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  #1  
Old 08-31-2005, 11:38 PM
Wishbone Ash Wishbone Ash is offline
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Does taking antidepressants prevent you from going into the military?

Is there any rule that prevents people who take antidepressants from going into the military? I don't mean mentally ill people or nutjobs, just people who have been prescribed drugs for depression.
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2005, 12:02 AM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishbone Ash
Is there any rule that prevents people who take antidepressants from going into the military? I don't mean mentally ill people or nutjobs, just people who have been prescribed drugs for depression.
Is there a way to be prescribed antidepressants without being mentally ill in some fashion?
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2005, 01:35 AM
Electronic Chaos Electronic Chaos is offline
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As far as I know, one of my friends was taking (and recieving through the military hospital) anti-depressants while enlisted in the Navy.
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2005, 01:37 AM
Electronic Chaos Electronic Chaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth
Is there a way to be prescribed antidepressants without being mentally ill in some fashion?
I believe there are some anti-depressants that are prescribed for sleep aid. They're probably a last-ditch effort after trying the normal list of sleep aids, though.
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2005, 02:43 AM
The Hook The Hook is offline
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Originally Posted by Electronic Chaos
I believe there are some anti-depressants that are prescribed for sleep aid. They're probably a last-ditch effort after trying the normal list of sleep aids, though.
They're also prescribed for gastric problems.
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2005, 03:38 AM
Large Marge Large Marge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth
Is there a way to be prescribed antidepressants without being mentally ill in some fashion?
Actually, yes. You can pretty much walk into a doctor's office and ask for it, depressed or not.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2005, 12:51 PM
BurnMeUp BurnMeUp is offline
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Some anti-depressants are alsu used for OCD. I think milder OCD folks might do really well in the militray.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2005, 01:15 PM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
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Originally Posted by Large Marge
Actually, yes. You can pretty much walk into a doctor's office and ask for it, depressed or not.

Depression is by definition a "mental disorder," hence the mental health field's bible reference source, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Whether you have insurance or not, your physician is required to "code" your visit. Prescribing antidepressants for depression would require a code that denotes some type of depressive disorder, by definition a mental disorder, conidtion, or "illness," in earlier parlance.

Given that people in the US military are a microcosm of society at large, it's safe to say that tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel have been diagnosed and are treated for mental disorders, among them depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc. The pivotal issue, I would guess, is whether your mental disoder or condition hampers your ability to perform your job. If you're in an elite service or are a pilot, a diagnosis for a mental disorder might be a career killer. If you're a candidate, such a diagnosis would probably preclude you from serious consideration.

BTW, antidepressants have many therapeutic uses, including those described above. That said, your physician's notes will almost certainly outline his/her diagnosis, thus explaining why some people--military and aviation personnel, among them--go to a physician using fictitious identity and paying with cash.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2005, 01:35 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Large Marge
Actually, yes. You can pretty much walk into a doctor's office and ask for it, depressed or not.

But will they actually give it to you? I think not!
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2005, 02:28 PM
twhitt twhitt is offline
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia
But will they actually give it to you? I think not!
Some physicians will, yes.
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2005, 02:37 PM
groman groman is offline
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Originally Posted by twhitt
Some physicians will, yes.
I think most. Since, pretty much every kid I knew in high school got diagnosed with either ADHD, Bipolar, Depression or a combination there of when they got to a doctor and had something fun prescribed. The only people not popping meds are those who never went to a head "doctor".
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2005, 02:51 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Originally Posted by groman
I think most. Since, pretty much every kid I knew in high school got diagnosed with either ADHD, Bipolar, Depression or a combination there of when they got to a doctor and had something fun prescribed. The only people not popping meds are those who never went to a head "doctor".
Anti-depressants are not "fun drugs". They do not get you high, or give you a buzz.
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2005, 03:00 PM
groman groman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinastasia
Anti-depressants are not "fun drugs". They do not get you high, or give you a buzz.
I'm well aware of that, they're still antidepressants, i.e. psychoactive substances. Caffeine doesn't get you high or give you a buzz, but it's still a "fun drug".
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2005, 03:17 PM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groman
The only people not popping meds are those who never went to a head "doctor".

Almost by definition, yes, though that doesn't preclude GPs
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2005, 03:40 PM
groman groman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnac the Magnificent!
Almost by definition, yes, though that doesn't preclude GPs
I don't think it's by definition. I'd say if 50% of people go to a psychiatrist, most of them should be sent home as healthy.
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  #16  
Old 09-01-2005, 06:21 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groman
I'm well aware of that, they're still antidepressants, i.e. psychoactive substances. Caffeine doesn't get you high or give you a buzz, but it's still a "fun drug".
No, but the effects of caffeine are immediate enough to be noticed. From my experience and the literature I'm familiar with, anti-depressants (disclosure: I was on Prozac for 3 months) are quite subtle drugs. They take time and usually it's your family and friends noticing your mood getting better, not you.

Anti-anxiety medications (Xanax and the like), on the other hand, are immediate and obvious. (I took it for three weeks and couldn't stand it. Way too strong for me. Eventually, the anxiety just worked itself out.)
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2005, 03:16 AM
Large Marge Large Marge is offline
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia
But will they actually give it to you? I think not!
Yes, they will, and they did.

I have severe PMS like symptoms pretty much constantly, but am not clinically depressed or anxious, and don't suffer from OCD.

He prescribed one that had horrible side effects that were worse than the initial problem, and another that made me depressed and anxious. After a month, I said "enough."

Honestly, I wasn't that surprised at how easy it was to get. I think prescriptions are largely overprescribed.

That doesn't mean that I think most people are medicated for the wrong reasons. I think a large number of suffering people receive great if not necessary benefits from medication.
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  #18  
Old 09-02-2005, 04:30 AM
scm1001 scm1001 is offline
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Originally Posted by Derleth
Is there a way to be prescribed antidepressants without being mentally ill in some fashion?
well I think you would have to mentally ill to consider joining at the moment with a war on so I am sure its OK

[ducks and runs]
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  #19  
Old 09-02-2005, 04:53 AM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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This says you have to be clean for a year before enlisting.

I remember reading that the Marines wouldn't take anyone who had ever used antidepressants, but can't find a cite just yet.
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  #20  
Old 09-02-2005, 05:04 AM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnac the Magnificent!
Depression is by definition a "mental disorder," hence the mental health field's bible reference source, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
I have been diagnosed as having "severe clinical depression without psychotic episodes." Am I mentally ill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guin
But will they actually give it to you? I think not!
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  #21  
Old 09-02-2005, 11:32 AM
Excalibre Excalibre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groman
I'm well aware of that, they're still antidepressants, i.e. psychoactive substances. Caffeine doesn't get you high or give you a buzz, but it's still a "fun drug".
Apparently you don't know how antidepressents work. There is simply nothing "fun" about them. Caffeine, which does indeed cause a mild buzz, has fairly immediate effects, and is a stimulant with a noticeable effect on mood. If you think that this is somehow similar to antidepressants, you are quite wrong. I also suspect that you have not conducted a thorough process of gathering and analyzing data from a random sample, which makes your observations about people you know nothing but anecdotes, with very little value when it comes to determining something useful and accurate about medical treatment.

And my doctor's given me a number of mental health drugs without a workup by a psychiatrist. Of course, in my case, it's probably clear that I had good reason to think I needed them. But I suspect a lot of doctors will give drugs like these out fairly freely. Whether that's bad or not is something that deserves study.
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  #22  
Old 09-02-2005, 11:42 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contrapuntal
I have been diagnosed as having "severe clinical depression without psychotic episodes." Am I mentally ill?
Yes. You have severe clinical depression without psychotic episodes.
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  #23  
Old 09-02-2005, 11:55 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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In a previous life, I worked a job that required a high level security clearance.

Due to the nature of the questions on the clearance application, it was obvious that ANY treatment for mental or emotional problems including just therapy sessions, had the potential to disqualify a person. The questions were phrased as "Have you ever been treated for XXXX" NOT "Have you ever suffered from XXXX"

This had the obvious effect of discouraging myself and coworkers from seeking treatment. A number of us (note inclusive pronoun) could certainly have benifitted from such. It was without a doubt THE most disfunctional organization I've ever been associated with. Pretty much the antithesis of who you want looking after national security and how you want your tax dollars spent. Sorry for slipping toward GD content.

Not all military jobs require a security clearance. For those that do, use of antidepressant drugs would be considered in a negative light.
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  #24  
Old 09-03-2005, 12:18 AM
Ruby Ruby is offline
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Goodness. My girlfriend was just prescribed an anti-depressant (Wellbutrin) to help her quit smoking. Granted, she's not interested in joining the military but disallowing all anti-depressant use appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to a fairly common problem.
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  #25  
Old 09-03-2005, 12:35 AM
even sven even sven is offline
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I've been perscribed anti-depressents by a general practicioner within five minutes of walking in to the office.

Since most anti-depressents have manageable side effects and can't hurt things, most doctors will prescribe them immediately and with little research just to see if that clears up the problem.
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  #26  
Old 09-03-2005, 10:05 AM
Donovan Donovan is offline
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semi-hijack

I know someone who made finished college with a very GPA, was extremely physically fit, a leader-type person both in high school and college and was generally the type of person I figured would be in demand for an officer (oh, yeah, she was in air force ROTC throughout college too). When she finished college she did not get commisioned as an officer due to a history of mental illness in the family, at least that's the way I understood it - is that common (or even possible)?
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  #27  
Old 09-03-2005, 10:19 AM
Donovan Donovan is offline
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I made finished college too, and actually got decent grades for my english requirements. the first sentence should read:

"I know someone who finished college with a high GPA, as extremely physically fit, was a leader-type person both in high school and college, and was generally the type of person I figured would be in demand for an officer (oh, yeah, she was in air force ROTC throughout college too)."

come to think of it, it may have not been Air Force ROTC, either.
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  #28  
Old 09-03-2005, 10:21 AM
Donovan Donovan is offline
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....make that was extremenly physically fit... oh forget it. I'm going back to bed.
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  #29  
Old 09-03-2005, 10:25 AM
zagloba zagloba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby
Goodness. My girlfriend was just prescribed an anti-depressant (Wellbutrin) to help her quit smoking. Granted, she's not interested in joining the military but disallowing all anti-depressant use appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to a fairly common problem.
That's where the subtlety of the questioning comes in. According to Kevbo, he was asked, "Have you ever been treated for XXX?" Your girlfriend was not treated for a mental illness. (Wellbutrin is commonly used to aid in smoking cessation, BTW). Of course, they might ask if she'd taken specific drugs. Or they might start classifying nicotine addiction in the same category as heroin and cocaine addiction.
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