Medical discharge or PVR?

#1
My son is really struggling with Phase 2 training (thanks to everyone who has helped on the parents page thread). After getting very stressed and anxious at Raleigh, he has calmed down but is now feeling very low and having trouble tolerating being around other people 24/7. this has led him to doubt that he is cut out for sea drafts and he is now at the point of PVR.
I was a bit worried about him and insisted he went to the MO. The MO said he was probably a bit depressed and he had a choice of medical discharge or if he PVRed he had the opportunity to come back at a later date. This sounded a bit odd to me, as I assume he would only be allowed back if he didn't pursue any treatment for the depression or any underlying problems that led him to get so stressed and anxious at Raleigh. I don't think he will want to come back anyway sadly but I like to make sure all angles are explored just in case.
The other option I suppose is to struggle on through to the end of the training, see if he learns to cope better and then seek a medical discharge later if he can't but i would be worried about the effect on him and the waste of the RN's time and money.
How long does a medical discharge take and would he be sent home or stay on base?
 
#2
Medical discharge at his stage is relatively quick and he'll be sent home once the discharge has happened but there would be practically no chance of return.

PVR would allow him to re-apply later on but he wouldn't have the PVR option second time around.
 
#3
Medical discharge at his stage is relatively quick and he'll be sent home once the discharge has happened but there would be practically no chance of return.

PVR would allow him to re-apply later on but he wouldn't have the PVR option second time around.
Do you reckon he would be able to reapply when older and tougher even if he had a mental health issue on his medical file, if enough time had elapsed? (clings on to dream of child leaving home and settling into a career).
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#5
A medical record indicating a mental health condition severe enough to warrant discharge from the Armed Forces could not only affect the short term prospect of re-entry but could also influence employment prospects in some uniformed civilian occupations and more besides.

Very often we see people, in their haste to leave, claim all sorts of reasons beyond their control when in actual fact a straight forward pvr discharge is the blindingly obvious and equally swift route to leave.

Obviously the welfare of the individual is the main issue but whilst he may be determined to leave, despite your best efforts to convince otherwise, the "average" person quitting in training, before they even find out what the job is actually like in the fleet, usually regrets leaving at about the 4-6 month point. Hopefully, that's not the case in this instance as re-entry is unlikely within 2-3 years.
 
#6
I don't think his mental health is that bad actually, its just the first time he has dealt with difficult feelings while away from home but he can't see that in his youthful inexperience. He is planning to PVR on Monday so i am running out of time to convince him to stay, his main reason being that he has decided he doesn't like being around other people all the time and therefore will feel trapped living on a ship with limited space!
I've read some of the PVR regretter threads on this forum, hence my misgivings.
 
#7
I don't think his mental health is that bad actually, its just the first time he has dealt with difficult feelings while away from home but he can't see that in his youthful inexperience. He is planning to PVR on Monday so i am running out of time to convince him to stay, his main reason being that he has decided he doesn't like being around other people all the time and therefore will feel trapped living on a ship with limited space!
I've read some of the PVR regretter threads on this forum, hence my misgivings.
PVR option definitely better, even if not the Royal Navy, if he is interested in the armed forces, he could look at the RAF which has more single accommodation and jobs which are not quite so intensely on top of each other and might suit him better. But tell him to fight hard not to get a medical discharge, because that would really mess things up for him in the future. He can just say he wants to PVR because he feels that he is not mature enough and that will keep the door open for the future. It must be a tough time for you, really hard to know what to do for the best, but I guess he has been feeling this way for quite a while now, it is not a rushed decision and you don't want him to start to feel more anxious and you don't want records saying that he is depressed if he is just saying he doesn't want to be there. Good luck, I really sympathise.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#8
I don't think his mental health is that bad actually, its just the first time he has dealt with difficult feelings while away from home but he can't see that in his youthful inexperience. He is planning to PVR on Monday so i am running out of time to convince him to stay, his main reason being that he has decided he doesn't like being around other people all the time and therefore will feel trapped living on a ship with limited space!
I've read some of the PVR regretter threads on this forum, hence my misgivings.
Appreciated, but the service is perhaps understandably risk averse with regard mental health issues due to the nature of the job and primarily the individual and those around them who may rely upon the individual to work under extreme duress.

Likewise, if he's just feeling a bit down, then just leaving by submitting notice will leave all options on the table.

At the point of departure the concept of rejoining, to the person leaving, is laughable and absurd in the extreme but the byword is caution & don't burn your bridges as it will otherwise bite back in the cold light of day.
 
#9
@allyballybee all the advice above is sound, in life never rush to close future doors, if he is in a hole of despair and intends to go PVR is his best route, option to rejoin or join another service. Many employers these days ask for medical history so as @Ninja_Stoker & @WreckerL have said, damage limitation, take the least damaging option for his future.
Good luck to him.
 
#10
Thanks for all your advice @Sumo, @Ninja_Stoker and everbody, I'll pass it on to him.

It's a problem doing the right thing and dealing with mental health issues without prejudicing future prospects.

My son has always had a bit of an issue with shyness, that, with hindsight, at times when he was younger ,probably crossed the line into social anxiety/phobia. He also had a few problems with concentration, especially with school work.

Knowing that there was a chance he would want to do a job that needed a clean health record we just crossed our fingers that he would grow out of the issues and encouraged him to do activities like team sport that would help him develop a bit of resilience. This may have worked if he had waited to join for a couple more years with more life experience under his belt, so the maturity angle is probably a valid one.

Ironically, if he had had some cognitive behavioural therapy when younger he may well have been "fixed" and not be having the social issues he is having at the moment, but it may well have barred him from entry. I suspect if he went for therapy now it would also be an issue on applying to re-enter. I feel that successful treatment of single issues, like a phobia for example, should be treated more like having had a broken leg. Obviously repeated bouts of depression or anxiety are a different matter.

We, or rather he as he is 18, have now got to decide whether to carry on with DIY treatment off the medical books or trying proper treatment. It's going to be another hard decision.
 
#11
Just (another) thought. Genuine question that has not been mentioned yet, so far as I know.

If he goes PVR then does that count as making him self unemployed and thus ineligible for any benefits?
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#12
Just (another) thought. Genuine question that has not been mentioned yet, so far as I know.

If he goes PVR then does that count as making him self unemployed and thus ineligible for any benefits?
It's the same as quitting a civilian job, I'd imagine. Also, after pvr, as mentioned by @WreckerL, re-entry a second time means minimum service of around four and a half years.
 
#16
Sorry to hear your son is still struggling. I hope he decides to stay. You must be so stressed with it all
Thanks Zeb, Chances of him staying are now extremely slim, he is planning to PVR today : ( It has been a bit full on but nothing I can't handle. I have a tendency to over-complicate things when dealing with problems, at least at first, but, to summarise; the issue is that the poor lad has been able to cope with everything practical and physical that has been thrown at him (a real step up for him) but just doesn't have the maturity and self awareness to cope with the emotional aspects of such a huge change of lifestyle and has shut down!
Maybe my threads will give a few parents a heads-up to be prepared for the whole training process sometimes being a bumpy ride and that ,for some, homesickness isn't a minor thing.
 
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#17
It's a tough one to be sure. I had just turned 16 when I joined in the early 60's. I did not take to it well at all. But in those days when you signed on, that was it other than exceptional circumstances. Had I been able to Chuck it I undoubtedly would have in the first few months. However, after a year or so I settled in and on looking back, joining the Andrew was one of the best moves of my life. Hope is all works out for your lad, we're all different.
 
#18
I
It's a tough one to be sure. I had just turned 16 when I joined in the early 60's. I did not take to it well at all. But in those days when you signed on, that was it other than exceptional circumstances. Had I been able to Chuck it I undoubtedly would have in the first few months. However, after a year or so I settled in and on looking back, joining the Andrew was one of the best moves of my life. Hope is all works out for your lad, we're all different.
I know how you feel, but he is young. He probably will regret it and will feel a great sense of loss and 'what have I done' after the initial relief, so be prepared for the rollercoaster to continue! At least he is keeping the door open and has acquitted himself really well and is leaving with a good report from the TT. It is really good of you to share the downside of things, its very easy to overlook just how great the disconnect between civvy life and the forces. There is a strong feeling of loss of control of your life, which is hard to imagine. Really wish you and your son luck and all the best in the coming weeks.
 
#19
@allyballybee As you have seen from the posters above, and many lurkers, sympathise with both your and his current situation.*

How we advise and prepare our offsprings for leaving the nest and however we encourage whatever aspirations they have, and/or what we have for them, it all boils down to their 'happiness', even if our own should suffer not a little along the way.

I'll try to define that elusive state of 'happiness' for a youngster approaching adulthood by categorising it as the prospect of peace of mind and contentment (with life-long family contact) whilst endeavouring to at least consider maximising their potential: be it at work, play or leisure.

Discovering that potential sometimes takes longer than we'd hope: Of my own three (all parents with youngsters of their own now BTW) it was the case of others spotting what they were best at and each now have decent jobs using their inherent skills but polished later by further education. (Sometimes I blame myself for having been absent thus not knowing them as well as I could have during their early teenage years.)

If as seems likely he might PVR today I'd suggest that he tries to maintain contact with at least one of his contemporaries as it will inform him of how life continues during and after training and could be of value to him should he later consider re-applying for the RN.

Should he opt to PVR, how he settles back at home will be another matter needing your support but all others concerned should understand that he has not failed: On the contrary, he met the exacting standards to complete the arduous RALEIGH initial training phase and beyond. Then, like many others before him, he will have exercised his right to leave in accordance with the mutually agreed conditions of his service.

*Sorry for this overlong 'blether' but I hope it indicates that like many at RR, even this silly old b*****r who left in *93 is still interested & cares a little about today's RN.

Bob
 
#20
@24681012 He has already admitted he will probably feel pangs (so at least he's acknowledging that) when he hears about his classmates finishing training and getting their first drafts etc. but he still says he now knows its not for him and he's not willing to take the risk of continuing past 6 months and being unhappy and trapped.
 

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