Aug 20, 2020
2
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
Hi all! I want to start by saying I've done a good bit of research on the HPSP, all branches of military dentistry, and all of the disqualifications. I have not applied for the HPSP yet, just in the process of talking to a navy recruiter. It's always been a dream of mine to serve in the Navy as a dentist, but out of all the things that could DQ a candidate, I never would've thought an ssri would. I have read mixed outcomes on this situation where some were discharged during dental school for being recently prescribed, and others made it through with no problems. I've also seen where some say not to even report it. My issue is, I am already prescribed an ssri for anxiety and panic attacks and have been on it for a year. I was also prescribed a benzodiazepine a year ago to take as needed, but the ssri managed my anxiety just fine, so never needed them and still don't take them. I guess my main concern is is there any way to apply for a HPSP, go through MEP and the physical without having to disclose that I am taking that medication? I find it quite infuriating that as highly demanding and stressful as the military can be, you aren't allowed to be prescribed anything to help you.


An elaboration/slight rant: I refuse to stop taking my medication as it would be dangerous to my health. Before starting it, my panic attacks would get so severe that my blood pressure would get dangerously high. I've worked for a dentist for the last four years, he has witnessed this happen to me several times and even he was very concerned as to whether I was about to have a stroke or not due to my BP being so high. After being on the medication, however, I haven't had one since. I would appreciate if the negative replies were kept to themselves, as I've seen plenty on other user's threads about similar issues. I'm not trying to cheat my way into the navy, I'm just asking for opinions on anyone who's been in this same situation to elaborate how they handled it. I am not mentally unstable, I am not "crazy", being on an ssri doesn't and shouldn't mean I'll never be able to handle the military lifestyle. Just because I knew I had a problem and sought help from a medical professional and am now on a medication that keeps me anxiety-free, does not mean I'm unstable. Coming from a long line of veterans, I wish they would have done the same without having to endure the stigma that if you get prescribed a mental health medication that you're some crazy, unstable, danger to society. I've lost family members and friends to drugs, alcohol abuse, and even suicide because of the depression, anxiety and PTSD that was not treated properly. Even though this has always been my dream career, if it comes down to a choice between the Navy and my mental health, I'm choosing my mental health. I especially will not go through dental school off my medication. I have friends right now who are in dental school who have never experienced any mental health issues, and are now on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. To wrap this up, I just want to know my options. As I said, I never thought one medication would keep me from chasing my dream. It's been very disheartening and I am hoping someone out there has some good, positive advice/feedback for me. Thanks & stay well!
 

SirBrotherJam

Endo Resident
2+ Year Member
Oct 26, 2018
112
225
Status
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Be honest with recruiter and MEPS. It wouldn't be good if they found you lied to them and had this preexisting condition. I know of someone that was turned away because of low iron levels.

I find it quite infuriating that as highly demanding and stressful as the military can be, you aren't allowed to be prescribed anything to help you.
If there are people taking meds for this kind of thing it was after they joined and were trained. I treat a lot of spec ops guys and they all have mental issues of varying degrees mainly due to their job, but are considered a heavily invested, valuable assets.
I refuse to stop taking my medication as it would be dangerous to my health.
Military doesn't like to take on people that have serious health needs and you seem quite dependent from your story. Unfortunately anxiety would probably be a red flag for them.

There are many ways to serve others. Never hurts to ask though.

The Navy also has incentive to be more selective as manning is being cut across the board, so if an exception was made in the past, it may be considered an issue now. Not trying to be negative, but no point in sugar coating it for you. I hope it works out whatever path you take.
Best of luck!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Tooth Ferry

5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2015
286
162
It's Wicked Cold
Status
  1. Dentist
Hi all! I want to start by saying I've done a good bit of research on the HPSP, all branches of military dentistry, and all of the disqualifications. I have not applied for the HPSP yet, just in the process of talking to a navy recruiter. It's always been a dream of mine to serve in the Navy as a dentist, but out of all the things that could DQ a candidate, I never would've thought an ssri would. I have read mixed outcomes on this situation where some were discharged during dental school for being recently prescribed, and others made it through with no problems. I've also seen where some say not to even report it. My issue is, I am already prescribed an ssri for anxiety and panic attacks and have been on it for a year. I was also prescribed a benzodiazepine a year ago to take as needed, but the ssri managed my anxiety just fine, so never needed them and still don't take them. I guess my main concern is is there any way to apply for a HPSP, go through MEP and the physical without having to disclose that I am taking that medication? I find it quite infuriating that as highly demanding and stressful as the military can be, you aren't allowed to be prescribed anything to help you.


An elaboration/slight rant: I refuse to stop taking my medication as it would be dangerous to my health. Before starting it, my panic attacks would get so severe that my blood pressure would get dangerously high. I've worked for a dentist for the last four years, he has witnessed this happen to me several times and even he was very concerned as to whether I was about to have a stroke or not due to my BP being so high. After being on the medication, however, I haven't had one since. I would appreciate if the negative replies were kept to themselves, as I've seen plenty on other user's threads about similar issues. I'm not trying to cheat my way into the navy, I'm just asking for opinions on anyone who's been in this same situation to elaborate how they handled it. I am not mentally unstable, I am not "crazy", being on an ssri doesn't and shouldn't mean I'll never be able to handle the military lifestyle. Just because I knew I had a problem and sought help from a medical professional and am now on a medication that keeps me anxiety-free, does not mean I'm unstable. Coming from a long line of veterans, I wish they would have done the same without having to endure the stigma that if you get prescribed a mental health medication that you're some crazy, unstable, danger to society. I've lost family members and friends to drugs, alcohol abuse, and even suicide because of the depression, anxiety and PTSD that was not treated properly. Even though this has always been my dream career, if it comes down to a choice between the Navy and my mental health, I'm choosing my mental health. I especially will not go through dental school off my medication. I have friends right now who are in dental school who have never experienced any mental health issues, and are now on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. To wrap this up, I just want to know my options. As I said, I never thought one medication would keep me from chasing my dream. It's been very disheartening and I am hoping someone out there has some good, positive advice/feedback for me. Thanks & stay well!
Echoing what SirBrotherJam said, the military doesn't sound like the right fit for your personal situation. It sounds like you really need your medication and may need it even more so in school. You don't want to lie to the government, especially when it could be pretty easily found that you are taking medication. They can and will get your medical records from any provider that bills your insurance. Best of luck
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads
Aug 20, 2020
2
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
Be honest with recruiter and MEPS. It wouldn't be good if they found you lied to them and had this preexisting condition. I know of someone that was turned away because of low iron levels.


If there are people taking meds for this kind of thing it was after they joined and were trained. I treat a lot of spec ops guys and they all have mental issues of varying degrees mainly due to their job, but are considered a heavily invested, valuable assets.

Military doesn't like to take on people that have serious health needs and you seem quite dependent from your story. Unfortunately anxiety would probably be a red flag for them.

There are many ways to serve others. Never hurts to ask though.

The Navy also has incentive to be more selective as manning is being cut across the board, so if an exception was made in the past, it may be considered an issue now. Not trying to be negative, but no point in sugar coating it for you. I hope it works out whatever path you take.
Best of luck!


Thanks for the advice! & Thank you for your service! Another question though.. I've heard varying timelines on if I were to try and get off my medication do I have to be off of it for 1 year or 3 before I go through MEPS? To be frank, I was prescribed right after an extremely traumatic event in my family and it helped a lot. I've heard of people being able to get off their medication and the anxiety not return, however, I'm just a tad nervous to attempt it because anxiety and panic attacks are so miserable to endure! I wouldn't start dental school for another year so theoretically now is the perfect time for me to try and taper off and I'm on a very low mg so it wouldn't be hard. As I said, this is my dream and has been since I was a kid traveling to every military museum in the US with my grandpa. Even though getting off my medicine is not heavily recommended by my pharmacist mother and psychiatrist bestfriend, I'm willing to do whatever it takes. And if 3 or 6 months from now I feel like I need to be back on it, then I'll know my dreams of serving are null and void.
 

Tooth Ferry

5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2015
286
162
It's Wicked Cold
Status
  1. Dentist
Thanks for the advice! & Thank you for your service! Another question though.. I've heard varying timelines on if I were to try and get off my medication do I have to be off of it for 1 year or 3 before I go through MEPS? To be frank, I was prescribed right after an extremely traumatic event in my family and it helped a lot. I've heard of people being able to get off their medication and the anxiety not return, however, I'm just a tad nervous to attempt it because anxiety and panic attacks are so miserable to endure! I wouldn't start dental school for another year so theoretically now is the perfect time for me to try and taper off and I'm on a very low mg so it wouldn't be hard. As I said, this is my dream and has been since I was a kid traveling to every military museum in the US with my grandpa. Even though getting off my medicine is not heavily recommended by my pharmacist mother and psychiatrist bestfriend, I'm willing to do whatever it takes. And if 3 or 6 months from now I feel like I need to be back on it, then I'll know my dreams of serving are null and void.
That needs to be a decision you make with your MD. I think you need to be off them at least a year but you'd need to check with a healthcare recruiter as each branch may have different rules.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads