Serving reservist with mental health issues

Hey guys,

Does anyone have any experience, that they would care to share, about being signed off work for mental health issues (specifically depression) and how it affects your work with the reserves.

I've been suffering with depression for about 4 years now and haven't managed to get to grips with it. I think I need to take some time out from work and the world to try and get this sorted. But, I'm concerned about how this would affect my career with the reserves. I've been in for a while and belive I do a reasonable job in the unit. I'm due to be mobilised sometime soon, which complicates matters. I'm fairly sure a tour somewhere would do me good, unlike a good chunk of mental health issues.

My mental state isn't due to the army, deployment, forces life, ect.

Can anyone shed any light about what happens in the reserves if I get a mental health sick note?

Have people gotten binned for this sort of thing, it have their units been supportive?

Cheers.
 
You need to raise this with your Chain of Command and/ or your Regimental Medical Officer.

Giving people with depression access to guns and ammunition isn't a good mix.

This condition will be picked up on mobilisation.

You owe it to yourself and your mates to get this fixed.
 
+1 what @Just_plain_you said - speak to your Chain of Command.

Not being able to do civilian work because of your mental state is highly likely to result in you being medically downgraded.

As was said above, if you can't do civvy work because of your state of mind, the Army is extremely unlikely to trust you with weapons or sensitive work, especially on operations.

If you are genuinely ill, then obviously go to your doctor, but if you are planning on playing the MH card to get a break from work to go on tour, think very carefully before you try to do so. You will almost certainly end up with no civvy job or Reservist job.
 

Slime

LE
I have no recent experience of anything military, but need to ask this:

Are you currently taking medication for your depression?

Even if you could take a supply big enough to cover your deployment can you store it correctly (temperature wise etc)?

You would also be under a different medical chain while deployed so would need to be able to be treated (if necessary) correctly with meds or advice that wouldn’t be counter productive to any meds you were already taking.

I have no idea if you are taking any meds or not, but if you are those around you should know about it.

It’s not just the guns and bandy stuff, but also reactions to other meds, alcohol or even just being drowsy etc.

Best of luck :)
 
I have no recent experience of anything military, but need to ask this:

Are you currently taking medication for your depression?

Even if you could take a supply big enough to cover your deployment can you store it correctly (temperature wise etc)?

You would also be under a different medical chain while deployed so would need to be able to be treated (if necessary) correctly with meds or advice that wouldn’t be counter productive to any meds you were already taking.

I have no idea if you are taking any meds or not, but if you are those around you should know about it.

It’s not just the guns and bandy stuff, but also reactions to other meds, alcohol or even just being drowsy etc.

Best of luck :)
I would not do that. No offence @Slime , but the quickest way for this to go wrong is to hide things.
Repeated. Speak to your CoC.
 

Slime

LE
I would not do that. No offence @Slime , but the quickest way for this to go wrong is to hide things.
Repeated. Speak to your CoC.

I just re read my post. Thanks for picking up on it.
I wasn’t suggesting he did try to hide the meds, but asking if it would actually be feasible to store them if he wanted to hide them.
Many meds need to be kept at 25 degrees C or lower.

I did also say the poster needs to be able to be treated correctly, and the only way any Dr could do that would be to be aware of what meds unhappy is taking. As per my post, those around him should know what if anything unhappy is taking.

Apologies if my post was unclear. :)
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Hey guys,

Does anyone have any experience, that they would care to share, about being signed off work for mental health issues (specifically depression) and how it affects your work with the reserves.

I've been suffering with depression for about 4 years now and haven't managed to get to grips with it. I think I need to take some time out from work and the world to try and get this sorted. But, I'm concerned about how this would affect my career with the reserves. I've been in for a while and belive I do a reasonable job in the unit. I'm due to be mobilised sometime soon, which complicates matters. I'm fairly sure a tour somewhere would do me good, unlike a good chunk of mental health issues.

My mental state isn't due to the army, deployment, forces life, ect.

Can anyone shed any light about what happens in the reserves if I get a mental health sick note?

Have people gotten binned for this sort of thing, it have their units been supportive?

Some really good replies already.

The key point is that you need to be really honest about this. I got binned off a planned deployment when the medics discovered I had (previously asymptomatic) high blood pressure - apparently 180/140 is not a good number and "more is not better", who knew?. Next time out, I still had the underlying condition, but had it medicated down to normal-ish levels, had enough of the tablets to keep it controlled for the duration I'd be out for, and the risk to me and the problems it could cause others was known and assessed as acceptable.

My own limited experience of mental health issues on ops, was an Australian officer on TELIC back in 2005; he was bright, keen and eager, but - to put it charitably - "a character" whose behaviour became increasingly erratic in theatre, to the point that he pulled a knife on a Locally Employed Contractor and other really odd stuff, that ended up with him getting a psychiatric aeromedical evacuation before he'd finished his first fortnight. Turns out he had quite severe bipolar disorder, which he'd been concealing for some time, and which was exacerbated by stress (like, an operational deployment, which he really wanted to not fµck up and to be competent at, which became a self-fulfilling problem as his erratic behaviour got him more and more noticed, and he got more and more worried about his undeclared diagnosis...).

With hindsight, "Shane" would have been far better off getting his mental health stabilised, then deploying, with medication and any support sorted out. Part of his issue may (total amateur here) have been that he wanted to do well, which meant every time something went wrong the stress he was feeling went up, which made him more erratic and odd, which meant more things went wrong... and because he was trying to conceal his issues, they bit him really hard.


If you really think a deployment - getting away from issues at home and giving you space to think - will help, say so and be honest, and see if the professionals agree. If they tell you "actually, it could make it worse, and you'd be further from support, and the consequences could be really bad", you'll need to accept that; but, while it's only hypertension, I went from "even I didn't know I had that, but no deployment for you this time until it's sorted" when it was discovered, to "now it's controlled and known, you can go, you've just got an even more rubbish PULHEEMS score" when it was a managed condition.


Best wishes, and good drills for asking for advice rather than trying to hide it and push through; bear in mind that hardly any of us are experts, but most - probably all - of us wish you well.
 

964ST

War Hero
I was being treated for a depressive episode and was on medication that was not disclosed to anybody. I was about to be deployed to Bosnia (which I was looking forward to! And was not a threat either myself or my colleuges). The Catalyst for my problem broached its head directly prior to my departure and when the "branch" that I was in direct conflict with discovered that I was taking medication, they demanded that I be made unfit for deployment.

I was fücking gutted!! I have never skived or side swiped any duty in my career, I felt "depressed!!!" Because of their handling of the situation!

There is nothing wrong with being "sick"! and the stigma that certain peeps attatch to certain illnesses is pretty dumb.

You should speak to your Doctor and if necessary you will be referred to the correct professional department who will asses your situation on an individual basis.

Good luck.
 
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I would echo the advice above.

I would also suggest that you have less to worry about if you disclose your condition, than perhaps you would have in the past. See below:

 
I'm no expert but would think that diagnosed and ongoing depression would mean that you aren't signing a gat out any time soon or being sent somewhere that might exacerbate it. Is the depression a recent thing with a specific trigger like losing a loved one or something that has reared its head throughout your life?
I've got depression on my medical records for an episode 10 years before I joined the reserves, and it almost stopped me from getting in, I had to appeal it twice and be evaluated and signed off by a doctor to confirm it was no longer an issue.
As others have said you're best letting your CoC know about it and going to the med board and they will decide from there if you're suitable to deploy or not, and hopefully help you get it sorted if they value you as a soldier.
 
If this reply helps in anyway then I’ve made a difference!
I joined the reserves in 98, came out of training in 99 and signed up to go on tour with 2 RGJ to Kosovo.
Over my 8 years I did 3 tours and I loved my time serving and I left in 2006
After I left, in 2014 I was diagnosed with CPTSD, my head was a mess!
Cutting to now I’m a new man after doing nearly a hundred sessions of therapy over 16 months.
In 2019 I had a serious mental health breakdown and ended up doing 4.5 months on remand for going toe to toe with armed police outside my house because I wanted them to shoot me! And put me out of my misery!
Through my therapy it became apparent that it wasn’t all the fault of my time on tour but my childhood that I’d put to bed hidden for years and that I joined the army because it brought structure to my life and that my time on tour only exacerbated the problem
When I came out I was a mental grenade waiting to go off!!!
When I was in uniform I forgot about my outside life and always worked to the best of my ability.
My point is that whatever issues you have now in your civi life you might think that you can make them disappear by going on tour!
you might do well but if you have any respect for your other lads you owe it to them that you haveissues that need dealing with because in all fairness you are a liability.
And trust me from experience it will all come back after twice as hard!!

If you wish to private message me about what’s getting you down I will happily chat to you and try and help in anyway?

I wish you all the best
 
If this reply helps in anyway then I’ve made a difference!
I joined the reserves in 98, came out of training in 99 and signed up to go on tour with 2 RGJ to Kosovo.
Over my 8 years I did 3 tours and I loved my time serving and I left in 2006
After I left, in 2014 I was diagnosed with CPTSD, my head was a mess!
Cutting to now I’m a new man after doing nearly a hundred sessions of therapy over 16 months.
In 2019 I had a serious mental health breakdown and ended up doing 4.5 months on remand for going toe to toe with armed police outside my house because I wanted them to shoot me! And put me out of my misery!
Through my therapy it became apparent that it wasn’t all the fault of my time on tour but my childhood that I’d put to bed hidden for years and that I joined the army because it brought structure to my life and that my time on tour only exacerbated the problem
When I came out I was a mental grenade waiting to go off!!!
When I was in uniform I forgot about my outside life and always worked to the best of my ability.
My point is that whatever issues you have now in your civi life you might think that you can make them disappear by going on tour!
you might do well but if you have any respect for your other lads you owe it to them that you haveissues that need dealing with because in all fairness you are a liability.
And trust me from experience it will all come back after twice as hard!!

If you wish to private message me about what’s getting you down I will happily chat to you and try and help in anyway?

I wish you all the best
Welcome to ARRSE Shrek!! Last time I saw you was on the receiving end of an MRE bombing at Bodney. Sorry to hear life has dished you a shit hand. If you need to have a catch up PM me
 
Welcome to ARRSE Shrek!! Last time I saw you was on the receiving end of an MRE bombing at Bodney. Sorry to hear life has dished you a shit hand. If you need to have a catch up PM me
Obviously because of your nickname on here I’ve no idea who this but message me please? I’m on the better end of my mental health journey now and just hoping that I can try and make a little difference to anyone who’s struggling at the moment because I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of support from people and it can make all the difference
 
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