JoinCan You Join The Military If You Have Adhd

Can You Join The Military If You Have Adhd

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Skin And Cellular Tissues

How I got into the Army with an ADHD waiver

The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:

a. Acne, severe or when extensive involvement of the neck, shoulders, chest, or back would be aggravated by or interfere with the wearing of military equipment, and would not be amenable to treatment. Patients under treatment with isotretinoin are medically unacceptable until eight weeks after completion of course of therapy.

b. Atopic dermatitis or eczema, with active or residual lesions in characteristic areas , or documented history thereof after the age of 8.

c. Contact dermatitis, especially involving rubber or other materials used in any type of required protective equipment.

d. Cysts.

Cysts, other than pilonidal, of such a size or location as to interfere with the normal wearing of military equipment.

Pilonidal cysts, if evidenced by the presence of a tumor mass or a discharging sinus. History of pilonidal cystectomy within six months before examination is disqualifying.

e. Dermatitis factitia.

f. Bullous dermatoses, such as Dermatitis Herpetiformis, pemphigus and epidermolysis bullosa.

g. Chronic Lymphedema.

h. Fungus infections, systemic or superficial types, if extensive and not amenable to treatment.

i. Furunculosis, extensive recurrent or chronic.

j. Hyperhidrosis of hands or feet, chronic or severe.

k. Ichthyosis, or other congenital or acquired anomalies of the skin such as nevi or vascular tumors that interfere with function or are exposed to constant irritation.

m. Leprosy, any type.

Is It Worth Pursuing A Military Career If I Have Adhd

It is easy for applicants with ADHD who want to serve in the military to feel discouraged by these guidelines. Its important to remember, though, that recruiters do take an interest in helping applicants, especially those who advocate for themselves.

Recruiters want to, and will, work with applicants to determine their best fit in a specific branch. Recruiters can spend hours interviewing and taking questions from a single applicant. Many engage in non-binding dialogue to gauge an applicants eligibility before asking them commit to any processes or formally submit documentation.

Some recruiters, for example, are known to have applicants fill out a slightly modified version of the medical pre-screening report one that will stay between the recruiter and candidate prior to filling out the official version of the report. The recruiter may explain to an applicant that reviewing the modified questionnaire lets them to gauge whether a candidates medical history requires more documentation, and allows applicants to decide if they have the time and willingness to proceed should any red flags appear.

Hopeful service members must conduct their own research prior to joining, which means speaking to a doctor about the plan for and ramifications of getting off medication, and finding a branch and career that accommodates and accentuates strengths while minimizing weaknesses.

Dont ever stop fighting to get in if thats what you want to do, he said.

Adhd Medication Rules Are Unreasonable

The military should relax its enlistment standards, but much more needs to be done beyond that, including reforming overly restrictive policies regarding ADHD medication. While few cases are known of people with ADHD who are able to take medication while serving, for the most part, an applicant with ADHD is not able to take medication immediately prior to enlisting and while on active duty.

Realistically, and perhaps in alignment with the militarys reasoning if a person with ADHD cannot function well and be productive without medication, then they are probably not a good fit for the military. You dont want to be in a combat environment, for example, and run out of medication.

But an individual with ADHD who is being treated with medication is not necessarily too ADHD to be an effective soldier. Again, it all depends on the individual. A good argument can be made that taking the appropriate medication will make a soldier who is already capable into one who is even more capable.

The main benefits of drug therapy for adults with ADHD are significant improvements in attention, concentration, and mental alertness, along with a significant decrease in physical restlessness and impulsivity. Common results from taking the proper ADHD medication are significant increases in efficiency and productivity.

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More Than Two Thirds Of American Youth Arent Good Enough For The Military Says The Military

The military wont accept people prescribed ADHD medicationsbut that doesnt mean soldiers arent using Adderall

With the wars that America has fought over the past 13 years largely wound down, the military is trimming its budget and slimming its ranks to levels not seen since before World War II. And while not so long ago standards for recruits were relaxed to grow America’s fighting forces, now they’re being tightened. According to a new estimate from the Pentagon, not even a third of Americans between the ages of 17 and 34 could qualify to join up, reports the Wall Street Journal. On top of that, even more potential recruits are ineligible to join the military, given tightening rules around dress and decorum.

Some of the reason that the military rejects potential recruitsobesity, illegal drug usereflect concerns about combat readiness. But the military also rejects recruits who have used Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder medication within the past year. Whether this restriction makes scientific sense or whether it’s a case of unwarranted exclusion isn’t so clear. It does, however, belie the military’s mixed history with the medications.

ADDitude Magazine, a magazine for those with ADD/ADHD, makes the case for service:

But from the Pentagon’s perspective, being dependent on medication is risky: restrictions also apply to diabetics who need regular insulin, for example.

The History Of Adhd And The Military

Can You Join The Army With ADHD or ASTHMA?

In the United States Air Force, there is a system in which the organization deals with preexisting conditions in ones personal, medical or criminal history. This system is somewhat joked about within the ranks by the term there is a waiver for that.

The waiver process in the United States Air Force is quite simple in logic but lengthy and difficult in actual practice.

Essentially, you begin by first identifying what factors about your application package are not automatically accepted by the organization.

After the identification of the factor, the recruiter must then decide whether or not this condition is actually waiverable.

After an issue has been determined as waiverable, the waiver process begins at the lowest level and goes all the way up to the deciding official that is a subject matter expert of that specific condition.

Medical waivers go to the medical subject matter experts, while criminal deficiencies may go to an investigative authority.

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Alternatively, they can be settled at the commander level of the recruiting office the member is going through.

In previous years, the Armed Forces considered ADHD as an automatically disqualifying factor meaning it would never make it to the waiver process.

As the Armed Forces began having issues in retaining men and women within its ranks, it began looking at some of the disqualifying factors in hopes to dispel some and in turn open the door for more applicants.

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College Graduates With Adhd

For traditional college graduates who did not require or use medication or academic accommodations at any point in college, this mental health evaluation is not necessary. The applicant must provide childhood medical records documenting the diagnosis and any academic interventions, as well as college transcripts and a letter from their college or university stating that they were never evaluated or provided with academic accommodations. Finally, a member statement saying the applicant did not use or require ADHD medication at any point in college is required.

For college graduates that used either ADHD medication or academic accommodations at any point, a neuropsychological evaluation is required. This evaluation includes verbal and visual memory testing, executive function testing, ADHD self-report measures, intelligence testing, personality testing, and alcohol and depression screenings in addition to all the standard elements of a mental health evaluation.

A Note On Medications

One common misconception about medications in the military is not that you are on a specific medicine but since the military is considered a profession of arms and there are deployments, the main issue is whether or not you can get this medication in a deployed location and if you are not able to get your medication, can this affect your overall health in a negative manner.

The Air Force has its members best interest at heart when it makes its decisions about medical conditions.

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The Air Force and many other branches of the military make changes like the weather. Do not look at their current policy as an end all be all. Do your research and look out for changes in policy for the branch you wish to join. As politics change, the need for personnel in the military change. Standards are becoming more relaxed and the Armed Forces are writing more waivers for those that would like to serve in the ranks.

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Scientific Opinions On Adhd

The rules around ADHD individuals in the military also run counter to a number of known, scientifically backed trends around the disorder. Dr. Peter Jaksa, writing for ADDitude Magazine, says that those with ADHD actually tend to function quite well in the military because it is a heavily structured environment.

Indeed, he continues, ADHD actually allows individuals to hyperfocus when something is important or interesting. This is true whether the individual has taken medication like Adderall or not.

Disqualifying Mental Health Conditions

ADHD in the Military

According to the Department of Defense, you’re disqualified from serving in the U.S. military if you have a current diagnosis or a history of most mental disorders. The presence of any disorder with psychotic features, such as schizophrenia or a delusional disorder, does not allow one to serve.

You’re also disqualified if you have bipolar disorder or affective psychoses. For depressive disorders , disqualification from the service occurs if a person had outpatient care that lasted for more than 12 months or any inpatient care. A person with a depressive disorder must be stable, without treatment or symptoms for a continuous 36 months, to be eligible to enlist.

For anxiety disorders , a person cannot enter the armed services if they needed any inpatient care, or outpatient care for more than 12 months cumulatively. They must not have needed any treatment for their anxiety disorder in the past 36 months. Other disqualifying mental health conditions include:

Disturbances of conduct, impulse control disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or other personality or behavior disorders characterized by frequent encounters with law enforcement agencies, and antisocial attitudes or behavior also warrant disqualification from service. Likewise, a person may be disqualified from enlisting if their personality, conduct, or behavior disorder is believed to be a serious interference in adjusting to the military.

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Do Stds Disqualify You From The Military

Most STDs wont disqualify you from joining the military. HSV1 and HSV2 will not keep you from joining and the only STD that may is HIV. Its always best to contact a military recruiter before you decide to join the military. Recruiters have dealt with these issues before and can advise you on your specific condition.

Abdominal Organs And Gastrointestinal System

The following conditions may disqualify you from military service:

a. Esophagus. Ulceration, varices, fistula, achalasia, or other dysmotility disorders chronic or recurrent esophagitis if confirmed by appropriate X-ray or endoscopic examination.

b. Stomach and duodenum.

Gastritis. Chronic hypertrophic or severe.

Active ulcer of the stomach or duodenum confirmed by X-ray or endoscopy.

Congenital abnormalities of the stomach or duodenum causing symptoms or requiring surgical treatment, except a history of surgical correction of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis of infancy.

c. Small and large intestine.

Inflammatory bowel disease. Regional enteritis, ulcerative colitis, ulcerative proctitis.

Duodenal diverticula with symptoms or sequelae .

Intestinal malabsorption syndromes, including postsurgical and idiopathic.

Congenital. Condition, to include Meckel’s diverticulum or functional abnormalities, persisting or symptomatic within the past two years.

d. Gastrointestinal bleeding. History of, unless the cause has been corrected, and is not otherwise disqualifying.

e. Hepato-pancreatic-biliary tract.

Cirrhosis, hepatic cysts and abscess, and sequelae of chronic liver disease.

Cholecystitis, acute or chronic, with or without cholelithiasis, and other disorders of the gallbladder including post-cholecystectomy syndrome, and biliary system.

Note. Cholecystectomy is not disqualifying 60 days postsurgery , providing there are no disqualifying residuals from treatment.

f. Anorectal.

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Why The Military Softened Medical Standards

There are several reasons why the military eased the standards for recruits with ADHD or ADD. One of the major considerations was the statistic showing that about 30% of children diagnosed with ADHD will outgrow it by adulthood. However, the symptoms can become nervous tension or anxiety in an adult. This is the reason why military recruits with ADHD are handled on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, the military has found that many adults have ADHD, even without a diagnosis, and have been able to find ways to manage the illness.

Army Adhd Policy For 2019

Can You Join the Military with ADHD?

Things were a little bit different when we spoke to an Army recruiter. Sergeant Hewitt, who is a recruiter for the Army stationed in Atlanta, Georgia, said that the Armys policy is slightly more lenient than other branches of the military.

Heres what he had to say:

If you are currently taking ADD/ADHD prescriptions, then you are not deployable. If you took prescriptions in the past, then you must have a waiver from the doctor stating that you no longer show symptoms in the past 7 years.

If the service member thinks they have ADHD, the service member goes to a doctor on base to see if they are ineligible. The bottom line is you cannot deploy if you are taking ADD/ ADHD medication. Anytime you get disability while serving in the Army, the VA compensates you a percentage.

He also referred me to a document that states, in no uncertain terms, that you cannot take any ADD/ADHD or other psychiatric medications while serving in the Army unless a waiver is granted.

Those medications include, but are not limited to:

  • Benzodiazepines: Includes medications like Ativan, Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin.
  • Class II Stimulants: Includes medications like Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Dexedrine, Focalin XR, or Vyvanse.

Check out the full list of prohibited medications here.

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Submit Your Application 5interview

The next step is an interview with a military career counsellor it is your official job interview and a very important step. The application process is very competitive and you will be asked questions about your work history, knowledge of the Canadian Forces, and understanding of the job you selected.

Joining the Canadian Armed Forces

Submit Your Application 1submit Your Application

You will then need to present original copies of your birth certificate, government issued photo ID, transcripts from your highest level of education, proof of trade qualifications and professional licenses, and any additional forms required for the trade or job you selected. All overseas education must be presented with a Canadian equivalency from Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada

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Understanding The Medical Waiver Possibilities

As a military recruit with ADHD, its important to understand the waiver possibilities. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard all grand waivers to those not meeting the basic eligibility criteria for admittance.

A waiver may be granted based on your specific circumstances and may vary from one branch to another. Its very difficult to give out general guidelines for waivers because they can vary so much.

However, it has been pretty common for waivers to be granted to military recruits with ADHD that have shown success in school without the need for medication. The key to getting a medical waiver when you suffer from ADD, ADHD or any other mental health or behavioral condition is directly related to the medication. Most disqualifying medical issues require you to be off medication to join the military.

If youre a young person looking forward to serving in the military, its best to speak to a military recruiting office before you let ADD or ADHD disqualify you. This illness is no longer a disqualifying medical condition. While theres no guarantee youll be accepted, the possibility is much higher than it used to be.

Can I Join The Army With Tattoos Are There Restrictions

TATTOOS, WEED, ADHD & ECZEMA: Air Force New Rules!

Yes, you can join with tattoos, as long as they are not visible above your collar or below your cuff. The Army does not typically accept individuals with tattoos on their hands, wrists, face, or neck. Tattoos anywhere above the neckline or on the head, including in the mouth, ears, or eyelids, disqualifies a candidate. A tattoo waiver is available for candidates who have disqualifying tattoos. However, tattoos that are extremist, racist, sexist, or indecent are prohibited anywhere on a Soldiers body, without exception.

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How Do You Get A Medical Waiver

Applicants typically learn about the medical waiver process when they meet with a recruiter the first enlistment step for any branch.

Most applicants disclose their ADHD history in conversation with the recruiter, but they also must indicate their ADHD history in the medical documents they must fill out as part of the enlistment process.

One of these documents is the Accessions Medical Prescreen Report, or the DD 2807-2, which requires applicants to check yes or no if they were evaluated or treated for ADHD, and if they are taking or have taken medication to improve attention. Applicants must also explain all yes answers in a separate section. Consequences for failing to answer truthfully or making false statements are noted in the form.

This prescreen form is completed with the help of the recruiter, and is reviewed by a medical professional at a Military Entrance Processing Station typically the second step in the recruitment process, during which potential enlistees take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and undergo a medical examination.

Each branch has its own waiver authority board, which will make the waiver determination based on all available information regarding the issue or condition, as well as the specific needs of the military service, according to DOD guidelines.

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