Can you join the military if you have health problems?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Does anyone here have experience with someone who had physical and mental health issues signing up for service in the military? Do they take people like that?

    I'm trying to think of all the different options open to difficult child 1 because he is starting to fall apart again at school -- even the military is starting to look good to me now. But he's got asthma, Crohn's disease, IBS and allergies. Plus he has a lot of anxiety issues and probably is headed towards cyclothymia like his dad. He gets overwhelmed with too many things thrown at him at once, but is very good at focusing and doing a good job on one thing at a time. Right now though, he is feeling overwhelmed by school and the internal panic seems to be pushing him towards depression.

    I'm thinking the military would give him the structure he needs and maybe help him find his passion, but not sure if his health issues would preclude him from being accepted.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    They might not keep a recruiter from making all sorts of promises but they WOULD keep him out of actually serving. I had a friend in HS who was accepted into the Navy but the day she reported to basic training they sent her home for having IBS. A friend's son had to go several years with-o treatment of any kind for asthma before he was accepted and he got sent home from basic because the asthma anyway. It started to act up when he hadn't had problems with it for years. I think most branches say 2 yrs free of any treatment for adhd, etc... before you can enlist, and that is only if you have no other problems. Janet might have more up to date info, but the friend's son was just about 4 yrs ago.

    Would ROTC accept him? You can also think about Job Corps, Peace Corp, and there are probably some other programs I can't think of. I am sorry he is having so many problems. Have you considered a vocational program for him? Wiz absolutely loved the course he took - and he was eligible for a free year after he graduated HS and most kids need that year but he finished all the coursework in 2 yrs instead of 3. It was machinist training but using a computer to make the machines do the work, not the old fashioned kind my Gpa, Dad and Uncles all did. He totally loved making the computers make things out of big pieces of metal. I think it was another video game to him, sort of.
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure about the mental health issues but I know there are certain chronic medical conditions that can keep someone from serving in the military, even if they can be controlled by medication. One of my nephews was in the Navy for about a year and doing very well and then he suddenly started having seizures. He had never had seizures before. They finally figured out that they would happen if he didn't eat for a long time and his blood sugar got all out of whack. And even though the seizures could be controlled by medication, he was forced to leave the Navy. It's because in the military they may find themselves in situations where they might not have their medication readily available or might not be able to eat at regular intervals. I think it's the same with any medical condition where the person could become incapacitated if they don't have access to their regular medications.
  4. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    When my difficult child talked to a recruiter when he was in high school, he was told he could not be on any medication for mental health. He didn't bother to ask about what if he came off the medications.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im thinking the Chrons would do him in. The ADHD almost did Jamie in and he had been off medications for 4 years.
  6. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    But gvc mom raises a good question. Is there any kind of structured activity/lifestyle that would be good for a post high school kid who is not ready to be out on own. Peace Corps would definitely not take someone without skills and in need of great supervision. Anyone know of something?
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't see my response. Yikes is it old age and old eyesight or is it lost in cyberspace? This time I'll make it brief and maybe it will go thru. No way is he going to be qualified and retained. A recruiter (think of commision salesmen) might say so but push come to way. If you lived in Israel it would be a go as they make sure that every citizen does miliary time and they make accomodations as they did with Esther's difficult child.

    Have you signed him up for Voc/Rehab? In some communities they are more helpful than others but they do have funds to help those with disabilities find appropriate career goals. It might give him a sense of direction and that is truly important. Hugs DDD
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly, Miss KT was told she had to be medication free for two years.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Have you considered Job Corps. You can go in even if you have a HS Diploma.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks all for the feedback. That's kinda what I expected to hear.

    I'll check out Job Corps. We don't have ROTC on our campus. There are vocational programs he could probably pursue in our area...

    He was much better later on today once his medications kicked in, but man-oh-man, until then? What a PILL. What a MAJOR PITA. When we were driving home from lax practice, I took the opportunity to tell him what I felt about his earlier behavior, his attitude about school, etc. And pretty much told him tough beans and deal with it. He was apologetic and seemed to understand, but sheesh, what a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde act he can be.

    I think when I get back from NOLA we'll see about going back to his therapist for a few months. Can't hurt.