- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2015
My little sister has been experiencing psychotic symptoms (hearing voices) for a few months now. She has been hospitalized twice in that time period – both voluntarily. During that time, she has met with various clinicians and psychiatrists and has been regularly seeing a therapist for counseling as well as a psychiatrist for her medications. Currently, she is taking an anti-psychotic drug (more on that in a second).
The voices she is hearing are basically telling her that she isn’t good enough. This has caused her to become obsessive about finding a good job and making money. She is 21 years old and currently living at home with my parents – she works part-time, but is constantly concerned that she doesn’t have enough money or hasn’t done enough in her life yet. She has over $5,000 in savings, so it isn’t like she’s doing badly at all for her age, she just thinks (because of her illness) that she should be doing much better financially (she thinks she needs to own her own home, etc.).
ANYWAY. This obsessive thinking caused her to look into joining the military. The National Guard to be specific. She told me this awhile ago, and honestly, I wasn’t too concerned. I knew that because she is taking anti-psychotic medication and because she has been hospitalized for psychotic episodes, it would be impossible for her to join the military at this time.
Flash forward to today. She texts me asking if she can live with me for 40 days. First of all, Fiance and I live in a tiny, tiny apartment (about 500 square feet), so it would be really difficult, if not impossible to have someone else live with us full-time. In addition, I don’t think I would be able to handle someone who is mentally ill living with me; it would just be too difficult (and trust me, I feel guilty about feeling like that). Anyway, I asked her why she wanted to do that and she told me that she needed to get away from our parents for 40 days so that she could stop taking her medication so she could join the National Guard.
I was floored. I told her that I thought this was irresponsible and that it wasn’t something I would support – first of all, she NEEDS to be taking her medication; second of all, she is nowhere near stable enough right now to join the military. I told her that and also said that I wasn’t sure that the National Guard would even allow her to join, even if she got off the medication.
She then told me (and this is the part that makes me SO ANGRY) that the recruiter she has met with (I didn’t know it had gotten this far) told her TO LIE about her symptoms, her medication and her condition. LIE. To the United States Military. I have never been pro-military in the least, but this makes my blood boil. I feel like I should report this recruiter. Not only is he encouraging my sister to LIE, but he is also encouraging someone he knows to be mentally ill to stop taking her medication and to enlist into a profession that is dangerous and absolutely non-conducive to dealing with something like a psychotic illness (she told me that she told him everything about what she is dealing with).
I am just so angry. Is this something that happens regularly in the military? Is there anything I CAN do? I’d love some advice/words of wisdom from the military bees out there!