• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Past history of depression and anxiety - Potential disqualifiers?

Reaction score
Hello fine folk of Army.ca,

I'm currently in the arduous process of applying to the CAF and I thought I'd try to get some potential insight into the medical examination segment of joining the CAF. This will be relatively long, I apologize, but I'll do my best to provide all the relevant information I can.

I graduated high school in BC in 2019 and then decided to move to Ottawa for university. In October of 2019, I was diagnosed by my GP that I have Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I took some medication for a year and even tried therapy for a brief period. Neither of them really did anything, the therapy was just talks about coping mechanisms and ways to change outlooks into positive ones, which I genuinely did already know. The medication on the other hand just had 0 effect on me.

Now, I believe that the reason for this is that my feelings of self doubt and general thoughts on life were caused by life circumstances during high school, including getting broken up with, failing some classes, and just generally feeling helpless and powerless to do anything. Once I moved away to Ottawa though and started making new friends and progressing through life, I came to realize that I don't have these same thoughts and feelings anymore. I haven't been able to go get undiagnosed as I currently do not have a GP in BC as I moved back and my previous one retired and I now no longer live in Ottawa.

As a result of all this, I'm wondering if I would be forced to get further documentation or be outright denied. I have not taken medication in over 2 years. I have not visited a therapist in over 2 years. I never had suicidal thoughts. I also never met with an actual psychologist, I only got diagnosed through my GP. I genuinely believe that I am no longer suffering from these conditions and that it was just a low point in my life causing me to get diagnosed.

If anyone has any insight into this, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'd be happy to provide any further answers if there's any questions or concerns and I look forward to hopefully joining the ranks soon. I will also reply back when I finally get to the medical portion so that anyone else with a potentially similar scenario can get an idea of what the process is like (hopefully nothing.).

Thank you all very much and have a great morning :)
I'm still in the recruitment process as well, (so don't take me as an authority) and I have a somewhat similar history. It's been over 8 years for me since I last felt I had any kind of depression but I felt it was the honest thing to be forthright with it to the medic. They will ask a lot of questions about it once you bring it up. The feedback I got from them was that having gone to therapy and having done the work to get well was a good sign. I still found medical forms a few months later in my mailbox to get signed off by my doctor concerning it, so if I were you, I would expect the same- you'll have your chat with the medic and they'll still want some follow-up.
Just saying "I'm not depressed anymore" is not going to cut it, since literally everyone who applies to the army thinks they're probably fine and good to go, but obviously not everyone truly is. I'm still waiting on hearing back from the RMO about my case, so I'm not sure I'll make the cut even with my psychologist giving me the green light- after all, if there's someone out there who is as competitive for a spot as I am who has zero medical history of concern, they're probably getting the nod first over me.
If I get rejected, I plan to appeal it, but it won't be a surprise since it's a valid concern.
Still, go ahead and try with an optimistic attitude, but be prepared to get grilled about it and to make a good case for yourself about what you've proactively done to get better. Being 'someone who has struggled and come out stronger with strategies to manage their mental' is a much better look than just saying 'things were hard at the time, but then things got easier and I felt better.'- Even if you don't feel like you got a lot out of therapy or meds, being specific about the coping mechanisms that worked for you would give more confidence that it's in the past.
Finally, don't lie about it or omit it. If it came out later that you didn't answer truthfully, I imagine that would be a much bigger red flag than the depression itself.
Best of luck.