Army Medical issues - discussion.

Discussion in 'Current & Military Affairs Discussion Forum.' started by PoS, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. PoS

    PoS New Member

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    Hello there, Not joining the RM, but Guards, however this place seems sufficiently mature to deal with topic, while certain others are..... ....rather crass.

    However I have some concerns about the medical. This might be a bit long, forgive me, as the most important factor in determining my life's career, I feel the need to give as much info as possible, a TL;DR will be in the second post.

    I'll start by saying I wish to gain a commission, and that I am aware that the standards for officers are higher than for other ranks, as well they should be, I have great affinity for simulated command, and I hope this will prove to translate into atleast a small amount of ability.

    I have gender dysphoria, this in itself is not an issue, see the women in combat roles thread, but it is why it's taken me so long to begin a "transition"* (Duty before self etc.)

    I do however have some associated conditions, mainly symptoms of this particular one, and I have done for some time, more than a year, namely, "depression" and "anxiety", I'd like for you to understand my condition as follows, someone has disfigured the lower part of your face, cut off your genitals, replaced them with a spider/insect/exwifes face/whatever you find most repugnant in the world, turned your family against you, constantly referred to you as *text deleted*, injected you with a drug that causes you to feel physical pain of 3/10 constantly, posted porn of you on the internet which has gone viral, and convinced half the world that you're a pedophile, and to wear a sign in a language that 1/3 of the world can read that has irrefutable although false evidence that you are infact the child rapist half the earth believes you to be, also they've made you feel guilt of the tiniest doubt about if this is your fault, furthermore you have to wait an indeterminate amount of time, before anyone will even talk to you about improving the situation, and demand that you submit yourself to a trial and to pay for it yourself.

    and on that understanding you're about just over half way to feeling what it's like being trans(gendered*).

    I am susceptible to exaggerate, I assure you, however, this is not such a time, people spit in my food, scream at me, sexually objectify me, refuse to give me services on behalf of their employers (often on behalf of H.M.'s government), my family have abandoned me, I get referred to as something I'm not, by a name that isn't mine, slurred, I'm afraid to go out incase I get attacked (again)*text deleted*, have people motivated to rape me because they want to or because "that's what a woman's job is and I better get f*text deleted**ing used to it", I see the police more often than I see any postman, I get thrown out of bathrooms, refused rape crisis services, homelessness assistance, have people tell me it's because of my actions, and I don't have to fight for every little thing, but because I have to fight more often, it makes fighting that much harder, all over this misfortune, I did not want, encourage or ask for. and this is covering only this year, and none of is based on what has happened on the internet (although most of it does).

    Under such circumstances, I'd like to think such a set of issues might be forgiven, given of course that they are indeed temporary, and symptomatic of the dysphoria, and not indicative of my general personality/genetic disposition, should it prove to be then frankly if I can't look after myself why should I be trusted with the welfare of others, one cannot give what one does not possess.

    From my point of view, biased admittedly, it's all rather simple, I have nothing to base my self-respect on except a future career which may be in danger, transitioning changes that, this is a difficult situation, and getting through it unscathed is frankly, impossible in my experience and of those known to me, I am not interested in playing the blame game, it is what it is for better or worse, but I am interested in finding a way forward and not having my fate based on a chemical imbalance in my pre-natal environment, in short, I want some damn agency.

    Now, I won't claim my situation is anywhere near the scale or horror of actual conflict, but I submit, the two are inequitable, it is one thing to fact the worst of the world, quite another to face half of it upto and including people trying to cause you bodily harm, when you feel so trapped in it.

    My point is, I doubt that my failures to keep on top of this for 22+ years reflects my ability to face death keep up training, preform under combat pressure, suffer privation, power through loss in order to prevent more, anticipate the movements of the enemy, instruct my charges, keep our people safe, attempt and with luck succeed to inspire others to benefit their morale, or otherwise carry-out the duties expected of a junior officer of Her Majesties Forces, while they are participating in a conflict or otherwise, once I'm not resembling and treated like a bloody boy.

    And I'm sure as hell not going to go Wako and kill everyone the first time I get my hands on an automatic weapon, if I want to kill myself, I'll slit my wrists so I have time to re-think my decision, and if I do shoot myself I'll resign so I don't dishonour the service and not use any weapon issued to me.

    Frankly I'd like to think this reflects well on my ability to stay sane after protracted periods of critical stress, even if I haven't been fully functional for two years now, the army will kick me out 20-30 years from when I join, if I even stay that long, a repeat performance should be sufficient.

    *Technically I don't hold any water with the whole, gender thing, but that's really besides the point.

    *text deleted*I take the motto: "I cannot fear, for I shall not falter." so the fighting doesn't scare me, or the odds, or my mortality, it's more the repercussions of what happen after, i.e. manslaughter charges/injury and it's affect on my life and ability to effect my duties.
     
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  2. PoS

    PoS New Member

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    TL;DR/ the question:

    I wish to serve crown and country, I am willing to risk, life, limb, and laughter to do so, I have depression and anxiety symptomatic of gender dysphoria, which has been treated with stop gap measures of drugs only, and with no professional psychiatric help, I had one instance of self harm when I was 13 which was connected to how I felt about my body although I didn't know why I felt that way is this a complete bar to entry or might it be discretionary?
     
  3. BoxSwallow

    BoxSwallow Active Member

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    @Ninja_Stoker & @CHUB! as AFCO Careers Advisers will be best placed to answer this one.
    Until they come along this is the Joint Service Publication 950 on Mental health:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/requ...9 JSP 950 6 7 4 AnnexL Psychiatry Nov13 U.pdf

    Paragraph 4L.16 - Depression medical standards
    Paragraph 4l.18 - Anxiety medical standards

    S2 = Medically Fit
    S8 = Medically Unfit

    Ultimately the only person who can tell you without a shadow of a doubt if you can or cannot join is the medical examiner but this can give a good idea of what to prepare yourself for.
     
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  4. Ryko

    Ryko Member

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    @Ninja_Stoker or @CHUB! Will be able to advise much better than I. But depression is spoken about in this thread

    http://www.royalmarines.uk/threads/depression.93935/

    It can be an issue but it seems to be case to case really. If it hasn't been diagnosed like you suggest

    Then I wouldn't post too much of the details about it on here just for PERSEC.

    Good luck though
     
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  5. Ryko

    Ryko Member

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    Ah @BoxSwallow Beat me to the punch. I think you should be made honorary careers adviser at this stage :D
     
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  6. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    Mature? You sure about that.

    That's one hell of a post, and I am going to have to read it and digest it and get back to you. However, the parts I left in your quote, it's not for you to say you "won't go wako" etc etc
    That won't be your judgement, that's not how mental illness works. Some of the toughest, mentally robust and down right nails blokes I have known, have ended their lives.
    The whole issue is you won't be thinking right, to suggest you might be otherwise proves a lack of understanding of metal illness and/or a naivety towards it.

    You show a certain naivety towards the Armed Forces, it's role, and combat.

    Protracted stress? I can see you allude to a hell of a stressful situation, but have you ever heard of the saying "the straw that broke the camels back"?

    The military has a need to be strict and vigilant against mental illness, and I am am usually the first to point out the difference between Depression and grieve or sadness, however you seem to have a lot more deep rooted issues that will definitely effect your application and a career in the forces. Not that it is your fault. It's just the way it is.


    I found some of your post hard to understand and follow. Is there anyway you could rephrase it?
     
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  7. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    I would strongly urge you to seek professional medical help. And not to continue self diagnosed or self treatment of such a sensitive issue.

    While I don't agree with the liberal ideas of this issue, I do think it should be addressed at a pyscological level first before medical intervention.


    For a definate answer, you need to address your local Careers Advisor. Only 2 of the members on this forum are qualified to give careers advise, but even so a medical professional can override any choice or decisions.
     
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  8. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    Nope.

    Your self worth and self respect can't be dictated to you by anyone, or given to you by any job.

    You make it.
     
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  9. PoS

    PoS New Member

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    Sufficiently so, we're all a little immature sometime, but there's a difference between double entendres and and pulling someones pants down. :P

    It is my judgement, although as bias goes, it obviously doesn't count, we don't get to sit on the jury at our own trial, but we can give evidence.

    I know myself, I have a certain set of principles, which I am completely unable to break, I don't tend to last out but inward, I'm not saying I'm incapable of shooting people I have no right to, but I am saying that indiscriminate killing isn't my style, hence the wako analogy, and Ibut I've been though trying to top myself (back when I didn't know why I hated myself), lashing out, having phobia-based panic attacks, I know my base character well enough to understand how it functions.

    I wouldn't know if I'm naive to life in the forces, as a polmologist I know what war is like, however, that doesn't mean I understand it in the slightest, it is one thing to know what has happened to a person, another to experience it.

    However I'd define the role of the armed forces to defend and counter against threats (direct ones-in a defensive campaign, or intimate ones - in an offensive campaign), this might be natural, or human, if human, lethal force may need to be applied, and this last scenario is the most common and indeed primary purpose of the forces as this is their main function and the others generally in support of that main one or in support of another type of agency better equipped to deal with that kind of threat, be it WHO, or whomever is responsible for flood relief, or the police in this or another country in a riot or peacekeeping scenario.

    I have a certain, optimism about this, and indeed some romanticism even, but I am, not unaware that without first hand experience I won't understand, what losing someone I am responsible for bring home will be like, how I'll deal with it, all I know is that I must do so in order for the rest of my platoon to have that opportunity of going home.

    We all have, or will suffer from a mental illness at some point in our lives, mine is based on a scenario that can never recur once fixed, a truly one off environmental factor, which could only be re-surged by an injury or intentional mutilation by hostile combatants that would render me physically unfit to serve anyway, what I'm saying is, other than my *text deleted*ed up teeth and the false ADHD diagnosis (my mother fought to have because I knew what an eye was and how to draw one, could read in two languages, and could do division in my head, and therefore Primary one bored me to the point I attempted to do other things,) the things that would bar me from service are in infact, symptoms of another condition, and as such it is not a accurate assessment of my risk factors for these conditions in the future, any of us may end up choosing end our lives, but my point is that, I am not in any more likely to do so, or suffer from any such mental illness than anyone else, once the main constion is permanently and irrevocably resolved.

    ----

    I am more than happy to rephrase or find alternative ways of explaining anything you find difficult, I'll be honest, I'm not the greatest writer, if you'll highlight the problematic areas I'll deal with them. :)

    I should clarify, I'm from a large city with a large backlog of mental health patients, I am receiving medical assistance, but this is on the GP level, who are not CPNs or Psychiatrists, nor qualified to provide CBT which something I'd likely benefit from in the medium term.

    But my point is, depression if it is depression, that's my GP's best guess and even then he put it down as "depressive illness of some type" honestly looking at that link, I would personally say irrelevant as that maybe, t's more of a long term affective disorder based on the objective fact all of it, stems from issues bout my appearance and bodily structure, I am not qualified to make that call, but I would suggest this is the case.

    Do I feel H.M. Forces have an outdated view of mental illness? Yes. Do I think this is to their detriment? No. This is not the great war, we do not need every able bodied person for the war, we have a small but elite standing force and as such we should take only the best, but as invested as I am, in my case, I truly, based on objective principles, that if I were to be referred to a psyc assessor at the time I'd apply, and these two issues where taken in the context in which I suffer them, I would have no risk markers further than any other person.

    To an extent, that's completely true about self worth, I made the mistake of trying to take it from how happy I made others, and I don't expect it to be improved merely by getting a job, atleast not by very much, but I on;y have intentions to base myself worth on, not actions, this would be an action that would support the actions I will take in regards to the transtion, however it is a larger issue than merely the trans thing, but ah, that is a large part of it, and mostly I just need to correct how the way I felt about my body caused me to view myself, but there is plenty of time to address that prior to the application, I certainly wouldn't be able to apply in good faith with my present rationale persistent.
     
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  10. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    "Do I feel H.M. Forces have an outdated view of mental illness? Yes."

    My dead mates would say otherwise. I think the Forces have it pretty bang on with their mental health policy. There's other holes in their recruitment policies that need addressing well in advance of that one.

    I will have to digest that post and get back to you.

    One point I will say is that I disagree with the "one off environmental factor and that it won't reoccur" I have read numerous reports otherwise about a rising number of Transgender people who after transitioning, then wanted to transition back to their original gender, having believed that Gender Dysphoria is a pyscological issue and should be treated as such not a medical condition.
    But that's a different debate, topic and issue for another day.
     
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  11. BoxSwallow

    BoxSwallow Active Member

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    Well for what it's worth you sound like an Officer you've definitely got the essay writing down for the AOSB ;)
     
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  12. SDG1986

    SDG1986 Member

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    I would suggest you contact the AFCO for an informal chat. Based on other peoples outcomes of 'similar' issues with long term depression, I predict that your application will not be able to be progressed.

    Wishing you the best of luck.
     
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  13. PoS

    PoS New Member

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    I will once I'm in my nearest city, is two years, counted as two separate incidents/episodes, (4 year deferral), or auto S8 the link wasn't clear.

    *text deleted* the ME doesn't phase me, I trust the fellow to make the right decision, it's the bureaucracy, I feel I have a non-cut and dry issue, and allot to contribute, and I feel if it gets examined as a case, rather than as a checklist of qualifiers and disqualifiers, I stand as much of a chance as I deserve, it's not about getting what I want or believe to be right, but about having what's going on as interpreted as what it may very well prove to be once the CPNs get to me, rather than it being an auto-disqualifier because the original goalposts were not defined as the author intended.
     
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  14. BoxSwallow

    BoxSwallow Active Member

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    Definitely go to your AFCO and get your medical done since the ME will call the shots. There is however an appeal system which I suppose you could use to better explain your situation, I'd suggest keeping it concise and to the point, with medical backing from your GP (there are threads on here on how to make an appeal). Although I'd be inclined to prepare yourself for an answer you may not like. Have you managed to get in touch with @Ninja_Stoker or @CHUB! to discuss this if your AFCO is quite far out of your way?
     
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  15. C30

    C30 Member

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    There are lads in a great state mentally and physically who have been turned away due to what is perceived as a small issue, but is considered a bar to entry. The standards won't change because you feel you deserve a place, or whether you have a lot or little to contribute.
     
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  16. BoxSwallow

    BoxSwallow Active Member

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    Also having read the document above again there is actually a section for Gender Identity Disorders (Paragraph 4L.29) which says "Candidates with Gender Identity Disorders may present untreated, during treatment or having completed all hormonal and surgical treatment. In each case the candidate requires to meet the same physical and mental entry standards as any other candidate." So I have to say It's not looking good.
     
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  17. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    But you do though.


    They are defined. For various good reasons.


    It's not about hurt feelings. It's about combat effectiveness.
     
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  18. PoS

    PoS New Member

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    Because the GD is currently treated I'd be P8 anyway, if I was rejected on that basis would I be told for what reason? Because so long as that itself wouldn't be another black mark, I'm all for it.

    is it admissible to contact them directly?
    ---
    @coytey that is indeed true, if we all got what we felt we deserved, there'd be allot more gold-plated jets in the world, we don't get to decide for ourselves. :)

    hmmm, well chaps, looks like I'm supposed to grin and bear this stuff, I don't think that's realistic.

    I agree it is about combat effectiveness, if I was choosing who got into my platoon (not that I would get to) I would obviously choose those best suited, and rejected anyone showing signs of not being able to cope under pressure, even if it meant my plt was under strength, liabilities are not accepted, however much they may enjoy the MoDs sympathy.

    I do feel that would be a double standard, and that basing it on time from diagnosis rather than time to treat, is a bad indication for fitness to service, in our world of bureaucracy.

    Look I shall have a post later, about what my record says and what the guidance says, but all know is I feel like *text deleted*, and this is what I think depression might feel like, and the fluxy makes me feel better over time, as it would for someone without it as it causes serotin levels to rise, I haven't seen even a CPN, I don't know if my GP/med rec is correct or wrong of if this is this or that, but I do know this:

    It is my decision if or if not to offer my services to defend my country, it is their decision on if or if not to take the offer up, and both of us, are entitled to do so on whatever terms they find personally amenable.

    I'm sorry if my desperate desire for this, makes me seem as though I feel entitled to a place at the table I so highly revere.
     
  19. C30

    C30 Member

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    I'm sure every lad that has been subject to strict medical standards, myself included, could pick them to pieces with their opinions. Ultimately the medical standards come from reasoned decisions based on the research of medical professionals. When / If turned away you have to just take it on the chin, not be offended, and not have your feelings hurt, no matter how heartbroken it makes you. It is unfortunate that people are subject to different medical problems and situations, but such is life.
     
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  20. PotentialToff

    PotentialToff Member

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    Wow this was a big read.
    If you're allowed to join but men/women who are in their late 20s and early 30s are barred from entry because they took meds for depression over a decade before their application that they may or may not have needed aren't, then I'd be disappointing; This is not an attack against you this would just show a lack of consistency.
    As has been suggested a lot already, speak to your AFCO but I'm sure they'll ask how long you were on the meds and what was the reason.
    Think about it this way, if you were to kill yourself or someone else, what would the papers say when they get hold of your medical history and see the mod knew about your history of depression and your struggle with identity.
    Plus as suggested previously if you decided the gender change wasn't right and you wanted to revert back, training isn't cheap especially an officer, and the MOD would be looking for longevity in their investment and your history may jeopardize that.
    I wish you the best for your life but after reading what you have to write I highly recommend that the robust demands both psychically and mentally in the military commissioned or non-commissioned may not be for you.
    However proving everyone wrong is something I and a lot of others admire!
     
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