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Forums / Young people / Joining the Army with a History of Depression

Topic: Joining the Army with a History of Depression

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. User018263
    User018263 avatar
    5 posts
    25 January 2021

    Hi all, this is my first time on BeyondBlue - would appreciate if anyone could try and give me a hand.

    I've had a history of depression, anxiety, and a few other more nuanced disorders. They have lasted for almost two years, I am medicated and I was hospitalised a few times with several severe situations now behind me. I'm now almost clear and would like to join the army in a year or so. The ADF is surprisingly quite ambiguous about careers there with allowance of depressive history. This is all they have to say - "". It would be an absolute dream to join and unfortunately, the helpline for the ADF seems to not be allowed to answer me on the issue, possibly on a professional basis. This makes it very tricky - do I go down all the steps of applying for a YOU session and the rest, or should I just chuck it all aside.

    I have worked really hard to get myself back on track with my diet, education, exercise, rigour, etc., to account for my difficult history which might otherwise reflect badly on my applicability. I appreciate that it is probably hard for anyone in my shoes to be accepted, but my main questions are;

    1. Should I bother applying?

    2. Has anyone got in like me before?

    3. Is there any nuance to my application that increases my chances?

    Thanks for your time.


  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    white knight avatar
    9354 posts
    26 January 2021 in reply to User018263
    Hi, welcome

    It was 1973 at 17yo that I joined the RAAF. Entry requirements were strict in all areas. However in the 2000's things changed including no discrimination against LGBITQ members that had previously been rejected.

    I w I'll suggest you do apply. Secondly I'd have a plan B career. E.g. firefighter, customs, security etc.
    In my case I was 100% set on becoming a pilot. I had no plan B,C etc and for 20 years went from profession to profession before I became a private investigator which was a dream job.

    So do apply, do your best, be prepared for plan B,C and if rejected keep your pride for a mental illness is simply not your fault.
  3. Helarctus
    Helarctus avatar
    116 posts
    26 January 2021 in reply to User018263

    Hello Alex,

    I applied and went through the testing process, got an enormous list of potential roles I had an aptitude for but was rejected on medical history about 10 years ago.

    The recruitment process I went through and the recruiters were fantastic, explained everything well,

    It is worth going through with the application because;

    a) You could be successful.

    b) If not and you gave it an honest good hard shot and you can focus on other possibilities with your head held high that you put your hand up to serve your country.

    A perk of applying for the ADF, it is also good to start on the fitness side of things, getting 'military fit' helped me get through some rough patches, and the level of fitness required is similar to other service roles like Fire fighter which can be just as challenging and gratifying.

    It is worth noting that some things like colour blindness can mean you are ineligible for certain roles, which again is something a person doesn't have a lot of control over. (this may have changed in the last decade)

  4. User018263
    User018263 avatar
    5 posts
    29 January 2021 in reply to white knight
    Thanks for your response - it's really helped. I'll apply and see what happen, but definitely, I will keep my other options in mind. Have a good one - Alex.
    1 person found this helpful
  5. User018263
    User018263 avatar
    5 posts
    29 January 2021 in reply to Helarctus

    Hey - thanks for your response!

    Certainly, I am finding the rigour I am trying to put myself through - regardless of whether I get into the military or not, is helping me get out of bed and get through my difficulties.

    Thanks for your time - Alex.

  6. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    29 January 2021 in reply to User018263

    Hi User018263, welcome to the forums.

    I don't know much about the Army, but I'd say if you're that passionate to join, all you could do is try and apply. Best of luck with everything, and I'm sorry you have mental illnesses also.

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