Joining with past depression

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by mandate2837, Jun 13, 2015.

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  1. Hey guys any advice or clarification you provide would be greatly appreciated here because I can't seem to find any previous posts that are quite relevant to my situation.

    So currently I'm at university and have a couple more years to go before finishing. By that time I'll be 22 and I'm very interested in joining the Surface Fleet as a Warfare Officer.

    I would be confident in passing the required tests and meeting the standards across the board but I'm concerned that my history of depression will hinder and potentially cause me to be an unsuccessful applicant.

    To clarify I got into a bout of depression about 3/4 years ago now and I'll admit it was more than mild and required me to take medication and go to a bit of counselling for a few months. There were a host of contributing factors covering close family cancer issues to severe bullying and I did self-harm a bit, although nothing too serious.

    It's been a good few years since then and I've had absolutely no issues with it coming back and I'm very happy and progressing very well in my degree with high aspirations. But would this single episode prevent me from having a career within the Royal Navy or could there still be a chance if I explain myself fully.

    Thank you in advance for any advice/ answers.
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Hopefully @nemesis1066 can give you a pointer.

    Needless to say, everyone is different and depression covers a wide range of issues with regard eligibility toward joining the Armed Forces.

    Similarly, self harm can range from suicide to self-mutilation and definitive guidance can only be given by a service health professional once they have the full medical records relating to your specific condition.

    Either way, best of luck.
  3. Hi, I've been searching a few forums but I'm yet to find anything about this. Does anyone know if the Navy, like the Army, require a period of rehabilitation after an episode of self harm? I know Army say you have to be 3 years clear of any symptoms or medication.

  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The eligibility guidance notes for the Naval Service indicate more than one episode is an outright bar to entry. Single episodes are case by case, as determined by the medical examiner once in possession of you medical history. The RN will operate a similar standard to the Army with regard rehabilitation after mental illness.

    Good luck.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Cheers, appreciate the reply! It can't hurt to apply I guess. My only minor concern would be that the incident in question was a year ago, and being 28 now, it would mean I would be at least 30 after a period of rehabilitation. The job I'm going for has an upper age limit of 36 but I don't know ow if I'd be a bit too long in the tooth compared to others at Raleigh
  6. It's worth applying and seeing how it goes, had a friend apply a few years back who had depression when his mum passed when he was younger. Two years and a whole lot of paperwork later from himself, counsellor and Gp and he's now got the all clear to go a head. It may take a while but if you can wait it out you might be pleasantly suprised. Best of luck
  7. It wasn't actually a case of mental illness. It was something stupid I did after my marriage broke up and I was steaming drunk.

    I'm not sure how a medical report from my GP is presented but I'd guess it's pretty black and white and offers little mitigation.

    There was no previous history nor will there be any future incidents. Is there a way I might be able to explain this?

    Thanks chaps
  8. Out of interest what is the threshold for 'depression'. I was once prescribed anti depressants for a few days but it wasn't written down as 'depression' on my records so wasn't a problem.
  9. Mandate, I had pretty much identical situation to you. But I start my PRNC next month and (touch wood) start RT in January. I know that the Doctor at my Medical told me there needs to be a minimum of three years from the last known episode to the date of application.

    P.S My Medical took a good 6 months to process. I wasn't prescribed anything and my Doctor who I originally went to didn't diagnose me with depression (a useless s*** who threw a leaflet at me and told me to go away) so i think this made the process a little confusing.

    Hope this helps.
  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Again, it's stressed, I'm not a medical professional.

    Presumably the issue was serious enough to warrant a trip to see the GP in the first instance. Had the GP prescribed medication, it could well have been a bar to entry depending on the duration of treatment or frequency of recurrence. A leaflet may well have been sufficient as it does not jeopardise eligibility to join the armed forces.

    Another increasingly common self diagnosis we are seeing is depression mistaken for grief when people are bereaved. For those interested, there are links to some service-related mental health issues here, not just related to bereavement:
  11. Unless the medication caused side effects, there is no benefit of anti depressants for a few days, tyey usually take a few weeks to be fully effective. Not sure how they were prescribed, if you were diagnosed as being depressed - I am comfortably confused by your post!
  12. Yeah I don't think I was diagnosed as depressed hence why it wasn't recorded as depression on my records. But I was wondering if you can still be diagnosed as depressed if you weren't prescribed significant amount of anti depressants.
  13. Short answer - yes. If you are assesed as not needing medication initially, but a therapy such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy - CBT instead then off you go and meds might not be needed.
    I doubt a GP would be dumb enough to not make a note of depression, if that was what he/she thought you had. A referral to a mental health specialist would gave also been made.

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