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Old 11-10-2010, 05:21 PM
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Can a bipolar that takes his meds join the us military?>

My nephew I think is a bipolar I am positive he is and he admits that he is but doesn't want to go to the doc because if he is a bipolar he can not join the armed forces is that true?

Second question if he is a bi polar and takes meds he got from mexico does seroquel show up on the military drug test?

thanks he needs to do something with his life.
Old 11-10-2010, 05:27 PM
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A person I know just got sent back from the army for this exact reason, he disclosed it as he was getting processed initially.
Old 11-10-2010, 05:49 PM
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I shot off an email to a guy who does recruiting up by the gym where I work out. It's a marines recruiting office. He says there is no way anyone taking medication for bi-polar would be accepted into the military. Well ALMOST.

He says that people who are in demand with degrees that has a high demand. He said, for instance a person with fluent ability to speak Arabic or Farsi or would be a physican that could serve in a non combat reaserach positon MIGHT be considered.

He says that armed forces are responsible for the health of their soliders and they can be put anywhere and not all places all over the world would have access to treatment should the need arise.

I would also guess mental illnesses could be a drain on medical benefits as well.

This guy recruits for marines but I assume it would be the same for other branches.

Last edited by Markxxx; 11-10-2010 at 05:49 PM.
Old 11-10-2010, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
I shot off an email to a guy who does recruiting up by the gym where I work out. It's a marines recruiting office. He says there is no way anyone taking medication for bi-polar would be accepted into the military. Well ALMOST.

He says that people who are in demand with degrees that has a high demand. He said, for instance a person with fluent ability to speak Arabic or Farsi or would be a physican that could serve in a non combat reaserach positon MIGHT be considered.

He says that armed forces are responsible for the health of their soliders and they can be put anywhere and not all places all over the world would have access to treatment should the need arise.

I would also guess mental illnesses could be a drain on medical benefits as well.

This guy recruits for marines but I assume it would be the same for other branches.
does the military test for bipolar medicines say his mom got them for him through her insurance?

oh and thanks for the response so far.
Old 11-10-2010, 06:06 PM
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I'll shoot him another email but it's after five so he's likely gone. I'll let you know when he replies
Old 11-10-2010, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mildest Bill View Post
thanks he needs to do something with his life.
What would possibly make you think that putting an individual with a chronic mental health problem in an authoritarian, inflexible, bureaucratic organization often working under high stress and being depended upon by other people in life-or-death situations is any kind of a good idea? The military is a great place for some people to find order and discipline within a regimented and organized lifestyle. It is really not a good fit for someone with an inherent emotional instability or deep-seated psychological problems.

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Old 11-10-2010, 06:36 PM
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does the military test for bipolar medicines say his mom got them for him through her insurance?
If he were to join the military, starting at basic there are going to be sergeants up his ass every moment for a long time.

There's no way he's going to be able to keep a secret stash of prescription medications. And if he goes off them, he's going to have problems with his disease.

There's no way he can keep this under wraps.
Old 11-10-2010, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
What would possibly make you think that putting an individual with a chronic mental health problem in an authoritarian, inflexible, bureaucratic organization often working under high stress and being depended upon by other people in life-or-death situations is any kind of a good idea? The military is a great place for some people to find order and discipline within a regimented and organized lifestyle. It is really not a good fit for someone with an inherent emotional instability or deep-seated psychological problems.

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if he is working hard enough and follows other people's instructions rather than taking a lot of initiative, the "low" periods of bipolar might be less noticeable. Stress is good for concentration as well :-)
Old 11-10-2010, 07:07 PM
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Could he consider the merchant marines?
Old 11-10-2010, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mildest Bill View Post
Second question if he is a bi polar and takes meds he got from mexico does seroquel show up on the military drug test?
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Originally Posted by Mildest Bill View Post
does the military test for bipolar medicines say his mom got them for him through her insurance?
Did he get the meds from Mexico or through mom's insurance?

If he's not under a doctor's care, how is he getting medicine from insurance?

I think the 'something' your nephew needs to do is a lot more than join the military.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mildest Bill View Post
My nephew I think is a bipolar I am positive he is and he admits that he is but doesn't want to go to the doc because if he is a bipolar he can not join the armed forces is that true?

Second question if he is a bi polar and takes meds he got from mexico does seroquel show up on the military drug test?
He shouldn't even think about concealing a potentially serious medical condition in order to join up.


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thanks he needs to do something with his life.

It might be even harder if he tries to conceal his condition and busts out with a less than honorable discharge.
Old 11-10-2010, 09:42 PM
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Could he consider the merchant marines?
I'm not sure what the entrance requirements are to become an officer, but to be a seaman, he should not have any problem. There is a basic physical, (with a vision test for color for grades that can stand watch), but I could not see medication being an issue. (Whether someone with psych issues would really want to be cooped up on a ship with a bunch of other (undiagnosed) raving lunatics is a separate issue.)
Old 11-10-2010, 10:14 PM
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He shouldn't have a boring induction like everybody else has. I mean, it is depressing enough that somebody is leaving for war, then people go and wear flags and have boring marching music too.

So unless he is joining a really disfigured service (like the coast guard), he should have the recruiter dudes to put him in a cool looking suit and put a big like smile on his face. Then he should have them too arrange his hand like a gun so when people lean over and look he'll be saying "Gotcha Ya".
Old 11-11-2010, 12:15 AM
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what about depression/anexity meds
Old 11-11-2010, 12:32 AM
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My nephew I think is a bipolar I am positive he is and he admits that he is but doesn't want to go to the doc because if he is a bipolar he can not join the armed forces is that true?
Technically, no. You have to be "free and clear" mentally and physically in order to join the military. However, the recruiter, who will process your paperwork can push this issue in any direction he/she wants. Some care, some don't.

Quote:
Second question if he is a bi polar and takes meds he got from mexico does seroquel show up on the military drug test?
No, the drug tests that they check for are of two types: illicit drugs and illicit drugs + steroids. In order to test for Seroquel or any other type of medicine would involve much more detailed analysis. They only do a urinalysis.

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thanks he needs to do something with his life.
That's fine and dandy but he needs to sort the bipolar issue first. Being in the military is not a job its a way of life. A society that has existed as long as this country has. It has its parallels but its still way different. I know as I was in for eight years. If he is bipolar and taking Seroquel you really need to look at this: bipolar or schizophrenic? This is a serious red flag and I am wondering why Seroquel? Who diagnosed him? Did he just decide to take this drug on his own? I am not saying that a structured life may not help him but if he is dangerous to himself or others the military is not a way to go. He will have access to weaponry.

Any ways, the whole medical community is so fragmented that even if he were to see a doctor the chance of them knowing that he saw a particular doctor is so remote he should not worry about it. But, this "issue" needs to be resolved to determine what and why is causing his condition. That last thing you want is to know that your nephew shot someone because you thought he needed to do something.

This is a dangerous game and the although the risk may seem low the consequences are very high. Very high.
Old 11-11-2010, 10:52 AM
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OK I got a reply form the guy I know who recruits for the Marines.

He said, the Marines have a standard drug test that tests for 20 different types of drugs. Here's the thing, not everyone is tested for every drug. It's too expensive. A select few are tested for all 20.

Once in the marines, 10% of the unit is tested per month. Everyone must be tested at least once per year. Again they are given the standard marine test and a select few will be tested for all 20 but most will be tested for just some.

He states the unit commander can order a drug at any time he sees fit. Here's the kicker he can also order a drug test for ANY DRUG he sees fit. It can be prescription or not prescription or even things like spices and herbs. Evidently a bunch of marines are somehow getting high on things like this that are sold as essences. And while they couldn't be disiplined for drug usage for that, there are other ways, such as conduct not up to marine standards (or something like that)

He said, any attempt to hide a medical condition will be found out. The marines employ the best physicians who have years and years of experience in finding out hidden conditons. If anyone should slip by, and was diagonosed an investigation would be made to past medical history. And indication that the marine lied would result at best in a general discharge and a possible dishonorable discharge, neither which would afford any benefits to the discharged marine.

He says, as another poster said, due to the lack of privacy in the marines, any attempt to take medication and conceal that fact would be impossible.

I like the part at the end, he says, in typical recruiter fashion, "I do encourage all people to apply for positions in the armed forces of the United States, just be upfront and honest and let the recruiter decide whether or not the medical condition you have will allow you or disallow you from joining up."



[Note: The above refers to the US Marines, I don't know if it's the same for other forces]

Last edited by Markxxx; 11-11-2010 at 10:54 AM.
Old 11-11-2010, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Mildest Bill View Post
does the military test for bipolar medicines say his mom got them for him through her insurance?

oh and thanks for the response so far.
Based on information I got from one of the Dopers who used to be a recruiter, if he managed to get in with an undisclosed and known illness, there would be a sonic boom when he got found out and kicked out as fast as they could process the paperwork.
Old 11-11-2010, 01:43 PM
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Aren't there "personality tests" that new recruits would have to take? I imagine that might weed out his condition.
Old 11-12-2010, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by electronbee View Post
Technically, no. You have to be "free and clear" mentally and physically in order to join the military. However, the recruiter, who will process your paperwork can push this issue in any direction he/she wants. Some care, some don't.
Maybe he should just be upfront with the condition.


Quote:
That's fine and dandy but he needs to sort the bipolar issue first. Being in the military is not a job its a way of life. A society that has existed as long as this country has. It has its parallels but its still way different. I know as I was in for eight years. If he is bipolar and taking Seroquel you really need to look at this: bipolar or schizophrenic? This is a serious red flag and I am wondering why Seroquel? Who diagnosed him? Did he just decide to take this drug on his own? I am not saying that a structured life may not help him but if he is dangerous to himself or others the military is not a way to go. He will have access to weaponry.
Seroquel is one of the most popular drugs to treat bipolars today. It can treat sckizopherenics too but it is mainly used for bipolars(from my understanding)

Like I said I just want the kid to do something with his life. He wants to be a navy seal really bad and has the physical condition to get in. I think that is too much for him with the bipolar condition. But something like the coast guard I think would be better for him. He does like to fight though and very good at it.
Old 11-12-2010, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
OK I got a reply form the guy I know who recruits for the Marines.

He said, the Marines have a standard drug test that tests for 20 different types of drugs. Here's the thing, not everyone is tested for every drug. It's too expensive. A select few are tested for all 20.

Once in the marines, 10% of the unit is tested per month. Everyone must be tested at least once per year. Again they are given the standard marine test and a select few will be tested for all 20 but most will be tested for just some.

He states the unit commander can order a drug at any time he sees fit. Here's the kicker he can also order a drug test for ANY DRUG he sees fit. It can be prescription or not prescription or even things like spices and herbs. Evidently a bunch of marines are somehow getting high on things like this that are sold as essences. And while they couldn't be disiplined for drug usage for that, there are other ways, such as conduct not up to marine standards (or something like that)

He said, any attempt to hide a medical condition will be found out. The marines employ the best physicians who have years and years of experience in finding out hidden conditons. If anyone should slip by, and was diagonosed an investigation would be made to past medical history. And indication that the marine lied would result at best in a general discharge and a possible dishonorable discharge, neither which would afford any benefits to the discharged marine.

He says, as another poster said, due to the lack of privacy in the marines, any attempt to take medication and conceal that fact would be impossible.

I like the part at the end, he says, in typical recruiter fashion, "I do encourage all people to apply for positions in the armed forces of the United States, just be upfront and honest and let the recruiter decide whether or not the medical condition you have will allow you or disallow you from joining up."



[Note: The above refers to the US Marines, I don't know if it's the same for other forces]
thank you very much for you help. I will pass along this info. I think he should be upfront with the recruiter. Bipolars aren't crazy people when they take their meds.
Old 11-12-2010, 10:47 AM
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These sorts of medicines generally are hell to withdraw from. He won't be able to conceal them in basic, and he won't be able to take them in secret. Either he'll have to withdraw from the drug before going into basic, or he'll have them confiscated when he arrives. When he goes into withdrawal (and he WILL), then he'll be taken to the doctor, who will figure it out fairly quickly.

Even if medicated, a person with bipolar disease is just not as mentally stable as someone who doesn't have that disease. And the armed forces need the fittest people to serve.

Back when my husband was in the Air Force, I couldn't always get the medicines I needed from the base pharmacy, either because the base commander didn't think that they were worth carrying or because of supply problems. Someone with bipolar disease can't count on getting his medicine on time, every time, which is an excellent reason why he shouldn't be in the service.
Old 11-12-2010, 12:08 PM
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These sorts of medicines generally are hell to withdraw from. He won't be able to conceal them in basic, and he won't be able to take them in secret. Either he'll have to withdraw from the drug before going into basic, or he'll have them confiscated when he arrives. When he goes into withdrawal (and he WILL), then he'll be taken to the doctor, who will figure it out fairly quickly.

Even if medicated, a person with bipolar disease is just not as mentally stable as someone who doesn't have that disease. And the armed forces need the fittest people to serve.

Back when my husband was in the Air Force, I couldn't always get the medicines I needed from the base pharmacy, either because the base commander didn't think that they were worth carrying or because of supply problems. Someone with bipolar disease can't count on getting his medicine on time, every time, which is an excellent reason why he shouldn't be in the service.
Are you a bi bolar? I really see your point if he can't get his medicine that would be bad if he was abroud somewhere that could compromise him and his fellow soldier that depend on him. I just hate when someone can't do what he really wants because of a condition beyond his control(like bipolar) but the welfare of his fellow soldiers that depend on him is totally important.
Old 11-12-2010, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by electronbee View Post
If he is bipolar and taking Seroquel you really need to look at this: bipolar or schizophrenic? This is a serious red flag and I am wondering why Seroquel? Who diagnosed him? Did he just decide to take this drug on his own?.
Seroquel is used as treatment for both Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Cite. It has been approved by the FDA for this purpose. Another cite.

Sorry, it just rankles my pedantic self when someone sees the word "antipsychotic" and automatically thinks, "schizophrenia." I mean, I know the association's there, but if you can google it and see "antipsychotic," you can scroll down a little bit.

Ahem. Sorry. Pet peeve having been addressed, let's go forward.

Mildest Bill, you say he hasn't been to a doctor to be diagnosed bipolar; does he even have a prescription for that medication? If he doesn't, why on earth is he taking it? If he does, what condition was he diagnosed with that they gave him Seroquel?

Assuming what you've said is accurate, and he hasn't been to a doctor at all. .. Seroquel can be abused; if he has it without a prescription, I can't imagine he'd look good if he got caught with it. And, more importantly, if he doesn't have a prescription, what in the heck is he doing taking brain candy? Seroquel isn't an instant, risk-free happy pill; it can have some pretty heavy-duty side effects. Hell; it could be making him worse. Playing merry havok with brain chemistry is complicated enough when the professionals do it...

In other words, forget the military for right now. Get the kid to an actual doctor. And, really, that's the mild version; my full answer would require an old-school Pit-style list of profane admonitions .
Old 11-12-2010, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Angel of the Lord View Post
Seroquel is used as treatment for both Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Cite. It has been approved by the FDA for this purpose. Another cite.

Sorry, it just rankles my pedantic self when someone sees the word "antipsychotic" and automatically thinks, "schizophrenia." I mean, I know the association's there, but if you can google it and see "antipsychotic," you can scroll down a little bit.

Ahem. Sorry. Pet peeve having been addressed, let's go forward.

Mildest Bill, you say he hasn't been to a doctor to be diagnosed bipolar; does he even have a prescription for that medication? If he doesn't, why on earth is he taking it? If he does, what condition was he diagnosed with that they gave him Seroquel?

Assuming what you've said is accurate, and he hasn't been to a doctor at all. .. Seroquel can be abused; if he has it without a prescription, I can't imagine he'd look good if he got caught with it. And, more importantly, if he doesn't have a prescription, what in the heck is he doing taking brain candy? Seroquel isn't an instant, risk-free happy pill; it can have some pretty heavy-duty side effects. Hell; it could be making him worse. Playing merry havok with brain chemistry is complicated enough when the professionals do it...

In other words, forget the military for right now. Get the kid to an actual doctor. And, really, that's the mild version; my full answer would require an old-school Pit-style list of profane admonitions .
LOL and probably I would deserve those admonitions. He is a good kid but after knowing a bipolar for many years(my father and his sister heck even me to a point but I just get the depressions) I am almost 90% sure he is. He fits all the symptoms. The high sex drive, self medicating with drugs and alcohol, manic thoughts, need for little sleep, etc. He fits them all. Plus he pretty much wore out his welcome with all the family so he was fixing to be homeless so I got him a place to live only after he started the meds my sister gave him.

I know he should go to doctor but he keeps telling me he wants to go in the seal program or the navy in general so he can't take it. I thought it would be better for him to take some his mom had then to be as whacky as he was. Its funny when they take them they like wake to reality and it freaks them out to seeing what a mess of their life they made.

With all the other drugs he tried I thought this one would be the best for him. But he really needs to see a professional instead of just someone like me with alot of laymans experience in it I agree.
Old 11-12-2010, 06:04 PM
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No. The last thing a bipolar person can handle is a combination of being yelled at by a drill sergeant and access to firearms. Regardless if it's medicated or not.

I'm being curt but way more polite than I would be if someone asked me this in real life. Because your actual question is something like, "Can a kid who isn't quite sane be trusted with the lives of his fellow troops and random civilians when provided with heavy weaponry?" And the answer, again, is NO.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 11-12-2010 at 06:06 PM.
Old 11-12-2010, 06:09 PM
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Weird. I was literally just looking up Seroquel for class...

According to my drug book (2010 Nursing Spectrum Drug Handbook), Seroquel may show up on a drug test if they're including a tricyclic antidepressant screen. While it's not itself a tricyclic antidepressant,
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Interactions
Drug-diagnostic Tests
Urine tricyclic antidepressant assay: false-positive screen
Now, I have no idea if the various branches of the military screen for tricyclic antidepressants, but they're sometimes included in multi-panel urine screens ("pee tests"), so it's entirely possible and noninvasive. He's unlikely to know they're looking for it until the test comes back (false) positive for tricyclic antidepressants and he's got to explain himself.
Old 11-12-2010, 06:20 PM
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I know he should go to doctor but he keeps telling me he wants to go in the seal program or the navy in general so he can't take it.
You keep reiterating his desire to be in the SEAL Teams based upon his aggressiveness and physical conditioning, but realize that the selection process for SEAL, DEVGRU, and SWCC involved a large amount of psychological stress testing. The athleticism and physical endurance is important (although the entry standards for BUD/S are by no means world class) but the main purpose of INDOC is to place the candidate under extremes of psychological stress and stamina under a team environment to wash out anyone who can't endure the near-abuse and constant stress without cracking. Other SpecFor selection courses, like the vaunted "Q" course for the Army's 1 SOFD-D, have similar objectives. This is highly stressful for the most emotionally balanced person; it would be a disaster for an unmedicated bipolar sufferer. This just isn't a realistic goal for 99.9% of the population, much less for someone with a significant mental illness.

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Old 11-12-2010, 06:59 PM
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Listen I agree with all ya'll about he is probably not the best canidate for a SEAL position. For some reason he wants to be one. Why I have no idea I hate it when people yell at me. But I never want to squash someones dream. It seems like if he took his medicine and passed all the stress tests then I don't thing being bipolar should keep him out. I mean if we supply fighter pilots with billion dollar jets we could provide a pill to somone willing to kill or die for this country in an intense program like that. Here is a list of famous people that are or rumored to be bi polar I think the list will surprise you.


http://famousbipolarpeople.com/index.html
Old 11-12-2010, 07:03 PM
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Okay, so say he makes it through the SEAL training program. And he's sent on a mission somewhere far, far away from a pharmacy for weeks on end. And then he's taken prisoner by the enemy. And his meds run out. Do you really think that's going to turn out well for him?
Old 11-12-2010, 07:28 PM
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Okay, so say he makes it through the SEAL training program. And he's sent on a mission somewhere far, far away from a pharmacy for weeks on end. And then he's taken prisoner by the enemy. And his meds run out. Do you really think that's going to turn out well for him?
I don't think it will matter then he's already screwed. Those middle easterners cut your head off when you are prisoner of theirs bipolar will be the least of his problems then.
Old 11-12-2010, 07:37 PM
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I don't think it will matter then he's already screwed. Those middle easterners cut your head off when you are prisoner of theirs bipolar will be the least of his problems then.
OK, so take out the "taken prisoner" part. What happens when he's deployed and needs more meds? You can't just ship those over in a care package; they check those things. Sooner or later, probably just when he needs them most, his medication will run out. Even if it was all above board and the navy let him in knowing he has bipolar and allows him to take his meds, supply lines get cut off. Shipments are delayed, or lost. There's simply no way, in a combat situation, to make sure that he always has the medication he needs to function. And that's why they don't allow people with chronic illnesses requiring lifelong treatment into active service. It's not a personal attack against him, or even against mental illness. I'd be shocked if an insulin dependent diabetic was allowed in, for exactly the same reasons.
Old 11-12-2010, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mildest Bill View Post
My nephew I think is a bipolar I am positive he is and he admits that he is but doesn't want to go to the doc because if he is a bipolar he can not join the armed forces is that true?

Second question if he is a bi polar and takes meds he got from mexico does seroquel show up on the military drug test?

thanks he needs to do something with his life.
Aren't you a little early this year?
Old 11-13-2010, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mildest Bill View Post
Listen I agree with all ya'll about he is probably not the best canidate for a SEAL position. For some reason he wants to be one. Why I have no idea I hate it when people yell at me. But I never want to squash someones dream. It seems like if he took his medicine and passed all the stress tests then I don't thing being bipolar should keep him out. I mean if we supply fighter pilots with billion dollar jets we could provide a pill to somone willing to kill or die for this country in an intense program like that. Here is a list of famous people that are or rumored to be bi polar I think the list will surprise you.


http://famousbipolarpeople.com/index.html
Did you look at the list? See all those occupations that ARE NOT military or indicative of the need to be responsible for another person's life? They are nearly all artistic or athletic in some way - occupations that allow people to go off the deep end occasionally, or sometimes a lot, and still earn an income without endangering the lives of others. And it's a rumored list.

I've known a couple of SEALs in my time, and dated a sharpshooter and a paratrooper. Sound mind and body required. Special Ops troops get dropped in the middle of NOWHERE for weeks and months at a time. There's no Walgreens, there's no UPS guy. The men I've known have stories about sleep deprivation and hallucinations from the work they were doing, there's no place for someone who has the potential to become unstable, because the nature of the work makes the normal brains unstable for a time.

It's time to nip this guy's dream in the bud. He's never getting in. Trying to help him is worse than shady.

I come from a family with a lot of military personnel in it, besides the friends and past lovers I've had who are/were military. I don't take this kind of stuff lightly. People who have done Special Ops work come home scarred, mentally and physically. I can't imagine what might have happened to any of them if they had someone in the field with them who went "off their meds". It's unfathomable to me, and unconscionable that anyone would even entertain the idea.
Old 11-13-2010, 02:17 AM
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Bipolar person stepping in to say that FOR GOD'S SAKES YOU DO NOT WANT PEOPLE LIKE ME backing you up in military situations when we're off our meds. Things like "how can I kill myself" go through our heads. Things like "what does it matter who lives and who dies? it's all hopeless"... AND WORSE. DO NOT encourage a bipolar person to enter a job that requires them to be responsible for their own and other people's lives under extreme pressure. That's TORTURE and has no good outcome whatsoever. I'm on good medication now but my god... when I wasn't... well shit there are people on this very board who can recall some of my collapses. It's NOT PRETTY and it should NOT mean someone's LIFE!
Old 11-13-2010, 02:27 AM
Creature of the Night
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mildest Bill View Post
Are you a bi bolar? I really see your point if he can't get his medicine that would be bad if he was abroud somewhere that could compromise him and his fellow soldier that depend on him. I just hate when someone can't do what he really wants because of a condition beyond his control(like bipolar) but the welfare of his fellow soldiers that depend on him is totally important.
I have been diagnosed with clinical depression/PTSD, and I've taken a few of the antidepressants on the market. If he can't get his medication, that's not just "bad", it's disastrous, for him and the people around him.

Look, when I was younger, I wanted to be a pilot. I had excellent reflexes, and I think I could have been a good pilot. However, I'm extremely nearsighted. Guess what? Military pilots (and I couldn't afford private flying lessons) must have pretty decent uncorrected vision. So I didn't qualify.

The military doesn't really care about the personal problems of its members. It requires a certain fitness, both physical and mental, of all its members. Your nephew is not mentally fit. No amount of wanting or medication is going to make him fit.

I'm quite worried about him, because he DOES need to be under a doctor's care, and he needs therapy, not just drugs. He needs to learn how to cope with his disease, how to tell if he's getting worse, and he also needs to be monitored, because these drugs DO have some serious side effects.

Even if he didn't have bipolar disease, his aggressiveness is not necessarily a good thing for a SEAL. Military members MUST be able to restrain themselves, they can't just run amok.
Old 11-13-2010, 03:08 AM
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I wish I'd've known all this when the military recruiters wouldn't leave me alone. I've taken an antidepressant for at least 17 years of my life.
Old 11-13-2010, 03:31 AM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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If it's any consolation, even if you'd told one of them about your medications, the next 20 wouldn't have known.
Old 11-14-2010, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mildest Bill View Post
He does like to fight though and very good at it.
Bolding mine.

In my opinion, the above paired with the fair certainty of Bipolar disorder (your nephew needs to go to a doctor. Self-medicating is dangerous, as is self-diagnosis) creates one of the LAST combinations of traits we need in the Armed Forces. Liking to fight is a very different animal than fighting because it is sometimes necessary. No Soldier, Marine, Airman, or Seaman I have ever known ENJOYED the fact that it was at times required of them to hurt others, or take a life. These are last resort - in defense of your life or others' - occurrences.
Old 11-14-2010, 03:54 PM
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Missed edit:
Should he have the chance to find out? Of course, and that goes for any profession or goal he has. There is no 'magic pill', though. All illnesses and conditions take a fair amount of understanding and effort to keep under control. No drug will 'fix' him, should he turn out to have Bipolar disorder, he'll have it for the rest of his life, and it takes a great deal of personal responsibility to maintain control of yourself, with or without the assistance of drugs.
Old 11-14-2010, 08:37 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Middle.
Posts: 21,387
His greatest challenge is himself right now. The last thing he needs is a brand new enviroment, a room filled with testosterone and covering lies and deceit. Bipolars tend to make themselves known pretty quick in a crowd. Wooooo Woooo Look at Meeeee! Hey Why Isn't Everyone Looking AT MEEEEE! Woooooooo! You're all ASSHOLES and EVERY HATES ME!!!!1111!!!

If he's burned through all these friendships and relationships at this stage of his life, the military isn't some bandaid to fix his personal life. It will probably send him deeper into his own personal volcano-tornado. And then he'll get a dishonorable discharge and IT WON'T BE HIS FAULT. EVER. ever.

He needs to get head straight. Getting his RX from someone other than a DR. is no way to get his life on the right path.
Old 11-16-2010, 08:51 PM
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Posts: 949
Another person with Bipolar checking in. There is no freaking way in hell I would ever consider joining the military. Nor would I ever recommend it for someone else who even thinks they may have Bipolar.

Bipolar highs include such wonderful things as extreme irritability and delusions of grandeur. The latter isn't all "I think I'm God" or “Hey I can fly” delusions. More like "I'm hot shit, I'm right, you're wrong, do as I say NOW damnit, who the hell are you to tell me what to do" sorts of delusions. I'm a bitch on wheels. NOT a good mental place to be in when you're having orders barked at you 24/7 or have to come together with your squad in a combat situation and the lives of your squad members are in jeopardy.

The lows can be even worse than the highs. Depressed doesn’t even begin to describe it. Suicidal ideation becomes a favorite pastime. I become totally 100% convinced that my family - scratch that - the entire world, would be much better off without me. It’s only through talking things through with my support system that I am able to snap out of it enough to realize that maybe suicide isn’t the best option after all. Imagine not only taking away all forms of a support system and adding in insane levels of stress (pun totally intended) plus easy instant access to a gun and you’re just asking for trouble.

In addition to being horribly depressed emotionally lows also can cause people to have very little energy. I have literally spent all day in bed on many occasions, way too exhausted to even consider getting up. Try having one of those days while in the military – not going to work well.

Your nephew desperately needs to go see a doctor NOW to get his life in order. And he needs to do this before placing himself in situations that make even relatively sane people doubt their sanity.

Last edited by DoperChic; 11-16-2010 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Spaced out the paragraphs a bit more.
Old 11-17-2010, 07:51 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 187
I've seen quite a few mental health discharges throughout my Navy career. If he gamed the system by not having a paper trail diagnosing his condition and got into the service he'll be discovered soon enough. Most likely in boot camp or A-school (initial job training). Typically the stress sets in and the warning signs start flashing. Hyperness, sleepiness, problems with authority, general oddness or full-blown madness. (In boot camp I watched a guy break ranks and scurry up a ten foot tree like a monkey, screaming he was a Navy SEAL and the super kid from Akron, Ohio.)

The signs can be very small but they're usually noticed quickly by the petty officers. When you've been in long enough you know when something doesn't fit. The petty officer probably has no idea and doesn't care about what's wrong, but knows that something is wrong. Because he doesn't want to taint the rest of the Sailors he'll send the kid to medical and that's that. The docs will catch on quick, the kid goes packing with another failure and the Navy sails on.

As far as special warfare programs go, it's a pipe dream. If he was somehow in the Navy while properly medicated and diagnosed he would be disqualified during the dive physical. You simply cannot have those problems and go to BUDs. There's no waivers for that. If he was taking medication without a prescription he would be sent to captain's mast as soon as they found out. And they will. There's no such thing as privacy for a junior Sailor. After mast he would be restricted, in treatment, and picking up trash on base until administratively discharged for making false statements on his enlistment or dive physical paperwork (most likely). No muss, no fuss, just bye-bye.
Old 11-17-2010, 01:22 PM
Creature of the Night
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Something else has occured to me...if he does enlist, then when he's discovered to be bipolar, and to have been covering it up, I'm pretty sure that he'd get a dishonorable discharge. They WILL discharge him, and having a dishonorable discharge is not a good thing.
Old 11-19-2010, 02:11 PM
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Location: Connecticut, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
Something else has occured to me...if he does enlist, then when he's discovered to be bipolar, and to have been covering it up, I'm pretty sure that he'd get a dishonorable discharge. They WILL discharge him, and having a dishonorable discharge is not a good thing.
Dishonorable discharges are virtually equivalent to a felony criminal conviction. They can only be given after conviction at a general court-martial for serious offenses (e.g., desertion, sexual assault, murder, etc.).

This offense would almost certainly not rise to that level, or even to the level of a Bad Conduct Discharge (the next most severe discharge).

However, this offense could easily result in an Other-than-Honorable discharge, or General discharge (in reverse order of severity).
Old 11-19-2010, 02:51 PM
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Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 13,233
I was actually fingering a handgun when I decided to walk to the recruiter's office instead of messing up mom's living room with my brains.

With all due respect to Stranger and Opal, the most balanced and best years of my life were the ones I spent as a soldier. I went through the linguist program, held a top secret clearance and was in charge of 3 other solders and several hundred $ worth of military intelligence gear. The structured life and pressure to perform actually eased my depressive symptoms because I was not relying in internal motivation. The self-loathing that was eating me up before made me that much more willing to give myself over to the control of others for a while. I did as I was told and I did my best. Recognition and success snowballed and made it a lot easier to work through depression. Mania manifested itself as enthusiasm, creativity and hard work. I was figuring out better ways to accomplish missions and inspiring my guys to excel.

Before and since those days I've had plenty of "Why go on, what does it matter?" moments. The thing is, in the army those two questions always had answers. As for how I got the clearance? That was easy--I told the truth about my past (apart from being suicidal) when I was being investigated, and I knew what the psych profilers wanted to hear.

Last edited by The Great Sun Jester; 11-19-2010 at 02:53 PM.
Old 02-22-2015, 12:19 AM
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I apologize if this has already been addressed, but my situation is a little different. I'm an attorney and want to join the Navy JAG. As part of the process of getting my law license I had to undergo a mental health evaluation even though I freely admitted that I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I take a very low dose of oxycarbazapene and see a doctor once a year. Primarily the doctor visit is to make sure that I'm not having side effects. Over time, the doctor has actually lowered the dosage. I guess I'm wondering is, with these qualifiers, am I still considered unfit to serve as a lawyer in the Navy? Thank you. For the record I wouldn't "hide" any of it. Also, if the doctor were to reverse his opinion and say that a bipolar diagnosis might have been premature would that have an effect?
Old 02-22-2015, 02:24 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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[QUOTE=ChrisBooth12;13128979]what about depression/anexity melction?

Fuck, you can't even become a commercial airline pilot if you are prescribed a daily dose of Zoloft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel of the Lord View Post
Seroquel can be abused
I've been prescribed seroquel before for insomnia and I cannot fathom why this drug would be a drug of abuse. In addition to being ineffective for my insomnia, the unwanted side effects were myriad and traumatic (if I may be just a hair hyperbolic). Even on my small dose for insomnia (dosages of BPD and schizophrenia are much higher), the seroquel had turned me into a insatiable pig with the brain function of a stoned-for-the-first-time 83 year old grandma, with the energy levels that would make me envy that stoned gramms.
Old 02-22-2015, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBooth12 View Post
what about depression/anexity melction?
Fuck, you can't even become a commercial airline pilot if you are prescribed a daily dose of Zoloft.
Zoloft would also disqualify you as a private pilot as well. Last I heard there was talk of a pilot program using Prozac, as a test, for non-commercial pilots, but I have no idea if that went forward or not.

Look, I get that it's frustrating that someone can't do something they badly want to do because of a condition that is in way their fault, but sometimes life is very unfair like that. Sometimes you can't fix the problem.
Old 02-22-2015, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attorney View Post
I apologize if this has already been addressed, but my situation is a little different. I'm an attorney and want to join the Navy JAG. As part of the process of getting my law license I had to undergo a mental health evaluation even though I freely admitted that I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I take a very low dose of oxycarbazapene and see a doctor once a year. Primarily the doctor visit is to make sure that I'm not having side effects. Over time, the doctor has actually lowered the dosage. I guess I'm wondering is, with these qualifiers, am I still considered unfit to serve as a lawyer in the Navy? Thank you. For the record I wouldn't "hide" any of it. Also, if the doctor were to reverse his opinion and say that a bipolar diagnosis might have been premature would that have an effect?
For a definitive answer, you'd want to ask someone in Navy recruiting about medical waivers.
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