Can You Join The Army If You Have Depression?

This blog will answer the question “Can You Join The Army If You Have Depression” and also cover topics like the army regulations, depressions, grounds of qualification, mental health disorders, and frequently asked questions.

Can You Join The Army If You Have Depression?

Well, there is not a clear-cut yes or no answer to this question as there are various aspects that are considered in the army recruitment of people with depression. We will explore them in the later sections. 

Would you like to know if you may join the armed forces with a history of depression or if you can keep your military post in such a situation? 

If so, you’ve come to the correct spot. It is true that dealing with depression may be difficult. However, due to the nature of the profession, this may not be the greatest option for persons with such issues. So, let’s get to the point:

Can you join the armed forces if you have a history of depression?

Here’s what you should know. To join the Army, you must be cognitively, physically, and emotionally stable. Possessing a history of mental health issues might also make it more difficult to join the military.

However, there are ways to make the regulations work in your favor. For example, if you have a depressive condition, the only way you could be excluded is if you had outpatient or inpatient care for 12 months. 

To join the Army with such a disease, you must also be stable and treatment-free for a period of 0 to 36 months.

Is there anyone in the army who has a history of depression?

This question is answered in the negative! That’s what a lot of people would say. Besides, why should they? The has been well and regarded as being one of the best in the world. Their level of quality is unrivaled! They serve as a model for others to emulate.

However, data reveal that the majority of enlistees have twisted the rules to their advantage. What I meant is there are persons in the United States Army who have a history of depression.

The majority of them were born with the ailment, while some got it while serving. Now comes the major question: is it acceptable to break the laws that say those with certain mental health conditions aren’t qualified?

No, it does not! Rules are intended to be followed. Those who break the rules must recognize that they will face consequences.

Having mental health issues, such as depression, and joining the army may both harm your reputation. It can also make it harder to advance to the next level, something which everybody in the military desires.

People with mental health issues or illnesses are not permitted to join the army. However, study data shows that many people have gotten around these regulations in the past.

According to a 2014 research published in JAMA Psychiatry, 25% of non-deployed military troops experience some type of mental health condition. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), panic disorder, and even depression were among the disorders in the discussion.

What’s more concerning is that two-thirds of the aforementioned figure had a mental health problem prior to enlistment. The issue is, given the stringent recruitment procedure in place in the United States military, how do these folks go unnoticed?

Military Medical Standards: What You Should Know

Attention Deficit and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are two types of attention deficit disorders.

These conditions can render a person ineligible. The only time it will not be is if the candidate has a passing academic record. He or she must have been drug-free for at least every 12 months prior to submitting the application.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

It should be noted that things have altered in terms of recruiting people with these disorders in recent years. When it comes to hiring people with certain problems, the military has been quite lenient.

Having a present or past history of illnesses with psychotic characteristics

Paranoid disorder, schizophrenia, and other forms of psychosis are examples of psychotic traits. You should be aware that these conditions will disqualify you.

So that’s all there is to it when it comes to conditions that might prevent a person from entering the Army.

What is depression, exactly?

Depression is a widespread mental condition that affects around 8% of the population. It has an impact on all elements of your life, from how you see to how you communicate and work. 

Depression not only impairs people’s capacity to appreciate pleasure, but it also leads them to experience intense, unremitting grief. People lose faith in activities they used to like, retreat from everyday relationships, lose or put on weight for no identifiable reason, and suffer from a range of health issues.

Exhaustion and sluggishness are symptoms of depression. It also hinders one’s capacity to participate in anything, especially once-enjoyable pursuits (anhedonia). Even if they are sleeping much more than normal, sorrow can produce a drop in activity levels in humans.

Symptoms last at least two weeks before a depression diagnosis may be made. The following are the most prevalent adverse effects in each category:


  • Extreme melancholy that occurs on a regular basis and is frequently unrelated to any obvious reason
  • Feelings of obligation or meaninglessness in the absence of a cause
  • Interest in once-enjoyable pursuits has diminished (anhedonia)
  • Feeling lonely or unable to engage in formerly enthralling hobbies or interests a sense of emptiness
  • Worrying and ruminating excessively
  • Anxiety levels are at an all-time high.
  • Cognitive Irritability: The mental fog (muddled thinking)
  • Concentration issues, difficulty to focus one’s thoughts, and a shorter attention span
  • Memory problems are rather common.
  • A negative frame of mind (“it’s all my fault,” “nothing else will alter, nothing will repair”).
  • Suicidal thoughts

Aspects of physical and psychological health:

  • Consistent energy deficits
  • Restlessness
  • Slower movement, difficulty with or a reduction in the rate at which simple physiological functions are performed (psychomotor retardation)
  • Disruptions in sleep Withdrawal from social interactions
  • Self-isolation

Depression and its treatment

You may be able to control your symptoms with only one method of therapy, or you may discover that a mix of therapies works best for you.

Combining medical treatments with lifestyle therapies is frequent, and includes the following:


Your doctor may advise you to use the following medications:

  • Inhibitors of selective serotonin reuptake (SSRIs)
  • The most widely used antidepressant drugs, SSRIs, have few adverse effects. They work to alleviate depression by boosting the accessibility of the chemical serotonin in the brain.
  • SSRIs should not be used with certain medications, including mao inhibitors (MAOIs) and, in some situations, enshrine or Orap (pimozide).

Pregnant women should talk to their doctors about the risks of taking SSRIs while they’re pregnant. If you have narrow-angle glaucoma, you should be cautious as well.

Citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil XR, Pexeva), and sertraline are examples of SSRIs (Zoloft) (Zoloft).

Absorption inhibitors for serotonin and norepinephrine (SNRIs). SNRIs work by increasing the levels of the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

MAOIs and SNRIs should not be taken at the same time. Use caution if you have liver or kidney problems, or if you have narrow-angle glaucoma.

Examples of SNRIs include desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla), duloxetine (Cymbalta, Irenka), levomilnacipran (Fetzima), milnacipran (Savella), and venlafaxine (Effexor XR).


Chatting with a therapist might help you discover coping methods for unpleasant emotions. Parents or group therapy may also be beneficial.

Psychotherapy, sometimes known as “talk therapy,” is when a person talks to a skilled therapist about the circumstances that lead to their psychiatric disorder, such as depression.

Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT)

A therapist works with you to discover problematic thought patterns and explain how they may be producing detrimental behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs to yourself in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Your therapist may give you “homework” in which you practice replacing negative ideas with more positive ones.


Depression is an attitude that develops as a result of a terrible experience in your life. A depressed individual is often dissatisfied with their surroundings, suffering, and terrible condition.

Being an officer in the Indian Armed Forces is a risky business. Train yourself, empty your pessimism, and win the triumph of pride.

As a result, a person who is unable to manage their own mood and gets nervous might cause problems. So, being sound is a must for competing in the race to become an officer in the Indian Armed Force.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can You Join The Army If You Have Depression

Can you join the army if you are on antidepressants?

You need to be off your medication for more than a year to be eligible to join the army but do not stop medication on your own and take advice from your doctor and then only stop it.

Can you join the army with mental health issues?

The work in the army is extremely taxing on one’s mental and physical health. One who is struggling with a mental health issue might not be allowed to join based on the kind of mental health issue they are facing and might need to wait to join the armed force.

Is depression disqualifying the military?

To be eligible to join, a person with a depressive disorder must be stable for 36 months without treatment or symptoms in the U.S. army.

Can the military see mental health records?

If there are any concerns about the recruit’s fitness for duty, the Army may conduct a medical examination. Individuals with mental health difficulties, hearing and vision loss, underlying health concerns, low physical fitness, and obesity are frequently turned away by the Army.

Should I join the military if I have anxiety?

No, a person with anxiety, phobias, OCD, etc., is disqualified from entry into the military.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!