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Old Yesterday, 01:08 PM
Location: USA
2,740 posts, read 2,100,071 times
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My son went to an Air Force recruiter recently and was disqualified because of past history with OCD. This was back when he was little and he has evolved since then. It’s successfully cured and he’s experiencing no symptoms. He took medication for it and has been off of it for roughly 10 years.

Why is this an automatic DQ? I’ve seen waivers for ADD, ADHD, and a couple other similar disorders, but OCD is an automatic DQ? Any particular reason why?
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Old Today, 08:30 AM
Location: San Antonio
3,288 posts, read 9,513,591 times
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A recruiter can not medically disqualify someone. The recruiter is being lazy and trying to avoid working your son.

That being said, DoD medical regulation, page 45, clearly lists HISTORY of OCD as disqualifying. https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmotc...0.03_JUL12.pdf. No qualifiers about recovery. It is 100% a disqualification. I've never seen a waiver approved. That doesn't mean you can't try, but you're setting your son up with false hope if you do.

OCD has a tendency to come back at times of stress. Therefore, a military branch is very unlikely to take a chance on someone who needed treatment and medication in the past. There is a huge risk that during a deployment, war, boot camp, moving away from home, etc, that he could relapse. You're going to fight an uphill battle with a huge likelihood of failure.

Also, you should read his medical records. Generally, treatment of OCD is going to also include words like "depression" and "Generalized anxiety disorder" meaning MEPS will see multiple (comorbid) diagnoses. This will take any chance of waiver down to about 0%. Often, parents and patients aren't aware of how bad things look at paper. The medical records often read worse than what the doctor communicates to the family. This is because the doctor has to make it sound bad to get insurance payments approved. Often, a family will think "The kid just had a mild case of OCD, that's it." And the medical records are like "Major depressive disorder with bipolar symptoms, OCD and ODD tendencies present, not responsive to medication. Exhibits signs of anxiety disorders along with OCD. Elements of adjustment disorder present in daily life. Lack of coping skills. Trouble responding to stressors. Will need treatment into adulthood. Disciplinary issues at school and home. Insomnia present affecting patient's well being." Please, before you go forward, READ the medical records so you can see what you're up against. They are probably wildly worse than you are expecting.

However, if you want to try, he'll need all of his medical records, and will have to insist that the recruiter send them to MEPS for the doctor to review and make a determination.

Last edited by dmarie123; Today at 08:42 AM..
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Old Today, 11:48 AM
Location: San Antonio
3,288 posts, read 9,513,591 times
Reputation: 5057
A quick scholarly search shows that most studies have found 50-90% of people diagnosed with OCD hold additional mental health diagnoses, including:
Anxiety Disorders
Depression (e.g., Major Depressive Disorder)
Bipolar Disorder
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
Feeding/Eating Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Tic Disorders/Tourette Syndrome (TS)
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Hoarding Disorder
Trichotillomania (Hair-pulling disorder)
Excoriation (Skin-picking) disorder
Other Specified Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, e.g., body-focused repetitive behavior disorders such as nail biting, lip biting, and cheek chewing.
Learning Delays

To get a waiver, he'd likely need to show he did NOT have any of these disorders- comorbid disorders are extremely difficult to get approved (like never get approved) but MEPS via the waiver process.

You said he was cured? His medical records use the word "cure?" That would be very unsual and would make me question the doctor's orginal diagnosis. There is no cure for OCD. It never goes away, but rather can be under control. OCD is a lifelong chronic disease with no medically recognized cure. The medical community does not recognize that OCD can be cured or goes away. It can go into "remission" which is to say that behaviors are controlled, but it can not be *cured.* One does not get undiagnosed with OCD. They always have OCD, they're just able to control symptoms and behaviors at a given time. Relapse is an expected outcome for those with OCD, as it is a chronic life-long condition. This is much like how and alcoholic in recovery is not drinking alcohol, but is still and alcoholic. Will always be an alcoholic.


The waiver process would depend on how convincing his medical records are that symptoms are unlikely to come back, even in times of deployment to a war zone, isolation from family in boot camp, death of a friend in combat... etc. In the most stressful situations you can imagine, are his symptoms unlikely to come back? How convincing are his medical records of that?

Do his medical records convince the Air Force that he is one of the 10% of people that did not also have other mental disorders as listed above?

Good luck!
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Old Today, 07:36 PM
Location: USA
2,740 posts, read 2,100,071 times
Reputation: 2117
Thank you very much!
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