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  #1  
Old 06-02-12, 04:27 PM
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Unhappy Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

First of all, I'm new so nice to meet you . I have been struggling with ADHD-PI/SCT for my entire life. I wasn't diagnosed until I joined the Air Force. At my first duty station, I went to see a shrink because I was depressed. Within a few sessions, he realized that I was the poster child of SCT. I work as an administrative medical technician. 90% of my job is paperwork. I constantly make typos on important powerpoints for meetings and lose papers. I struggle to stay awake during boring meetings, which are frequent. My supervision think I'm lazy even though I have explained to them 1,000 times how hard I am trying. I am so stressed out. They are aware of my diagnosis, but they don't care at all. Are there any military or prior military ADHDers out there that can relate to me? Do you have any advice?
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Old 06-02-12, 07:02 PM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

You have to weigh your options. If the pressure is too much, you get out and deal with the consequences. If you can handle it, then you just suck it up until your contract is up. The military is a very unforgiving career with no shortage of ignorant people in the chain of command.

Did you see an air-force shrink or a civilian one? If need be, see a civilian and if you need medication, start taking it. Inform your chain of command that you are taking medication. They may try to stop you, don't let them. If it was prescribed to you, then ultimately and **** that they pull with you will not hold up.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have seen a civilian psychiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment. Taking medication would have disqualified me from my job. I'm sure that I would have spent time behind bars, they would have done it to intimidate me. They would have thrown the UCMJ at me in any way possible.
But, honestly, it would have been worth it. By the time I finally served my six years in the Navy I was even more of a mess than when I started. Given the circumstances, if they did end up kicking me out with an OTH, I could have gotten it over-turned considering the circumstances.
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Old 06-02-12, 08:50 PM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

Thank you both for serving. It makes me furious the way military personal are treated!
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Old 06-03-12, 04:34 PM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

Wow, that's terrible that your job didn't allow you to be on medication. Luckily, I am a desk monkey and I take any medications that I'm prescribed. When I broke my toe, I was all doped out on percocet for a few weeks. I have no idea how I got anything done at work!

My supervision knows that I'm on medication. I saw a civilian psychiatrist that works on base, so he's kind of an Air Force doc and kind of not. I was prescribed Adderall XR by my primary care doctor, but I have to jump through hoops to get him to raise the dosage. He started me at 5mg and now I'm on 15mg. It doesn't last very long at all. Every time I want to raise the dosage I have wait a few weeks and then follow up with him. It's very time consuming but I'm sure you have to jump through hoops for Adderall in the civilian world too. My doctor also gives me a 90 day supply, which I think is illegal...but no complaints here.

I love my job itself, but I don't know if the military is right for me. You are right about there being too many ignorant/dirt bag people in your chain of command. My supervisor is a 20 year E6... yeah... it's that bad.

As far as getting out, they're med boarding me for Asthma so I might be a civlian again in 6 months or so. Then again, the Air Force seems to keep people as long as they have all of their essential organs. I know a diabetic that's undeployable with an insulin pump that they kept in. I'm hoping that whether I stay in or get out, I get the medication that I need. My doctor is frustratingly slow about upping dosages. His excuse was "you're such a small girl". Uh... 20 mg is an acceptable adult dosage. Why don't you start me there? I'm sure you all get my frustration in the schedule II medication department...
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Old 06-04-12, 08:53 AM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

I am not sure how the AF works, but I do know about the Army. I was in for 7 years and my husband has been in for 10. Depending on the regulation, you should be able to be med boarded out and not retained (if that's your choice).

There are some medical conditions where retention is a possibility, and I'm not sure if ADHD is one of them in the AF. In the Army, you can only be retained if not on meds for 12 months.

This should provide you with the information you are looking for:
http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/share...AFI36-3212.pdf
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Old 06-04-12, 11:37 AM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

Anyone else find it ironic that the same military who force feeds their pilots dextroamphetamine would have an issue with someone taking ADHD meds?

I was in the military just long enough to realize it wasn't where I wanted to be. I pursued it because I thought the structure would be good for me, that the chain of command would motivate me. That was an error on my part. If I had known then what I know now, and had been medicated, it may have turned out differently.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:09 PM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

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Originally Posted by spc123 View Post
Anyone else find it ironic that the same military who force feeds their pilots dextroamphetamine would have an issue with someone taking ADHD meds?

I was in the military just long enough to realize it wasn't where I wanted to be. I pursued it because I thought the structure would be good for me, that the chain of command would motivate me. That was an error on my part. If I had known then what I know now, and had been medicated, it may have turned out differently.
The military is prescription happy in general. They force feed me Adderall and Wellbutrin. The Air Force has NO issue with ADHD medications. In fact, ADHD isn't a disqualifying condition (this policy changed a couple years ago.) The issue is my supervisors who don't think ADHD is a real thing. It's funny that another poster mentioned being boarded because I'm actually being med boarded for asthma... so I may be out... then again they might keep me. Who knows.
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Old 06-05-12, 08:55 AM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LillyF View Post
The military is prescription happy in general. They force feed me Adderall and Wellbutrin. The Air Force has NO issue with ADHD medications. In fact, ADHD isn't a disqualifying condition (this policy changed a couple years ago.) The issue is my supervisors who don't think ADHD is a real thing. It's funny that another poster mentioned being boarded because I'm actually being med boarded for asthma... so I may be out... then again they might keep me. Who knows.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don't think ADHD is real. In the military, personally, I think its even more difficult to "prove" that you are truly unwell, whether it's physical or mental. The "suck it up and drive on" mentality doesn't work for everyone.

Asthma is considered disqualifying, but depends on the results of the medical examination. The PEB/MEB will also consider your dependence on medications and whether or not you are considerd mobile (deployable).
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Old 06-05-12, 04:32 PM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LillyF View Post
The military is prescription happy in general. They force feed me Adderall and Wellbutrin. The Air Force has NO issue with ADHD medications. In fact, ADHD isn't a disqualifying condition (this policy changed a couple years ago.) The issue is my supervisors who don't think ADHD is a real thing. It's funny that another poster mentioned being boarded because I'm actually being med boarded for asthma... so I may be out... then again they might keep me. Who knows.
Must be an air force thing...
They only pill they ever gave us was the 800mg motrin.
At least 50% of presented medical ailments was assumed to be an STD.
The other 50% was assumed to be a fiber or water deficiency.

Have strep throat, you're better off going to a civilian ER for treatment. We had one guy who almost died because they ignored his visits to medical for months... in the end, it ended up being Crohn's disease. They had to perform emergency surgery when he literally couldn't get out of bed.

Anywho, not sure what the military wide regulations are but my issue was with Nuclear Field Duty.

(d) Psychological and Cognitive. Psychological fitness for nuclear field duty must be carefully
and continuously evaluated in all nuclear field
personnel. It is imperative that individuals working
in these programs have a very high degree of
reliability, alertness, and good judgment. Disorders
italicized below refer to diagnoses or categories
described in the DSM-IV-TR.
(1) Delirium, dementia, amnestic and
other cognitive disorders, mental disorders due to a
general medical condition, schizophrenia and other
psychotic disorders, mood disorders, anxiety
disorders, somatoform disorders, factitious disorders,
dissociative disorders, eating disorders, and impulsecontrol disorders not elsewhere classified are
disqualifying.


(2) Disorders usually first diagnosed in
infancy, childhood, or adolescence, sleep disorders,
and sexual and gender identity disorders are
disqualifying if they interfere with safety and
reliability or foster a perception of impairment.
(a) Current Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is disqualifying, but a history of ADHD greater than 1 year prior to military
service is not disqualifying.

(b) Communication disorders, including but not limited to any speech impediment which
significantly interferes with production of speech,
repeating of commands, or allowing clear verbal
communications, are disqualifying.


Bravo Zulu to any and all that served and enjoyed it. I can only speak for myself but I was royally screwed. I was miserable my entire enlistment as I suffer from ADHD, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and then some... they didn't treat me because we were short handed to begin with (54% manning). I saw the absolute worst of what the military is capable of and had to put up with it for six years, because I honor my word and my contract.
Had I realized, at the time, that they were intentionally failing to diagnose me because they didn't want to lose me due to disqualification... I would have gone to a civilian doctor and wrote letters to my congressman.

From what I can tell, the ADHD is only an issue for nuclear and/or submarine duty in the Navy.
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Old 06-05-12, 04:35 PM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

Drewbacca, I'm sorry your experience was negative. Same here. You live and learn, right?

I hated the military, too, but see the positive side of it as well. I learned a lot from people, situations, and circumstances - both positive and negative.

SO glad that I am done with it, and am never looking back.
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Old 06-05-12, 04:45 PM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

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Originally Posted by hjajck View Post
Drewbacca, I'm sorry your experience was negative. Same here. You live and learn, right?

I hated the military, too, but see the positive side of it as well. I learned a lot from people, situations, and circumstances - both positive and negative.

SO glad that I am done with it, and am never looking back.
It was a mix. The good and the bad. I think I would have enjoyed it if I worked in a different department or service. It was a shared experience, and I'm thankful for the people I shared it with. I learned a lot about science and engineering. I've been driven as far as a person can be pushed and I'm still here to talk about it. It was partially my fault, I signed up for a job that I knew wouldn't be easy for me. But, it was mostly a terrible experience. The competent people don't tend to stay in and the incompetent ones are the lifers at least half of the time.
I had a serious disorder, but instead of helping me cope with it they punished me over and over again despite it. I only wanted to do my part, finish my obligation, and move on with my life with a smile on my face. Unfortunately, I'm still suffering from PTSD on top of everything else that I already had going into it. But yeah, I can still see the good too.

The ironic thing, is that the military did more to un discipline me than it did to discipline me. Hours and sleep schedule were irregular. I slept at best for five hours in a day when we were out to sea and it was always broken up into clusters. Go figure.
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Old 06-05-12, 08:55 PM
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Re: Any military (or prior) ADHDers out there?

Hi, I did Army and National Guard for 7 years. The best advice i can give you is not to take anything personal. Easier said than done but you can at least try right? I realized after 2 years in the military that the whole system and procedure is pretty simple and that my defiance and knack for getting into trouble was the real challenge. Soldiers fck up all the time, not really a big deal if you make mistakes. Th stress your giving yourself is likely making you more prone to making even more mistakes.
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