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The Depression / Anti Depressants Merged Thread

fshtooth87 said:
I ended up leaving that office diagnosed bipolar and he put me on lithium. 

This may help.

The Depression / Anti Depressants Merged Thread 
also friendly reminder, if you are NOT CAF medical staff, then you should not be offering your OPINION on what may not happen, medical wise during the recruiting process.
Hi. I applied to the Primary Army Reserves about 9 months ago. I did excellent on the aptitude, and I passed my physical. I did not get in because I was on medication for depression. My depression was due to a situation, and not some permanent imbalance of a neurotransmitter in my brain.  I have been off my medication for a year. Once I had gotten out of my situation & with medication I improved significantly. I am now in my second year of university, I feel no different than if I had been on my medication.
I have also been in army cadets. I know it is nowhere close to the actual reserves, but when I was depressed I completed the expedition instructor course( we did a 2 day solo and 18 day expedition, and of course at camp we had daily inspections etc.). And that was the happiest time of my life. Even though they yelled at us and made us do PT, I was happy.
Also my depression was mainly just a lack of energy and being unmotivated to do stuff. But I'm good at forcing myself to do things. During expo we did a night hike, I completed it.
Once again  know its nothing like the reserves, but if I could complete that much while being depressed, and my depression wasn't really a emotional issue just a energy issue, then doesn't that mean I should be fit to be a solider in the reserves?
I guess really im wondering if there's a good chance I will get in the reserves when I apply in a few weeks time?
Osotogari said:
I'm not a recruiter, ........so I'll take it upon myself to offer some free advice.  And Ignore directions

Massive thread on depression here


Thought I'd put in an update as to what happened with me.

My doctor made a blunder when he put "dysthymia" on the medical form. I was never diagnosed with it.  He was trying to respond to the statement on the form as filled out, as the form stated that I had indicated that I had been diagnosed with depression.  This was not the case going through my medical files, as he had not reviewed them and simply tried to go by memory as to what had happened with me.  Truth be told, I had went and seen a counselor, he (my GP) had tried to teach me relaxation therapy and that was that. (The "meds" I was on was Zyban, to help me quit smoking at the time. Probably should've mentioned that, and known what the hell I was taking would've helped too.)  In response to the form (DND form 2770) indicating that I had depression, he wrote dysthymia, trying to indicate that if it was apparently a depressive episode, it was mild.  He had forgotten the specifics of dysthymia, and did not realize that it implied a chronic condition. He admitted his mistake to me and we moved forward with getting an appeal ready.  All being said, there were a lot of hoops I had to jump through in order to get a appeal that seemed satisfactory to be sent in, but I eventually got everything I feel I needed to get.  The appeal was successful and my file is nearly complete.

TL;DR: Going to a counselor does not mean you will have depression on you medical file, nor will it stop you from joining the Canadian Forces.

Lessons learned:

Know whats on your medical files with your GP

Read and understand ALL things written on paperwork submitted to the CAF

I apologize in advance if this question has been answered, or if this is the wrong place to ask this question or if it offends anyone.

I would also like to comment that I have read this thread and other threads in search of this question/answer and other questions/answers so if I missed the thread, I am sorry, I am still human.


1) I have my medical examination coming up next week. I do have depression and have been medicated for this. This is a disease and the medications are the treatment. First question, how does this fail to meet the requirements if the Canadian forces website quotes the following "You will not be disqualified based on a diagnosis or disease. "

2) If I do not meet the enrollment standards, which after reading this massive thread seems likely, will the reviewers tell me everything that would prevent me from entering service or just one thing. The reason why I ask, is that there is more then one thing that differentiates me from a normal individual. I have tried asking the recruiting office in both Toronto and Barrie, and have also tried asking recruiters at trade shows, college shows and elsewhere if my condition 'x' would prevent me from getting into the forces, and 99% of them have told me that they do not know the answer either way, and the best thing to do would be to apply and progress through the system to your medical. So the question. If I do not meet the medical requirements will they tell me every reason why I do not meet it, or will they simply say for instance "...you have depression and take meds, and can't get in unless you have been off for a min of 1 year....". I would like to know if I stand a chance. If I get off my meds and wait the 1.5 - 2 years before reapplying will I be deemed medically unfit due to another existing medical issue.

I am going into the medical praying for the best, but knowing that I might be deemed unfit for service. Either way, I have decided that I am satisfied with knowing one way or the other, and also know that it is neither the end of the world if I don't get in or that just because I applied I am going to get a job. Life is not perfect, nobody said it was, and those who say it is are usually lying.
Chances are they will tell you come back when you've been off of the meds for some time, assuming you are ok to get off them.
They will also give you a form to take to your dr and on that form, they ask questions like: are you prone to this, can you relapse etc... so it will depend on your dr's comments and you of course getting better.
Good luck, because they're anal with stuff like this (with good reason). They do not want someone to join that has a history of depression and can relapse.

ps I recently had my medical and asked a lot of questions, because I took some meds that fall into that category (for a different reason), and they expect a full report from my dr and may even make me wait some time off them, regardless of why I took them. Pretty strict.
Should have added one additional comment.

condition 'x' is not something that can not ever be changed. I am more worried about condition 'x' then about the meds or anything else. If they say that condition 'x' is not a worry or will not effect my enlistment in the future then I will consult my doctor regarding taking me off of the meds, otherwise I will stay on the meds and change career direction.

Sorry Cryco for incorrect posting to incorrect place.
Anten33 said:
. . .  First question, how does this fail to meet the requirements if the Canadian forces website quotes the following "You will not be disqualified based on a diagnosis or disease. "

You are focusing on a single sentence, which in my opinion, confuses the issue rather than explains the process.  Reading the entire section, the relevant part is

Medical File Review

After the medical exam, your medical records and history will be reviewed by military medical staff. This review helps to determine if there are any medical limitations that will affect your training and career. You will not be disqualified based on a diagnosis or disease.

You may be asked for additional exams or reports from your family doctor or a specialist. In this case, you will be given a form with instructions and questions for your doctor.  You are responsible for having your doctor fill out the forms and return them to the recruiting centre as soon as possible so we can continue to move your application towards enrolment. If your doctor expects a fee to complete the forms, you are responsible for that cost.

Applicants are not medically disqualified because they have a prior diagnosis of "x" or "y" or because an enrolment medical examination discovers any such disease, but because a review of an "individual's" past and current medical history indicates there are (or likely to be) limitations in their ability to meet the requirements of military service.  It may seem the same thing, but it is not.  There is no rule that everyone with a diagnosis of "x" is automatically disqualified; the specifics of an individual with a diagnosis of "x" is reviewed to determine if that individual can meet the physical and mental requirements of military service.  However, one should not be surprised if the vast majority of individuals with condition "x" do not meet enrolment standards if the common symptoms and outcome of that condition is incompatible with military service.
medicineman said:
It's actually simple to wrap around - the rules are that if you were treated for depression, you must be stable and off meds for a year.  BTW, the doctor isn't to write on the form what you want them to - it's what's on your chart and their experience with you that's to be commented about.  I've seen that a lot from both sides of the fence.

Good luck.


There are no "rules" per say, in regards to how long you need to off meds.
Case in point:
Started on anti-depressants in Jan 2013, applied to the CF in June 2013.  Received a rejection letter in March 2014, decided to go off meds that same month.  In September, called the recruiting centre to find out if I could re-open my file, only to find out if was still open and just needed a letter from my doctor explaining I was off meds, yadda yadda...  Received a letter at the beginning of October stating I am now medically fit to serve.  And now, I'm starting BMQ on the 16th.  So there is no "specific amount of time", because I had asked that very same question and was told it's all case by case.  They've seen people who have been off for 2 months be given an offer, and some having to wait over a year.  Good luck to you, no matter what you decide.  :)
Hi, I've passed the recruiting process with a history of depression, 10 years since my last episode and medic signed off, went off to basic and was sent home failing to qualify on the range. Being sent home brought up a lot of emotions and sadness, and while I'm in BRT with my local Naval Reserve unit, I fear if I go to get help about my depression, I will be kicked out. Is this an irrational fear being too new and possibly kicked out, or can I get the same services all those who have completed training can get. Sadly, I feel I'm in limbo - I wouldn't be picked up in my current state, yet not want to be removed for seeking help. Thank you.
Hey guys,

Just spent the last hour reading through this thread as I have my own concerns about my medical. Things are moving fairly quickly for me right now, assuming my interview and medical go well I could be off to BMQ at the end of April, assuming all goes well. Quite the surprise since I just did my CFAT a week ago. I had a brief mental health issue roughly 10 years ago. Never diagnosed with anything in particular, but given some seroquel, which I took for two - three months with minimal regularity. I will be frank and state the whole issue was a result of my choice to join my friends in experimentation with a few different types of recreational drugs, a fact I chose to conceal from the psychiatrist I was taken too (after an obvious change had taken place in my mood/manner which has been observed by my parents). This fact was brought to light when I was effectively "caught" bringing to light the real underlying cause of my "issues". This all took place over the course of less than a year, perhaps five months.

This is the back ground, and I've read enough here to know that asking "will this affect my application, can I still get in?" is a resounding "Yes, it will affect your application, each case is different as it is up to the Medical officer", so I won't bother asking that. What I will ask is whether I can be proactive in the process.

An effort is being made by the recruiting staff to get me on basic ASAP (assuming all checks out) as the basic occupational training has intake only once a year and they would like to fill the spots. Time between my medical and my potential BMQ date is very short. Anyone know if I could obtain the DND 2770 ( I believe it would be in this case?) prior to the medical exam as to try and make the process take as minimal amount of time as possible.

I realize this may be the nail in the coffin for my application and if it is that will be the extent of it; price paid for poor choices when I was younger. That being said, any advice, thoughts, or just blunt reality anyone wants to offer would be appreciated.

Hey all, first post on here. I apologize in advance for the book I'll end up writing to explain my situation. I started my application process in the summer of last year, and I was 18 at the time. Completed and qualified for everything I wanted. But when I went in for my medical around a month later, I hadn't realized that the medication I was currently taking would be an issue (Zoloft 25mg once daily) and hadn't stopped taking it. My doctor had put me on it after the sudden death of a friend of mine as a "just in case" measure since my father had also passed away suddenly when I was 15 and went through situational anxiety and depression back then. The WO who was doing my medical gave me a form I would need to get my doctor to fill out and send off to Ottawa for review in regards to why I was on the medication. I received a letter a few months later stating that due to my use of Zoloft I wasn't fit to join at that time. So I had talked to my doctor about weening myself off of it and have been off for over 6 months now and appealed the decision as I do not currently have any depression or anxiety as it was just situational in regards to the sudden deaths of my father and friend, and my doctor had written a short letter saying something along the lines of "Applicant has been off of Zoloft for many months and is showing no signs of anxiety or depression, with no chance of relapse". But when I last contacted my local recruiting office they said that my appeal had been reviewed in Ottawa and the result didn't look promising, and that I'll receive a letter shortly. So finally my question; has anyone experienced applying with a past of situation depression or anxiety and antidepressant use? Is there any chance I will be able to be deemed fit for service if I keep appealing? And any tips or suggestions as to what I should do in this situation?
TL;DR- had situational depression and anxiety after death of family member and friend, was on zoloft when applied, deemed unfit, stopped taking zoloft and got a doctors note and appealed, still looking like I'll be deemed unfit, what're chances of me being able to be deemed fit through continuing to appeal?
Have you tried reading through pertinent older threads here to find answers?
I have looked around through some, but have yet to find anything that directly relates to me. Will keep looking though, thanks for response!
dkm said:
I have looked around through some, but have yet to find anything that directly relates to me. Will keep looking though, thanks for response!

You're probably not going to find the exact same situation, however, there are lots of comparable stories/questions in this thread.

So I recently applied to the CAF, I scored very high on my CFAT, Personality Test and do very well in school (high school U level courses), also have a job for last 2 years... great references and think my application was pretty bulletproof. But I have hypothyroidism, which if untreated can lead to depression. I do take medication for it and have been since I was a kid, but when I was young doctors thought I was depressed because I was just being diagnosed at the time... but on my medical referral from my doctor she stated that I had suffered from depression but with proper usage of my thyroid medication it went away and continued usage of the medication will keep me healthy and will have no depression... should I hold my breath for acceptance for CAF or do I not stand a chance now. Going for Weapons Engineering Technician if its of any interest. Thanks