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Hi looking for pre joining medical advice please

Hi folks I want to apply for the RN but I have a bit of a sticky medical history so hoping If i post my background here somebody might be in a position to help me out, regarding my chances of being accepted as the careers line said they arent medically qualified to do so when I called them with this.

Ok so at 16 (now nearly 26) I wanted to join but couldnt because of a prescription for an inhaler. I was cleared of asthma at 13 but my parents continued to get me an inhaler as they said it helped with colds.

I havent had one since and have had no asthmatic symptoms since 13.

I recently went for clearance for diving when i did my PADI as i marked down on the form I HAD suffered in the past. I had to go for clearance and was cleared again then too.

Its a bit blunt had to try condense it down but just trying to be honest without beating around the bush too much so apologies.

So I have always dreamt of being in the RN. When i was told i couldnt I had no other career plan, was a prat at school, was a complete prat of a teenager, felt the world owed me something for some reason and got in to drink and drugs.

I was admitted to hospital at 17 with alcohol dependance. I then spent 5 years battling drink and drugs whilst on medication for depression with a year or two on some anti psychotics. The symptoms of that were very mild and this is all noted in my medical history, with various emails and notes that back this up.

The issues I had were drink and drugs induced not the other way around, and had i not made that mistake initially the turmoil that came with it would not of been a problem.

Viscious cycle bla de bla i was an idiot that needed to wake up and do as i was told and knock it all on the head.

I pulled myself through it all in the end. And I am stronger as a person now than I ever would of been without it all.

I have been to the doctor and looked at my history and notes and she said that its clear from them that all the issues i used to have were bi products of the drink and drugs. I was very young and very stupid. But i am now not even a shadow of then and I know am completely capable of service.

If my gp were to write me a note now it would say I have no medical conditions.

Im almost 26 and have been clear of meds for 3 years thus far.

I cant actually apply yet because I have an old tattoo on my neck that I popped over to the afco to get it looked at and it is a bar. I have already been for the first session of removal but It is going to take 10-12 months until its gone. Then I can apply so this will be another year meds free.

I was recovered well over 4 years ago now but continued taking the anti depressants because they had a sedative effect and I couldnt sleep without them.

I have started training as well as the tattoo removal and understand that I may be flogging a dead horse trying to get in, but its a dream i want to have another crack at chasing. Im hoping that if i can smash the recruitment tests and the fitness tests with flying colours, the medical comes up after?
That then maybe if they see i have spent a fortune on having a tattoo removed and trained like a beast for a year on a glimmer of a maybe at getting in it might just give me the edge when the inevitable flag pops up at the medical.

I had NO medical conditions pre the drink and drugs and have NONE now.

Since those days I have learnt a trade, Gained qualifications and have done things that I think will show the RN that I am past all of it that I couldnt do if I wasnt.

I know that theres no chance of this happening again. I very rarely drink, if I do its a couple nothing heavy. I dont even smoke cigarettes anymore and I havent touched drugs in years. Its just how will they know?

The one thing they did say to me that was encouraging is that were all human and make mistakes, AND that all cases are judged on a case by case basis.

Im going to go for it anyway but would really appreciate any advice tips or stories of a similar nature, positive or negative, I know its a long shot but if I dont try Ill never know.

Thanks for reading much appreciated.



With a medical history like that you would be lucky to get on the Torpoint ferry, never mind any of Bettie's war canoes.

But good luck anyhoo


War Hero
Given your past and problems I think that your post is very well constructed and thought out. It shows a level of maturity not seen on many 'newbies' posts and I include potential officers.
Good luck on your efforts and if your application to join hits a brick wall, I am positive you will succeed in whatever else you may put your mind to.
You have a couple or three issues there my young Jedi. Let's start with the basics and build a positive outlook from there. Do you have two arms, two legs and a pulse?


War Hero
Welcome to the site & well done for getting yourself back on track, one hell of an achievement.

The medical standards in this area are pretty rigid & non-negotiable unfortunately, but the document below, (uploaded from arrse will hopefully help manage realistic expectations from the outset, paragraph 4L-12 & 13 is a good starting point, but the continued use of prescribed anti-depressants over a long period is quite possibly going to be a significant issue.

The thing to bear in mind for your own wellbeing is the Armed Forces in general very much involves an alcohol-related social culture.

Ultimately, only a qualified service Medical Examiner can give definitive advice once they have your full history regarding your circumstances.

Whatever the outcome, good luck.


  • JSP_950_6-7-4_AnnexL_Psychiatry.pdf
    80.4 KB · Views: 11
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