I'm interested in getting some facts and the process of trying to join the military if you have been prescribed the generic for Prozac by your physician. I understand that some kind of waiver will be needed if/when disclosed to MEPS, but I just want to know what are the chances of getting in? I don't want to lie at all, but I have talked to a few people that I know that have joined or in the process of doing so and they have all said to basically put no to all questions on the medical forms you fill out. To give you some more info about me and what is going on, I will say that I recently was prescribed and I haven't even gone to pick it up from the drug store yet so I haven't taken any. My doctor has drawn blood and basically ruled out anything that physically could be wrong with me from the symptoms I have so she said that she wanted to start me on 10m of Prozac and see me back in 4 to 5 weeks and see if this helps any. She didn't give me a clear diagnosis or that she had put anything down, but she believes I'm going through some sort of depressive slump. I can say that I'm not anywhere close to being suicidal in anyway nor have I ever been. I don't have anything else that is physically wrong with me nor do I have anything that is severely wrong with me mentally. I mean, I'm obviously going through a rough period with myself right now though. I have been thinking about joining the army though. Job wise I'm wanting to get 68 whiskey (nurse) and work on getting my RN degree while in there for whenever I do get out (if I can get in) I'll have a nursing degree, experience, and training. I do have another option of job I would want as well if it were available and 68whiskey wasn't, 68T (basically a vet technician) where you work with animals. I love helping both animals and people so I would enjoy either of those jobs. With that being said I was wondering if my medical records, prior to joining, would come into play any? I have had people tell me they don't look up that information, or rarely do, and if they do it's because you need some sort of clearance for a higher type of job. Is any of this true? I understand that I'm guessing MEPS won't really go into my medical background, but what about after MEPS and when I'm actually in bootcamp and AIT and within the military..will they go into those medical records when I'm in ever? As of right now I have only been prescribed Prozac and I haven't even gone to pay and pick up the medication to take it yet, so say I don't even go get it and take it. Will it show up on my medical records ever if I've just been prescribed Prozac? I'm not trying to find a way around disclosing anything to the military, I want to be as truthful as possible, well, truthful records wise because I don't want to get in and then have something that will come back to bite me in the future because I took the wrong advice of not disclosing something. So if anyone ever reads this whole thing, sorry for the lengthy post, but I'm just looking for some knowledge on this and how it will affect me trying to join. I was thinking about calling an army recruiter and asking them, but I don't know if that is a good idea either..so any advice and knowledge on this matter would be appreciated.
|Highly Experienced Member|
BAD IDEA, you WILL BE FOUND OUT because you will sign a consent to have Uncle Sugar view all your medical records.
Non-consent or refusal to sign means NO ENLISTMENT.
Then you are DQ until the doctor clears you.
If you go on the meds, you will need your docotr to clear you and for the next twelve months after, you need to function normally without replapses. Job and and/or school is required to show that said functionality.
Then you need to wait until after the doctor's findings.
You may or may not be PDQ based on what is found.
What you think and what a qualified professional finds are two different things.
You want to take the chance, lie and risk being discovered? You will have bigger problems to worry about if that happened.
Right now, you need to worry about whatever issue it is you are seeing this doctor about. You need to set aside the military for now.
Have you been ordered to see this doctor (like court-ordered) or did you voluntarily do this?
Either way will be an issue.
"If you focus on results, you will NOT get change. If you focus on change, you WILL get results."
I am just starting the process for the Air National Guard. I also take anti-depressants (venlafaxine). I have not been able to get a straight answer from any of the recruiters I have spoken to about this. So, the only thing I can do is try and see how far I can get.
The only thing you can do is talk to your recruiter, your doctor, and give it a try. Now, this isn't set in stone, but this is the most consistant answers I have gotton from them:
Army NG - I would have to be off the medication for three years, and then it may be waiverable.
Air NG - I would have to be off the medication for one year, and then it may be waiverable.
Navy Reserves - I would have to be off the medication for one year and then it may be waiverable.
Coast Guard Reserves - I got a flat out no from them.
Basically, it looks like it will be a try and see thing.
As far as disclosing these things to MEPS, everyone I have spoken to about this say
DO. NOT. LIE. They WILL find out, and you will be in BIG trouble.
If you don't mind, keep me in mind and when you speak to your recruiter about this, PM me, and if I get any new info on my end I'll let you know what they tell me.
|Highly Experienced Member|
All the services use the same medical requirements for enlistment (Army standards). The wait time for any service after being on an antidepressant is three years and then you may be recommended for a waiver. There may be exceptions to the three year wait depending on the reason for taking the medication, but these will be up to MEPS and are part of the reason for sending medical records.
The only psyc med that the wait is 1 year is for ADHD medication. Then you have to also show proof that your grades did not decrease after stopping the medication.
Regardless of the type of meds you must be taken off by your doctor, not you or mom deciding that you are no longer depressed and don't need the meds. Very bad side effects can happen when stopping these medications cold turkey with out a doctor tapering you off. You then must remain symptom free after stopping medication. If the symptoms return during this period no waiver will be recommended.
Hope that clears everything up for both of you.
Three years? Damn. Well, I'll have to wait three years.
I concur that you should not go off your meds without advice from your doctor. Nasty things can happen. You have to be taken off it slowly. I have an appointment in two weeks with my doctor to discuss this very thing.
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