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Assessing Fitness for Military Enlistment: Physical, Medical, and Mental Health Standards
TABLE 6-2 Hospitalization Rate for Active-Duty Personnel (Army)
Neurotic and personality disorders
TABLE 6-3 Existing Prior to Service Discharges of Enlistees, 1997-2002
SOURCE: Accession Medical Standards Analyses and Research Activity (2003).
cant who has ever received treatment for a mood disorder in the past. For example, if a nine-year-old received treatment for depression during fourth grade and had no further episodes of depression, he or she would be disqualified from military service.
Consideration should be given to altering this disqualifying criterion because (1) there will be increasing numbers of applicants who have received treatment for depressive disorders and (2) there is no evidence base to support exclusion of individuals who have received outpatient care for longer than 6 months. A more reasonable approach would be to use an age cutoff, similar to that used for eating disorders, such as disqualification if a mood disorder occurs after the 13th birthday.
As is the case for depression, there is increased recognition of the early age of onset of anxiety disorders. The DoD fitness standards exclude any individual who has a history of anxiety disorders. For example, an individual with separation anxiety disorder at age six who refused to go to school because he wanted to stay home with his mother would therefore be disqualified from serving in the military. Given the high prevalence of anxiety disorders in youth and the lack of scientific rationale for the exclusion of an individual with a history of anxiety disorders, consideration should be given to altering this disqualifying criterion. An age cutoff for occurrence or treatment of these disorders may be appropriate, such as disqualification if the disorder occurs after the 13th birthday.