Can individuals get a military discharge for anxiety and depression?

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This post answers: Can individuals get a military discharge for anxiety and depression? What are the criteria for medical discharge or retirement in the military for medical conditions? What are the criteria for administrative discharge for medical conditions in the military? Can individuals join the military if they have depression? What is Anxiety? What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? What is depression? What are the symptoms of depression?

Can individuals get a military discharge for anxiety and depression?

According to the various schemes in the military serious mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression might be the reason for a medical military discharge depending on their severity and the possibility of treatment.

Soldiers might be given medical or administrative discharge based on their mental health condition mainly because it might impact their performance and standard duties.

On the other hand, mental health conditions that might be on the extreme spectrum such as personality disorder might lead to administrative discharge rather than medical discharge. However, in cases where personality disorders aren’t at their peak individuals weren’t given a medical or administrative discharge in the past as it had very less impact on the candidate’s output and standards of duty supported.

Nevertheless, entry-level soldiers are discharged more easily under the category of entry-level performance and conduct for these less serious mental health conditions.

What are the criteria for medical discharge or retirement in the military for medical conditions?

According to the criteria for medical discharge or retirement in the military for medical condition any individual who has a condition that interrupts their output and standard duties will be considered.

 The decision of discharge or retirement vastly depends on the individual’s severity of the condition and the possibility of treatment keeping in mind their duties and performance.

When certain medical condition surfaces during the initial months of service they are considered as pre-existing conditions and referred to the medical evaluation board leading to administrative discharge or a medical discharge however when pre-existing conditions are accelerated due to these services they do not fall under this category of a pre-existing condition and are treated as a medical condition that might provide for medical discharge.

What are the criteria for administrative discharge for medical conditions in the military?

Individuals are given administrative discharge when they tend to show some medical condition during their initial 180 days of active service under the entry-level performance and conduct. This entails simplified procedures with the lack of a medical evaluation board.

Here the members stated unqualified for further military services due to lack of conduct or unsatisfactory output and performance. This category is mainly used for conditions that are not serious enough to avail medical discharge or retirement incurred during the duty.

Can individuals join the military if they have depression?

Individuals who have had a history of depression and required outpatient care for a minimum of 12 months might not qualify to join the military. According to the Department of Defense, individuals are not allowed to join the military if they show any symptoms or any treatments within three years of enlisting. Apart from this potential candidate who has an inpatient hospital history of depressive disorders will receive a disqualification for the service.

What are some tips for individuals joining the military with a mental health condition?

Some tips for an individual to join the military with a mental health condition are:

  • Seek active help from a psychologist or a psychiatrist
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Actively seek measures to deal with your mental health condition
  • Look out for the criteria to join the military with a mental health condition and accordingly make your moves.
  • Consider applying for lower rank roles

What is Anxiety?

Problems and resulting stress are usually accompanied by some common emotions like confusion, feeling at the edge, a sense of helplessness, and recurrent negative thoughts which can collectively be seen as an individual experiencing what’s commonly called  Anxiety. 

Every human has their unique ways of dealing with these difficult situations and the following emotions, some try to adapt to the circumstances and find the best and most comfortable solution while others try to find an escape route for the same, in both cases the main aim is usually to get over the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety. 

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:

 

  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Complaints of chest pain
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased heart rate

What is depression?

Depression is one of the most common serious mental health conditions that negatively impact how an individual feels and thinks.

Depression is associated with feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in daily activities, and drastic changes in the energy level and the daily routines of an individual.

Depression in itself can lead to other physical and emotional problems which can be detrimental to a person’s functioning.

The symptoms of depression can vary from individual to individual from mild to severe depending on various factors.

Studies indicate that depression affects about 15% of adults every year and one in every six people experience depression at some time in their life.

Although depression can occur at any age it is more common among teenagers and early adults. Research indicates that women are more vulnerable to depression than men.

What are the symptoms of depression?

The characteristic symptoms of depression are:

  • Feelings of sadness or depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in activities enjoyed in the past
  • Changes in appetite leading to weight gain or weight loss
  • Changes in sleep patterns with very little sleep or long hours of sleep
  • Decrease in the level of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feeling guilty
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • In severe cases thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of depression must last up to two weeks and cause significant impairment in an individual’s daily functioning to meet the diagnosis of depression.

Conclusion

Anxiety and depression can vary in severity and the possibility of treatment in various individuals. This can be a major factor for deciding if individuals can be a part of the military and whether they will get a military discharge or administrative discharge. Providing service in the military can be extremely overwhelming and can impact an individual’s mental well-being leading to severe mental health conditions after joining the service in such cases the individual is must actively reach out for professional help.

Frequently asked questions: Can individuals get a military discharge for anxiety and depression?

Can you be removed from the military for anxiety and depression?

As stated by the Department of Defense individuals might be disqualified for serving in the U.S. military if they have a diagnosis or history of most mental disorders.

Can you be dishonorably discharged for mental health?

A mental health condition such as depression or anxiety might be the basis for a military discharge. This mainly depends on the severity of the condition and its possibility of treatment. in the case of treatable depression, it might lead to a medical discharge.

Can you join the military if you take antidepressants?

Antidepressants can be disqualified for a year after you stop taking them.

What are some common mental disorders that may disqualify you from the military?

Anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, and ADD are some of the mental health problems that may disqualify you from the military. 

Why does the military not accept people diagnosed with anxiety or other mental health disorders?

The military requires people who can stay calm in very difficult situations. If you have severe anxiety, you may panic under such a situation and prove not only useless but a liability.

 

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