Possible to join the Army as a Regular Soldier with past mental health issues? Watch

MrIlluminaughty
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Greetings everyone, this is my first time posting on a forum so apologies if the formatting for this is a bit weird.

I've been curious to see if it would be possible to join the Army even with past mental health issues? I've suffered from depression, anxiety and a minor bout of psychosis a few years back and have been free from it for around 2 years and a half.

I have applied through the website and due to my medical history, it was rejected and now I need to write a cover letter to confirm the appeal process. My question is, what exactly do I need to write in my cover letter? Would it just be a confirmation of my identity to let them know that I'm writing to them for an appeal? Or would I need to provide an explanation as to why I think I'm fit for the Army itself?

If its of any help, I plan on joining the British Armed Forces as a Regular Full-Time Soldier. I thought about joining the Marines but I can't swim so that was a no-go and the RAF didn't seem to be a place that I would personally fit in.

I've gone through the site itself and read up on it, but details are still a bit unclear from me and it would be incredibly helpful if someone who was experienced with these things could provide a bit more insight.

Thank you to any and all who respond with advice. I appreicate it immensely.
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blacksheep8
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Are you sure you want to do this?
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MrIlluminaughty
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(Original post by blacksheep8)
Are you sure you want to do this?
Absolutely. I thought about it for longer than a year after my recovery, and it would allow me to grow into a routine of discpline and self-care that I don't believe I could teach myself. I also talked about it with my mother and Uncle (who was in the Army during his early adulthood) and while my mother is inexperienced with the military life, she is fully on-board, and my Uncle warns me that it wouldn't be easy but if it's what i want to do, then he'll support me as well. I understand the potential risks to both my physical and mental health, but I wouldn't have gone through with it if I didn't think hard on it.

I'm also interested in joining because due to past circumstances, I was unable to complete my GCSE's and I've only managed to complete the required English and Maths along with a Level 3 College Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology. It seems that the Army has benefits that would help me in completing additional courses, along with getting the necessary experience and money to support my family.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by MrIlluminaughty)
Greetings everyone, this is my first time posting on a forum so apologies if the formatting for this is a bit weird.

I've been curious to see if it would be possible to join the Army even with past mental health issues? I've suffered from depression, anxiety and a minor bout of psychosis a few years back and have been free from it for around 2 years and a half.

I have applied through the website and due to my medical history, it was rejected and now I need to write a cover letter to confirm the appeal process. My question is, what exactly do I need to write in my cover letter? Would it just be a confirmation of my identity to let them know that I'm writing to them for an appeal? Or would I need to provide an explanation as to why I think I'm fit for the Army itself?

If its of any help, I plan on joining the British Armed Forces as a Regular Full-Time Soldier. I thought about joining the Marines but I can't swim so that was a no-go and the RAF didn't seem to be a place that I would personally fit in.

I've gone through the site itself and read up on it, but details are still a bit unclear from me and it would be incredibly helpful if someone who was experienced with these things could provide a bit more insight.

Thank you to any and all who respond with advice. I appreicate it immensely.
Tbh I think it's a terrible idea. The fact that you say you have been free of mental health issues - including psychosis - does not make me (or the Army) confident that you won't have further episodes in the future, particularly under stress. Being detached from reality and with access to weapons seems like a recipe for disaster.
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Bobjames
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Hi, I am ex raf. You sound like a nice guy though so I thought I’d pass on the benefit of my experiences, as I don’t give advice, very dangerous. You are more than capable of making your own decisions, and wise by seeking as much information to make the right decision for you. The military has lots of benefits. You can make it your career,or a very helpful stepping stone. I would wait until the time passes to when you can try again. Go to the careers office yourself. Don’t worry about your qualifications. You will have to be tested anyway and they will allocate your entry level. I’m not quite sure of your diagnosis,medical history, medication taken. I would go to the dr and get your records updated. They are recruiting. Also point out that they are believe I ‘equal opportunities ‘. I wish you luck. I hope you get what you want
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Bobjames)
Hi, I am ex raf. You sound like a nice guy though so I thought I’d pass on the benefit of my experiences, as I don’t give advice, very dangerous. You are more than capable of making your own decisions, and wise by seeking as much information to make the right decision for you. The military has lots of benefits. You can make it your career,or a very helpful stepping stone. I would wait until the time passes to when you can try again. Go to the careers office yourself. Don’t worry about your qualifications. You will have to be tested anyway and they will allocate your entry level. I’m not quite sure of your diagnosis,medical history, medication taken. I would go to the dr and get your records updated. They are recruiting. Also point out that they are believe I ‘equal opportunities ‘. I wish you luck. I hope you get what you want
What have equal opportunities got to do with the OP's situation?
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Drewski
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(Original post by MrIlluminaughty)
Greetings everyone, this is my first time posting on a forum so apologies if the formatting for this is a bit weird.

I've been curious to see if it would be possible to join the Army even with past mental health issues? I've suffered from depression, anxiety and a minor bout of psychosis a few years back and have been free from it for around 2 years and a half.

I have applied through the website and due to my medical history, it was rejected and now I need to write a cover letter to confirm the appeal process. My question is, what exactly do I need to write in my cover letter? Would it just be a confirmation of my identity to let them know that I'm writing to them for an appeal? Or would I need to provide an explanation as to why I think I'm fit for the Army itself?

If its of any help, I plan on joining the British Armed Forces as a Regular Full-Time Soldier. I thought about joining the Marines but I can't swim so that was a no-go and the RAF didn't seem to be a place that I would personally fit in.

I've gone through the site itself and read up on it, but details are still a bit unclear from me and it would be incredibly helpful if someone who was experienced with these things could provide a bit more insight.

Thank you to any and all who respond with advice. I appreicate it immensely.
The medical will assess you for suitability.

You'll have had to be free of certain episodes, treatment, etc, for at least a set amount of time depending on what you've done. I think it's at least 4 years for some bits.

But you won't know until you apply. You will need to be completely honest about what you've gone through, what you've done with doctors, etc.
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MrIlluminaughty
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(Original post by Drewski)
The medical will assess you for suitability.

You'll have had to be free of certain episodes, treatment, etc, for at least a set amount of time depending on what you've done. I think it's at least 4 years for some bits.

But you won't know until you apply. You will need to be completely honest about what you've gone through, what you've done with doctors, etc.
As for my episodes, they were never 'extreme', only minor and only happened at night before I headed to sleep, most of them were auditory and only occurred if I ever had a particularly bad day. It hasn't happened since I recovered and gone off medication 2 and a half years ago since then however.The only time I've ever had a visual episode that may cause concern was when I was in the middle of a crowded venue and thought I saw my mother, causing me to go up there and greet her only for it to be a stranger. Other than that, I've never had any serious episodes that caused me to go into a full-blown panic or caused me to do anything drastic.
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Drewski
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(Original post by MrIlluminaughty)
As for my episodes, they were never 'extreme', only minor and only happened at night before I headed to sleep, most of them were auditory and only occurred if I ever had a particularly bad day. It hasn't happened since I recovered and gone off medication 2 and a half years ago since then however.The only time I've ever had a visual episode that may cause concern was when I was in the middle of a crowded venue and thought I saw my mother, causing me to go up there and greet her only for it to be a stranger. Other than that, I've never had any serious episodes that caused me to go into a full-blown panic or caused me to do anything drastic.
That it's 'only' 2.5 years since the last time you took medication is most likely what's going to trip you up.

When was the last time you were prescribed any medication?
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MrIlluminaughty
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Tbh I think it's a terrible idea. The fact that you say you have been free of mental health issues - including psychosis - does not make me (or the Army) confident that you won't have further episodes in the future, particularly under stress. Being detached from reality and with access to weapons seems like a recipe for disaster.
Thanks for the reply and for the concern. That's why I reached out and have asked for opinions from people who may have attended any branch of the Armed Forces or are experienced with these medical conditions. To be quite honest, I'm not confident that I'll be accepted because of my past medical conditions either, but I would rather try and be rejected, than never try at all and not know.

If I do get rejected, then it's from an understandable perspective and I won't be too bummed about it. If I do get accepted, it's a win and even then I'll have to pass the examinations.
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MrIlluminaughty
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(Original post by Bobjames)
Hi, I am ex raf. You sound like a nice guy though so I thought I’d pass on the benefit of my experiences, as I don’t give advice, very dangerous. You are more than capable of making your own decisions, and wise by seeking as much information to make the right decision for you. The military has lots of benefits. You can make it your career,or a very helpful stepping stone. I would wait until the time passes to when you can try again. Go to the careers office yourself. Don’t worry about your qualifications. You will have to be tested anyway and they will allocate your entry level. I’m not quite sure of your diagnosis,medical history, medication taken. I would go to the dr and get your records updated. They are recruiting. Also point out that they are believe I ‘equal opportunities ‘. I wish you luck. I hope you get what you want
Thanks for your reply and insight! I realize that joining the Armed Forces is a very dangerous career path and hence getting every piece of information to help clarify whatever missing pieces I may have is important to actually submitting my request for an appeal.

I don't plan on making a career out of the military, but do plan on using it as a stepping stone to get me started on the right path once I'm done with basic training and have spent a few years in the forces. I'm mainly looking for a way to gain experience and a discpline to adhere to a routine that will be better off for my future and helpful to gaining a steady force of habit that will allow me to take care of myself and my belongings (apartment, furniture, etc.).

I have gone to the Dr's and gotten my medical history, which I will then proceed to send along with a written evaluation and statement from the therapist who has overseen my recovery ever since I was first admitted and given medication by the GP so hopefully that will allow the Army Careers to make a more informed decision. Thank you and once again, thank you for your advice.
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MrIlluminaughty
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(Original post by Drewski)
That it's 'only' 2.5 years since the last time you took medication is most likely what's going to trip you up.

When was the last time you were prescribed any medication?
The same time I've recovered is the same time I've been taken off my medication. Both the doctor and myself agreed after I've gone without any form of medication for a few weeks that I should be completely off any and all medication that I've been previously prescribed. Of course, she did say that if I did ever need it again, to contact them and they'll have it written up but I haven't taken any medication since then.
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Drewski
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(Original post by MrIlluminaughty)
The same time I've recovered is the same time I've been taken off my medication. Both the doctor and myself agreed after I've gone without any form of medication for a few weeks that I should be completely off any and all medication that I've been previously prescribed. Of course, she did say that if I did ever need it again, to contact them and they'll have it written up but I haven't taken any medication since then.
By all means apply, but don't be surprised if they call you TMU - temporarily medically unfit for that reason.
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MrIlluminaughty
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(Original post by Drewski)
By all means apply, but don't be surprised if they call you TMU - temporarily medically unfit for that reason.
If they called me TMU, would that mean I'd be applicable to join a few years later? Or would that deem me unsuitable for joining in general?
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Drewski
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(Original post by MrIlluminaughty)
If they called me TMU, would that mean I'd be applicable to join a few years later? Or would that deem me unsuitable for joining in general?
If TMU it's temporary and will run out pending other bits.
If it's PMU you're permanently unfit and that's it.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by MrIlluminaughty)
Thanks for the reply and for the concern. That's why I reached out and have asked for opinions from people who may have attended any branch of the Armed Forces or are experienced with these medical conditions. To be quite honest, I'm not confident that I'll be accepted because of my past medical conditions either, but I would rather try and be rejected, than never try at all and not know.

If I do get rejected, then it's from an understandable perspective and I won't be too bummed about it. If I do get accepted, it's a win and even then I'll have to pass the examinations.
Why did you choose your username?
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MrIlluminaughty
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(Original post by Drewski)
If TMU it's temporary and will run out pending other bits.
If it's PMU you're permanently unfit and that's it.
Thanks for the clarification!
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MrIlluminaughty
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Why did you choose your username?
It's a play on words with Illuminati (the conspiracy group) with the words naughty instead. Nothing too interesting to be honest
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Bobjames
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(Original post by MrIlluminaughty)
It's a play on words with Illuminati (the conspiracy group) with the words naughty instead. Nothing too interesting to be honest
Conspiracy? 😆 😆 😆
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by MrIlluminaughty)
It's a play on words with Illuminati (the conspiracy group) with the words naughty instead. Nothing too interesting to be honest
I would like to point out - gently - that choosing a name associated with an imaginary world conspiracy might not be the best way to show that you have recovered from your mental health issues. That said, you sound a lot more rational than some people on this thread.
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