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depression meds in military?
mari08 posted:
I am new in the Marines and have been having some depression, I was advised to take Prozac but an concerned that it will be viewed negatively by my unit. Without asking them directly I have not been able to find an list of meds that would be acceptable to treat what I hope is a short term issue. Pls advise, I dont want to jeopardize my military career.
kathycornflakes responded:
Hello- I am a spouce of an active duty Naval officer. I know for him that he cannot take anything- not even an advil for a headache unless it is prescribed by his flight surgeon. He flys planes and you cannot be on any meds while operating an aircraft. I am wondering who advised you to take Prozac? When you joined the marines, they should have given you some testing. Did you disclose that you were feeling depressed? I am concerned for you in that being in the service can be stressful for some and if you are depressed now and just starting your military career- things might escalate. I would recommend that you seek a counselor or therapist first. Maybe working your thoughts and feelings out with someone will help you and you won't need to go the medication route. If you feel you do, you need to go see your assigned unit Doctor. Your medical information needs to be correct in your service record and drug testing in the military is very frequent. (they test for everything- even prescribed meds). Take care of yourself and bless you for joining our strong brave Marines!
susiemargaret replied to kathycornflakes's response:
hello, K --

you might be interested to know that for civilian pilots at least, the FAA recently (april, 2010) changed its policy on the use of antidepressants. take a look at , esp my second post (third in thread) and its PS. of course, i know that the military has its own rules about medical requirements, but if antidepressants are a consideration for your husband, you might want to investigate the possibility of a recent change in policy.

-- susie margaret
what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
susiemargaret responded:
hello, M --

i've done a little quickie internet searching to find likely places that detail the medical requirements and restrictions for marines. surprisingly, i can't find a central place with this kind of information on any "official" military website, even in the recruitment materials. everything says, contact a recruiter.

the closest i could get in "official" materials was this Q&A in the frequently asked Qs part of the marines website --

Q -- i have health issues; can i still enlist?

A -- to enlist in the armed forces every applicant is administered a physical exam similar to a high school sports physical. any health concerns and conditions can be discussed with your local recruiter.

on forum-type websites that are not "official" military websites, the consensus seems to be that you have to be off antidepressants for a year before you can enlist and that even then, you may need to undergo case-by-case determination and obtain a waiver of some type.

on other non-"official" websites, there is much discussion of the fact that military personnel are receiving antidepressants while in the service -- presumably prescribed by military medical personnel -- including debates about whether this practice should be allowed. i haven't seen anything in particular connected to which antidepressants would be OK and which not. this suggests to me that the use of antidepressants is almost certainly not a basis for discharge, altho i am guessing that serious depression itself might be.

just because i could not find anything that speaks directly to your inquiry does not mean that the info is not out there; it just means that i can't find it. i hope, therefore, that some readers who have more direct experience with the military will offer whatever they know about this Q.

-- susie margaret
what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
Jayne4694 responded:
All I know is my daughter and her husband are both in the Navy and when my daughter signed up she was told she couldn't sign up or be accepted if she took any medication. She has asthma so she gave up her inhaler to be able to sign up. After 5 years in the Navy they now give her an inhaler to help her with all the running she does. She is an A03. Airline Ordance 3 class petty officer. Since getting her inhaler back she has been able to run marathons and now runs faster then most of the guys in her squadron.

As far as the antidepressents go. I was told that if she needed an antidepressent to stabalize her mood she could get it, but yet on her end of it She's told no psy. meds or you can take a medical discharge. Somethings just aren't worth the fight.

Good luck

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