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.

Is there a way to be prescribed antidepressants without being mentally ill in some fashion?

As far as I know, one of my friends was taking (and recieving through the military hospital) anti-depressants while enlisted in the Navy.

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.

Actually, yes. You can pretty much walk into a doctor’s office and ask for it, depressed or not.

Some anti-depressants are alsu used for OCD. I think milder OCD folks might do really well in the militray.

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.

But will they actually give it to you? I think not!

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”.

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”.

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.

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.)

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.

[sub]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.[/sub]

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]

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.

I have been diagnosed as having “severe clinical depression without psychotic episodes.” Am I mentally ill?

I can summon spirits from the vasty deep!