What causes Depression in the Navy? (+5 Treatment methods)

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Page last updated: 12/11/2022

In this current post, we will be discussing the various reasons which can cause depression in the Navy. We will also be mentioning what happens if you have depression while in the Navy. Furthermore, we will be checking out the treatments which are available for those in the Navy.

What causes Depression in the Navy?

In the Navy, Depression can occur because of various reasons, such as,

Getting ready for deployment

As per several research studies, it has been found that a large percentage of navy recruits experience depression when they are getting ready for deployment. Due to the sudden change in schedule, navy recruits may experience depression as the date of their deployment comes close.

Experiencing combat or violence

Those who are in the navy can also experience depression when they have gone through combat or violence out in the field. While the symptoms for depression may be not experienced during the stressful situation, it may kick in after the person is out of that particular situation.

Going through physical or sexual abuse

Statistics imply that a sizeable number of people in the navy and the military experience abuse, physical or sexual. Going through something traumatic such as this can also trigger depression in the person.

Seeing someone die

Since the navy is often involved in combat and action, a lot of death can be seen on a regular basis. Seeing someone die right in front of them can also easily trigger depression in many people.

Missing important family milestones

Being a part of the navy or the military will keep the person away from their family for large periods of time together. This can mean that the person may miss a lot of family milestones, such as the birth of a child, or their graduation or something similar.

Missing events like these can also lead to depression since the person may feel that they are no longer an important part of the family. It can also make the person feel that they need to be doing something else other than working in the navy.

Marital problems back home

Being away from the family for long periods of time may also cause marital conflicts and other family problems. Having marital problems like these can also cause the person to go into depression and can even lead to problems in job performance and productivity.

Getting ready for retirement

The phase before deployment is not only the most stressful part, but even the period before retirement can cause a lot of stress for those in the navy. This is especially when they are going to an empty house without family, or even for those who don’t have any plan for the future.

Problems in medical health

Being in the navy for long periods of time may also cause problems in medical and physical health. Apart from health conditions, the person may also experience a disability due to combat or some other incident.

In this situation, the person may go through a great deal of mental and emotional stress which can lead to a full on major depressive episode. This is even more true if the person is left with a permanent disability.

Returning to civilian life

Another stressful part experienced by those who have served in the navy is returning to civilian life. Every single day in the navy is planned out and comes with a lot of structure, when compared to normal life.

This can be difficult to adjust for those who are coming fresh off the boat. Due to high levels of stress here, the person may experience a lot of stress and may also go through different symptoms of depression.

What happens if you get Depression in the Navy?

If you get Depression in the Navy and your outpatient care has lasted for more than 12 months, you might be eligible for disqualification. If you have had any type of inpatient care can also warrant for a disqualification.

The type of discharge can also vary depending on the situation. If you have already have a history of depression but hid it during the time of enlisting, the navy may categorize it as a fraudulent enlistment.

On the other hand, if you have been diagnosed with depression after you started serving in the navy, you may be medically discharged. However, you also may be retired depending on the situation.

Still, if you have only started exhibiting symptoms, your supervisors may send you for a medical examination. If the doctors on-board find you fit for duty, you may be given the appropriate medical care and you may continue your service.

However, if the doctors find that you are unfit for duty or require more treatment, they may push for retirement or a medical discharge. Either way, if you have a mental health condition, you are most likely to be dropped from the navy,

Treatment for Depression in the Navy

If you are in the navy and you are experiencing depression, you can find a variety of modes of treatments. Some of the treatments or the people who are ready to help in the navy have been described in the following section.

  • Coaching into Care: ‘Coaching into Care’ is a great program, which can be helpful for those who are veterans from the military or the navy. This program is held completely through phone calls and is meant to help the person easily transition from active duty.

Apart from this issue, ‘Coaching into Care’ also helps those who are battling mental health issues including depression. Since the program is held through phone calls, it is easily accessible and has proven to be very effective.

  • Chaplains and Doctors: Apart from structured mental health programs, the navy also offers plenty of trained personnel to provide counseling and emotional support at basically every step of the way. This not only includes mental health professionals, but even chaplains.
  • Cognitive-Behavior Therapy: Those who are battling depression in the navy are highly recommended cognitive-behavior therapy for their symptoms. This is the most commonly used approach by those mental health professionals who are dealing with depression.

In this form of therapy, the person will learn new cognitive strategies to counter negative thinking patterns. This therapy is highly recommended since the strategies and behaviors can be used in every aspect of daily life.

  • Medication: Apart from counseling and therapy, those who are suffering from depression in the navy can also benefit from antidepressants and other medication. This is prescribed to those for whom the therapy is not working, but can also be used in combination forms.
  • Magnetic Therapy: Another valid form of treatment of depression that occurs in the navy is magnetic therapy. This is a proven method which can work wonders in those who are not responding well to antidepressants or psychotherapy.

Conclusion

In this current post, we have discussed the various reasons which can cause depression in the Navy. We have also mentioned what happens if you have depression while in the Navy. Furthermore, we have checked out the treatments which are available for those in the Navy.

If you like this post, please leave your comments and questions in the space below.

Citations

https://www.maketheconnection.net/conditions/depression/
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/34445/1146_ftp.pdf?sequence=1
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK572092/#article-131236.s3
https://www.militaryonesource.mil/health-wellness/mental-health/mental-health-support/
https://health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Total-Force-Fitness/Psychological-Fitness/Depression
https://www.army.mil/article/211761/depression_is_not_a_symptom_of_weakness_it_is_treatable
https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Veterans-Active-Duty
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-14496-0