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Careers/Job Impact This forum is for adults to discuss how AD/HD affects work and career.

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Old 03-16-11, 08:36 PM
Justtess Justtess is offline
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Why does the military insist new recruits be off of meds for 1 year?

I've heard this several times before with people dx with AD(H)D. If they can stay off of meds for 1 year, they can join the military. I know there is military personel who are also dx with ADHD and taking meds.

I asked a retired Navy friend this question and his response was, after a year...you can get a good look at how an individual behaves (makes decisions) w/o meds which is important in risky situations. I asked.... doesn't testing new recruits go through show their cognitive abilities and symptoms of AD(H)D? He was pretty sure their neuropsych testing will show just to what extent a recruit has AD(H)D. Wouldn't that make some potential recruits limited to certain jobs because of the risk factor?

Can anyone elaborate on what specific type of testing is done or what general attitude the military has with dx personel?
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Old 03-16-11, 09:12 PM
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Re: Why does the military insist new recruits be off of meds for 1 year?

I don't know what specifically they do with Dx personnel but I'm pretty sure the reason they want you off meds for a year is to judge how you would be in a deployment or somewhere you couldn't get or take those meds for quite a while.

The same way they don't take people with other conditions like heart or musculoskeletal issues. Sure they might be on meds at that point in time that make everything normal you want to see how they would be without them for the reasons above.
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Old 03-16-11, 10:44 PM
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Re: Why does the military insist new recruits be off of meds for 1 year?

They also want to make sure you can handle high stress situations without meds. It's also extremely important that if you're in a war zone and unable to get meds that you also don't have to deal with withdrawl. Not an ideal situation. Out in the field if you cannot sustain your attention, you're putting other people at risk.

(at least this is what I was told when I went to see if I could join Air Force Reserves).

To me it makes a lot of sense why they don't want you to depend on meds, especially since we're still in war situations.
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Old 03-16-11, 11:02 PM
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Re: Why does the military insist new recruits be off of meds for 1 year?

What blatant and livingchaos said.

Yes, there are plenty of people on ADHD meds that are active duty. You can't get discharged once you have been accepted because you previously were on and need to continue taking ADHD meds. And very often if you have been on them previously to joining, once your done with basic training/boot camp, you can go back on them.

It's really a case by case thing based on what your provider feels your needs are.
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Old 03-17-11, 01:43 AM
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Re: Why does the military insist new recruits be off of meds for 1 year?

The military doesn't test for ADD. But basic will test your ability to function and it's much more trying on those with ADD. You are never alone for 3 months straight, if your walking you are following someone, and being followed everywhere you go. Every min of every day is scheduled and you have to keep track of all of your gear at all times. You are constantly being told what to do, and the DS's dont like to repeat themselves.

As for "their" attitude. The military is a collective, a group of many individuals, there really isnt a collective they. I have been in for 5 years, and my symptoms are starting to interfere with my career path. But that is mainly because being on time and attention to mundane details are a big part of being enlisted. As for who needs to know, the only people that need to be informed are the people above you in your direct chain of command, as ADD meds are controlled substances and you will be randomly drug tested frequently. For the most part, regardless of your condition if you can do your job and not get in other peoples way of doing there's they are happy.
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