How to join the military with anxiety?

This blog answers: How to join the military with anxiety? What is Anxiety? What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? What are the causes of anxiety? What are some ways to manage anxiety? What are the therapy options for anxiety?

How to join the military with anxiety?

The following tips may help you join the military with anxiety:

Consult a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist:

If you are diagnosed with anxiety, joining the military shouldn’t be even your first concern. You need to focus on your mental health because your anxiety will affect not only your occupational life but also your personal life.

Even if you somehow make it to the military with your anxiety condition, you’d still find it extremely hard to work there and adjust to the environment.

Military jobs are very stressful and demanding. So, consult a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist who would treat you for your anxiety. Once you have completely recovered from anxiety, you can apply to the military.

Use your dream of joining the military as a motivation for dealing with your anxiety

We are all motivated by one thing or another. Your dream of joining the military might also have some motivational factors behind it. Maybe you want to join the military because you love your country and want to protect it. Maybe you want to join the military because you want to impress your family.

Likewise, you can motivate yourself to deal with your anxiety so that you can join the military. Instead of getting disappointed that you can’t join the military because of anxiety, you can use it to your benefit.

Tell yourself that you won’t be allowed to join the military if you don’t deal with your anxiety. This means that your dream of joining the military would shatter. No one wants their dreams shattered, which is why it can be an extremely powerful motivator.

In order to save yourself from being disqualified from joining the military, you deal with your anxiety. This has double benefits: it’ll help you recover from anxiety, and your dream of joining the military will come true.

Review your lifestyle

The military is a distinct lifestyle of its own. The military requires people that are disciplined, resilient and stress-tolerant, punctual, physically healthy, good problem solvers, and good communicators and motivators.

If you want to qualify for the military, you need to color your life in the color of the military, meaning that you need to adapt your lifestyle in advance to what the military expects and requires of you.

First of all, focus on your physical health. Stay healthy by eating healthy and properly. Try to stick to a routine, in general, and regarding your treatment plan in specific. Sleep properly and avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. Socialize as much as you can and communicate with people. Also, regular exercise is a must because the military prefers individuals that are healthy and have good stamina.

How to join the military with anxiety?

Apply for a lower rank post

If you have anxiety, your chances of being qualified for high-rank jobs such as field officer and general officer are next to impossible. The reason is that these jobs are extremely demanding and require people who can stay calm even during very distressing situations.

However, you can still make your dream come true by applying for lower rank posts. That would be a good alternative for you and a good one because you still would have the chance to move up the hierarchy. You can still contribute to your country and protect it even if you are in a lower rank post.

In conclusion, if you have mild levels of anxiety, then you can definitely join the military because mild anxiety levels are manageable. However, if you are someone diagnosed with anxiety disorder, you can’t join the military unless you recover from it.

If you have anxiety and need extensive care, the military won’t accept you. However, if you focus on your mental health and try to do your best to treat your anxiety, your dream of joining the military can come true after three years of your recovery.

Generally, the military requires that you have not acquired any treatment for anxiety in the past three years. 

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

These symptoms vary in severity from person to person. However, it is noted that many people experience anxiety attacks that are not significantly displayed.

What are the causes of anxiety?

Anxiety often results from accumulated stress or overwhelming feelings. Some common causes of anxiety include.

  • Increased and challenging situations and demands in day-to-day life.
  • Major changes in family dynamics such as marriage, divorce, death of a loved one.
  • Strain interpersonal relationships
  • Intrapersonal conflicts
  • Ineffective coping mechanisms
  • Comorbid conditions both physical and mental
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Genetic factors
  • Changes in the brain region
  • Overdose of caffeine
  • Prolonged use of medications
  • Significant traumatic experiences in the past or recent times
  • Comorbid mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder or any other phobias.

What are some ways to manage anxiety?

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques


Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.



A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.

The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.

Apart from friends and families, individuals can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.

Set realistic goals

When an individual is feeling overwhelmed, setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.

Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety in many cases.

Take up new challenges

Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.

Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.

Lifestyle changes

An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.

A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.

These coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.

lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.

Making journal entries

Last but not least having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.

Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.

In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy


It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.


Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time


Military jobs are extremely hard. The military requires people that are both physically and mentally fit. If you have serious physical problems or mental issues such as anxiety, the military will disqualify you if you apply for it.

The military won’t accept you unless you have a clear record for the past three years. But, you still can make it to the military if you focus on treating your anxiety. You can use your dream of joining the military as a motivator for treating your anxiety and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Frequently asked questions: How to join the military with anxiety?

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.

What are military requirements for anxiety illnesses?

The military will disqualify you if you have received outpatient treatment for anxiety in the past year.

The military will disqualify you if you have received any sort of treatment for anxiety in the last three years.

In case you have received inpatient treatment for anxiety, even a single visit to the ER may disqualify you.

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. 


“I’m a U.S. Army Aviator — and I Have ADHD and Anxiety.”