating scandal at WP makes one wonder; they cheated to pass a test they did not prepare for. Those cadets were given a "tsk tsk" while this kid was hung out to dry. Are "some more equal than others?" (Orwell) By the way, I have warned people on SAF about getting labeled by those who need to label. Better to have paid cash and kept it quiet. Lying? Or is it just talking to someone to get through a tough time?
 

momx3

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Dec 25, 2016
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I'll go along with Korab to a point, but I doubt the OP is lying now. I detect extreme panic. I believe, however, there is a bigger issue here. He lied to get health care. Has anyone else tried to get timely care? DW an I are in the field and we go nuts. Today, providers are employees of large, bottom of the line systems with no incentives to do a little extra. A quota to fill and home at 4 o'clock. Worse, there is no desire to do a little more, no pride in doing a little more. And what are DoD's standards? The handling of the cheating scandal at WP makes one wonder; they cheated to pass a test they did not prepare for. Those cadets were given a "tsk tsk" while this kid was hung out to dry. Are "some more equal than others?" (Orwell) By the way, I have warned people on SAF about getting labeled by those who need to label. Better to have paid cash and kept it quiet. Lying? Or is it just talking to someone to get through a tough time?
I thoroughly agree with this assessment! I have to wait 6 months to see a specialist! So, exaggerating one's symptoms to be seen when needed is something I think many can relate to. I also agree, sadly, that despite the 'concern' to help people with mental health, whether temporary or otherwise, there is a big stigma if you do reach out for help for anyone involved in military or rotc. Better to see someone who takes only cash and don't report it to insurance, is the message that is being sent. Every college kid has a ton of stress, moreso with rotc obligations and add the covid pandemic related issues. They should have the ability to talk to someone without fear of losing out on their hard sought goals. And the cheating on the exams at the service academies- well lets just look the other way. I do understand the rationale with the mental health stand, but I don't have to agree with it.
 

Korab

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Nov 8, 2017
Messages
943
I'll go along with Korab to a point, but I doubt the OP is lying now. I detect extreme panic. I believe, however, there is a bigger issue here. He lied to get health care. Has anyone else tried to get timely care? DW an I are in the field and we go nuts. Today, providers are employees of large, bottom of the line systems with no incentives to do a little extra. A quota to fill and home at 4 o'clock. Worse, there is no desire to do a little more, no pride in doing a little more. And what are DoD's standards? The handling of the cheating scandal at WP makes one wonder; they cheated to pass a test they did not prepare for. Those cadets were given a "tsk tsk" while this kid was hung out to dry. Are "some more equal than others?" (Orwell) By the way, I have warned people on SAF about getting labeled by those who need to label. Better to have paid cash and kept it quiet. Lying? Or is it just talking to someone to get through a tough time?

I thoroughly agree with this assessment! I have to wait 6 months to see a specialist! So, exaggerating one's symptoms to be seen when needed is something I think many can relate to. I also agree, sadly, that despite the 'concern' to help people with mental health, whether temporary or otherwise, there is a big stigma if you do reach out for help for anyone involved in military or rotc. Better to see someone who takes only cash and don't report it to insurance, is the message that is being sent. Every college kid has a ton of stress, moreso with rotc obligations and add the covid pandemic related issues. They should have the ability to talk to someone without fear of losing out on their hard sought goals. And the cheating on the exams at the service academies- well lets just look the other way. I do understand the rationale with the mental health stand, but I don't have to agree with it.
So you are both advocating for paying cash for mental health treatment and lying about it to dodmerb?

Sorry, but if you can’t manage to get through on line classes and social restrictions without anxiety requiring counseling services, how are you going to handle deployment to an active war zone? I don’t think the military is doing enough to screen out those with mental instability from military service.
 

AROTC-dad

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Mar 14, 2014
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Sorry, but if you can’t manage to get through on line classes and social restrictions without anxiety requiring counseling services, how are you going to handle deployment to an active war zone? I don’t think the military is doing enough to screen out those with mental instability from military service.
I actually agree with @Korab here, given the horrible number of suicides in the military.

As a combat arms platoon leader (Abrams tanks), my DS has to deal with his subordinate's mental condition all too much. We have weapons of tremendous destructive capability in the hands of our military personnel.

Unfortunately for the OP, I prefer to have someone with hay fever working with my DS dealing with accurate placement of 120mm smooth bore cannon rounds, than someone who may have anxiety under stress.
 

Hockey10

Member
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Nov 8, 2019
Messages
163
I didn't mean to condone lying. My point is that the DoD has now left us to wonder what is not acceptable. And why we have so many who can't handle even a little stress has been a topic for many tomes even though the answer is relatively simple. But those in power do not want to recognize it the reasons.
 

justdoit19

Proud parent of an ANG, USNA X2, and a MidSib
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And why we have so many who can't handle even a little stress has been a topic for many tomes even though the answer is relatively simple. But those in power do not want to recognize it the reasons.
What is the ‘relatively simple answer’ as to ‘why we have so many who can’t handle even a little stress’?
 

Impulsive

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Feb 4, 2019
Messages
868
Oh BOY, I do not think we go down this road! Too many political and social feelings:)

I will probably be "Lit Up" for even thinking this but, JMPO, the current generation has been coddled (usually by us), and led to believe that things will be given to them, that they will be taken care of, and that hard work is a bad thing. They are not driven as many of us were at their age, and they have not developed any "mental toughness" because we coddled them.

"Diversity" is a good thing, as long as standards are not relaxed, and inclusion is being done for right reasons. Diversity, for the sole sake of numbers, political correctness, and inclusion is not such a good thing when it effects morale, toughness, and the ability to fight a war or conflict.
 

MullenLE

A GUY WITH "INTRICATE KNOWLEGE" OF DODMERB
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May 31, 2008
Messages
7,791
If there's still a question for me, ask it succinctly please :wiggle:
 
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