Joining the TA after severe depression

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Reserve Recruitment' started by whoneedsmeds, Aug 18, 2011.

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  1. .... [main text deleted] ....

    Thanks everyone for your input and they time taken to respond. Even those of you who invoke your right to be as mean as possible to anonymous people on the internet; so brave! much sad, very hurt. :p All I can say is... LOVE AND PEACE! Seriously though, thank you everyone for the guidance and feedback.

    Please be open minded and supportive of mental health. The male suicide rate in the UK is three times that of women: Suicide Statistics Report 2014.pdf

    The armed forces are a high risk:

    I hope you, or none of your family or friends ever have suicidal thoughts, if they do occur, I hope that you feel comfortable discussing them before things become desperate. I recently lost a friend. He never talked to anyone, I guess we all had a culture of 'man-up' 'skate it off' and other machismo attitudes. I wish we hadn't, the world is less awesome without him in it.

    To any future readers of this thread in a similar situation:

    My career took a different route and I'm happy where I am. Unfortunately, I have no idea if I would have been let in. There are some pretty valid concerns raised, and some trolls.

    Only you know what your capable of or how mentally resilient you are; breaking your mind really demonstrates where the lines are and how it all works. You have right to be angry or sad at some of the comments in this thread, or general attitudes to mental health. Those are perfectly normal emotion responses to inflammatory statements. (Look up 'Gaslighting' for further information.)

    You have time. Wait until you are okay, and then give yourself another year to be certain. It takes a while to drag yourself back up. Are you ready to discuss depression with anyone? If someone makes a thoughtless comment regarding depression, eating disorders, etc. are you able to calmly and rationally explain to them why it is is not okay? If you are not comfortable confronting it head on then you may not be over it and I suggest you wait.

    You will encounter trolls and asshats. What they say is not acceptable, but there is no way to stop them saying it. Just see how much luck XBox live has regarding the slander against my mother.

    Y'all take care!
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  2. Ask at the Army careers office.
  3. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    A few points for you:

    1. There are several threads about this subject already, so a quick use of the search function would be in order.

    2. Ask the question at the TA centre you are interested in and they will give you the facts, not internet comment from people who may or may not know what they are on about.

    3. Stand by for no end of slagging. Don't expect units to be busting a gut to get a depressed, self harming, suicidal nutter on the books. You may consider yourself mentally sound three months after finishing the happy pills and long chats whilst laying down on a sofa - I wouldn't let you near a butter knife let alone a rifle and ammunition for years yet.
  4. My daughter self harmed off and on from age 15 until 23, and despite numerous medications and trips to trick cyclists we, or more importantly, she, could never fathom out why it started, or indeed stopped.

    I understand your pain and anxiety, but fear that this is an issue that will not be seen in a positive light by a Military recruiter for some considerable time to come.
  5. I'd expect to either get knocked back, or told to wait a few years.
  6. Do the decent thing, and shoot yourself.

    Actually, joining the TA will help with access to weapons.
  7. No chance in the immediate future. This is not a question of whether a military recruiter sees it in whatever light but simply a medical policy decision. I'll have a look see if I can find the waiting period but don't get your hopes up.
  8. Thanks for replying everyone.

    The_Duke: I appreciate your honesty, I don't want to be that recruit that no-one really wants and would rather someone told me they didn't trust me to watch their back than just think it and hate me silently. ... [personal information deleted]

    I was hoping that a couple of years in the TA proving that I was reliable would help before applying for the regular army.

    I guess I will stop by our army careers centre next week and find out my options.

    JD150: Thank you, I don't mind if I have to apply several years running before I am accepted but if there is a standard time I must have a clean medical/psychological record it would be good to know.
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  9. At least a 3 year wait.

    3.14.32. This is not a diagnosis as such. It is behaviour, a symptom of an underlying
    disorder most usually an anxious/depressive disorder. There is now so much
    concern attached to this behaviour that it merits a category of its own, bearing in
    mind that any underlying mental health disorder must be excluded.

    3.14.33. The majority of candidates with a history of self harm have taken a tablet
    overdose. Of the other methods used shallow cutting, most commonly of the arms,
    thighs and abdomen is the commonest. Recent evidence shows that this is often an
    unusual way of relieving strain via release of natural endogenous opioids and is not
    necessary indicative of a major underlying psychiatric problem such as might be
    caused by childhood sexual abuse. The spectrum of intent varies from strain relief
    by cutting, through manipulative behaviour or emotional blackmail to serious suicidal
    intent. It is often difficult to tell from a candidate’s recorded history as to where past
    episodes lie on this spectrum. Nonetheless up to date research evidence18 allows
    for simple clear advice.

    3.14.34. A single episode of self-harm in response to a stressful event occurring
    more than 3 years before application is no bar to recruitment provided the 3-year
    interim has been free from all symptoms. If there was no stressful event then the
    candidate should normally be graded S8, as this indicates an enduring endogenous
    risk of further self-harm. Candidates with a history of 2 or more episodes at any
    time, even with clear stressors, should normally be graded S8, as repetition indicates
    a substantial risk of further repetition and, of more concern, a significant increase in
    risk of later death by suicide.
  10. under the old rules (which I believe have not changed dramatically)


    as a rough guide you don't stand a chance.

    oh and if you get upset by any of the shite on this site or thread in particular then don't even think about going near the street the Careers office is in.
  11. And as has been said on this forum before the medical standards are the same for the TA as for the Regulars.
  12. You will see a number of self-harm scars on the wrists of (usually female) regular soldiers.
  13. I don't know anymore, in todays modern "inclusive" army I'm sure your issues could get you immediate promotion bypassing any stressful training and an office where you can advise the Colonel on such issues, as the way the world going if you haven't got an issue you are the problem!
    Anyway back to the telly, the repeats of today's Jeremy Kyle are on again soon.
  14. You don't want to join the TA love, it's shit and it's full of loonies anyway.

    Have you thought of joining an organization that helps people with serious problems? With your experiences you could offer insight and it may prove cathartic to you too.