MEB For Required Medications due to Cyclothymia

MyNeckAndMyBack

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If you don't mind sharing, I'm interested to know what other meds you tried.
@redkel I was started on Zoloft some years ago which worked horribly for me (EXTREME fatigue/sleepiness, increased depression, others), went to Lexapro which worked for a while until my symptoms worsened. Psych upped the dosage and the symptoms went ahead but I went full zombie and had severe erectile dysfunction. Psych added Wellbutrin to counteract the ED and depression, which worked briefly. ED got worse then the mood swings came in a bad way, so she took me off of Lexapro completely and replaced with Lamictal, which I'm on right now and has been working quite well to stabilize my mood.

So, currently I'm on Lamictal and Wellbutrin. The combo keeps my spirits higher than without them and balances my mood a bit better, as well as minimizes the duration/severity of mood swings. But, when the depression hits, it's bad, but not quite as severe/dark as before. However, these are also shorter instances; before this combo it would last for weeks, and now it's a week, tops.

For reference, I've been diagnosed with GAD and MDD and several providers have talked for the last 2 years about the possibility of Bipolar 2 but no one has been up to actually diagnosing it. My symptoms have been severe anxiety and social anxiety with dependent tendencies, chronic depression with ideations, and dysthymia. Currently my therapist has me at MDD and GAD, though.

Sorry for the novel; just wanted to make sure you got a full picture.
 

redkel

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No, don't be sorry. That's exactly what I was curious about. I have been on so many meds, and I wish I could remember as well as you do the meds and their good and bad effects.
 

MyNeckAndMyBack

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Hah, well, it's easy to remember what you don't want to take when they either make you sleep for 16 hours a day or mess with certain organs
 

USN_1997

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So, I was diagnosed with cyclothymia (Bipolar Type 2’s little brother) and was put on Lamictal. The Psychiatrist who is a Major told me that I’d be put through a MEB because you cannot be on those meds and on Active Duty. She said I would get medical retirement because of that, did she mean retirement or just a med board with severance pay? All of this was triggered because of things that started in the military so I’m not sure. Does anyone know if this is suffice for retirement? I’ve only been in 3.5 years. Thank you!
Where is the gouge coming from about Lamictal? My civilian psychiatrist has me on it now (3 weeks ago), but I have never heard anything about being on it negatively affecting military service. He said its a good medication because there are almost no side affects. I am an active duty naval officer with over 22 years of service. Is there a source document?
 

MyNeckAndMyBack

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Registered Member
DOD Memo Clinical Practice Guidance for Deployment-Limiting Mental Disorders and Psychotropic Medications has a policy regarding deployment disqualification for certain medicine types, anti-convulsants being one of those types. Lamictal is an anti-convulsant.

I'd say that, especially given the DOD's new "deploy or get out" policy, any medication which disqualifies someone for deployment will most likely automatically trigger the MEB process or, for AF, a DAWG. Not sure if the other services have a pre-DES process, though, so YMMV
 

USN_1997

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DOD Memo Clinical Practice Guidance for Deployment-Limiting Mental Disorders and Psychotropic Medications has a policy regarding deployment disqualification for certain medicine types, anti-convulsants being one of those types. Lamictal is an anti-convulsant.

I'd say that, especially given the DOD's new "deploy or get out" policy, any medication which disqualifies someone for deployment will most likely automatically trigger the MEB process or, for AF, a DAWG. Not sure if the other services have a pre-DES process, though, so YMMV
Ok, that answers my question - and to you point about the "deploy or get out' policy, I agree. I think that those of us who are non-deployable are going to be getting separated/retired based on the severity of our symptoms and the medications that we are on. Some days it seems like the medicine harms me more than the conditions I am being treated for.
 

MyNeckAndMyBack

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I hear ya. At this point though, I feel like a drain on the system due to my restrictions and the amount of money being spent on medical care for me. Best to just stop warming a seat, I think.
 

USN_1997

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I hear ya. At this point though, I feel like a drain on the system due to my restrictions and the amount of money being spent on medical care for me. Best to just stop warming a seat, I think.
Definitely - I feel like I am just a 'waste of space'. Basically I'm just a human medical burden that sits a desk and does not productive all day. At least the IDES/MEB/PEB process seems to go faster than I hear it used too.
 

Rascle_08

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So, I have been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I was told by my provider that he would be submitting me for an MEB to the DAWG. I was told the DAWG would take place on the 23rd of January. I haven't heard anything yet. I saw that my problem list was modified for my mental health disorders on Tricare online on the 24th but nothing was able to be viewed under The records other than that modification date. When do you normally find out about the DAWG results and when do you schedule the psychiatrist appointment?
 

MyNeckAndMyBack

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Registered Member
@Rascle_08 That's all situation dependent. There are a number of options that the DAWG has and you may not even be contacted by anyone if they decide to return you to duty. I have an annual IRILO for mild asthma every Jan, and they never contact me after. Really depends on the DAWG's decisions, in both my personal experience and those of my troops.

For this DAWG/MEB go-around, I contacted my SG about a week after and asked for an update. He told me unofficially that I'd be sent up for possible MEB and I was informed officially by the wing psych a few days later. I'd suggest starting with your SG, wing psych (if you have one), and PCM. Not necessarily in that order but it's how mine went. Good luck.
 
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