August 17, 2017, by Brooke Faulkner – The military functions similarly to a corporation. A well funded, multi-national corporation under the United States of America. If there is any major “corporation” that understands the consequences and difficulties of mental health, it’s the military.
During the recruitment process, those that want to serve must undergo a mental health testing and treatment, whether it’s alone or through couples counseling. For obvious reasons, mental health in the military is taken very seriously. Not only for admission into the service but staying in the service.
Listed below are disqualifying medical conditions.
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder)
A condition with symptoms such as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The symptoms differ from person to person. ADHD was formerly called ADD, or attention deficit disorder.
Academic and Perceptual Defects
The process of “taking in” one’s environment is referred to as perception. If perception is inaccurate or altered in any way — problems with reading, spelling, handwriting, math and comprehension occur. Visual perceptual skills involve the ability to organize and interpret the information that is seen and give it meaning.
Mood disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, psychoses, and other unspecified depressive issues are disqualifying.
If there is a history of mood disorders requiring medication/outpatient care for longer than six months is also considered disqualifying, along with any symptoms of mood and mental issues that affect social ability, school and learning, or work efficiency is disqualifying.
Behavioral disorders involve a pattern of disruptive behaviors that last for at least 6 months, causing problems in school, at home, and in social situations. Nearly everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, but behavior disorders are more serious and need to be treated properly. People with antisocial attitudes or behaviors won’t make the cut either as those who exhibit these symptoms are typically not adaptive to military service. Any psychological testing that reveals a high degree of immaturity, instability, personality issues, impulsiveness, or dependency will also interfere with the ability to conform to the rules and regulations of the military.
Speech Affected Disorders
Any speech impediment, stammering, stuttering or other receptive or expressive language disorder to such a degree as to significantly interfere with speed of speech or having to repeat commands fluently and effectively is disqualifying.
Other History of Medical Disorders
For those that have a history of suicidal behavior or other extreme gestures of depression will be disqualified. Anxiety issues including panic, agoraphobia, social phobia, simple phobias, obsessive compulsive disorders, and other acute reactions to stress are also disqualified for entry into the service.
Any history or current issue with alcohol dependence, drug dependence, alcohol abuse, or other drug abuse is disqualifying.
Of all the medical issues that disqualify a person from being in the service, the mental health side is rigid in its stance, even if some diagnoses can be highly subjective. However, over the past decade, there has been a relaxing of some previous conditions such as ADD/ADHD.
If there is a medical complication at any time in your life that is mentioned here, the recruiter must be informed. They will tell you whether the condition can be waived, or permanently disqualifying. If there isn’t an official waiver and your condition is later discovered, the consequence will most likely be getting dishonorably discharged for fraudulent enlistment. The choice is yours.
Author Bio: Brooke Faulkner is a mother of two and writer based in Portland, Oregon. She loves anything to do with historical nonfiction.