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I Don't Know if I Can Finish the Mission

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I am a 23 year old soldier and I don't know if I can handle the situation I am in any more. I cannot say where I am but the stress of this place is extremely high. Because I have been trained in a high-demand technical field, the Army has begun to require an ever increasing amount of time for the mission. I now only sleep about 4 hours each day, an amount I would have thought was impossible to survive on (and maybe it isn't possible to live like this, since I feel like it is killing me.)

I am now entering the second month of this routine, and I almost thought I could make it, until I sustained a physical injury that has left me in constant pain and severely limited my basic mobility. But the demands of this mission are relentless, and even with my injury I am expected to perform on the same level that I had been at. Thankfully my buddies have been helping me out as much as they can, picking up the slack when I no longer can do something. But even this is not enough.

I always told myself I was to proud to go out this way, that I was determined to fulfill any obligation I was given. But recently another soldier in my unit killed himself, and even though I have seen that his actions have had a negative impact on us all, I can't get what he did out of my head, and I envy him so much. I need to escape somehow, but I do not want to abandon my buddies. I feel hopeless, but I'm scared to get help. The field I work in is very sensitive, and people with psych "profiles" are quickly removed, which ruins their prospects of good careers later on in the civilian world. So it's come down to all or nothing here, I have to hold on to ensure that things can one day get better, but if I am unable to then I feel I should just give up entirely, like I should give up on my career and my life and my mission. I just feel so spent and I want to sleep forever.


Well-Known Member
My father is a veteran. Based on what he has told me, what you've described is not uncommon in the field. Further, the US Army is very difficult to negotiate with. It's true that, if you declare yourself suicidal, you will probably be discharged. What I'm trying to find out is whether it will be honorable or dishonorable.

There seems to be mostly good news, however. The majority of what I've read in relation to this says that it will be considered an honorable medical discharge, provided that, during your evaluation, they deem you to be truly suicidal. It's possible they will put you back in the field and put you on suicide watch. It's also possible you will remain in an army base for the entirety of your evaluation. It goes on a case-by-case basis, and there is no hard-and-fast rule about how to treat a suicidal soldier, whether to put him back in the field on suicide watch or to keep him until he can be honorably discharged.

Further, your suicidality will be considered confidential. Remember the "Orange Vest" policy they used, where they made suicidal soldiers wear an orange vest to identify themselves? That was thrown out, and since then the Army has become a little easier on soldiers that are incapable of serving in the field. In fact, if the information I'm getting is correct, it will be made almost entirely confidential. So I'm assuming your worries about not finding work afterward really aren't necessary. All that anyone will know afterward is that you were honorably discharged for medical reasons. That's the entirety of it, and you are not required to reveal any more than that to employers. That makes it an illegal interview question.

I'm hoping someone else who is more knowledgeable posts in this thread to help you, because I can't get a 100% positive answer on some of this.

In the meantime, take care of yourself, okay?


Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend
Hey TS,
I was discharged due to psych evaluation.. I received a General Under Honorable Conditions discharge.. I am still proud of my time I was in..The reason I didn't receive a bad conduct was because I did my job while waiting to see what they were going to do.. I think if you do your job and see a pdoc they will do the same with you.. Just remember how proud you were when you graduated boot camp and use that pride to help you get thru this..The armed forces is a little more leanient towards psych evals than they were when I was in..I wish you all the best..
I think that the military very often makes unreasonable demands on soldiers.

I think the mentality is that the soldier is expendable, and they know how to psychologically pressure you.

There really isn't any other job out there where they could get away with pushing people to work with only 4 hours of sleep per night, make everyone keep going even after someone has committed suicide, etc.

I don't know how you got injured, but I'm guessing that sleep deprivation was a precipitating factor.

If you can communicate that you are feeling suicidal, maybe they can give you a little more rest and maybe give you some medication. In your case, it's probably not medication that you need primarily, but more rest and less stress. Hope that things get better


Well-Known Member
It all comes down to you and your choices. IMO pride comes from within, and if the situation is making it hard to cope then there's no shame in coming to terms with it. I would personally, if I was you or in that situation, see if I could manage and if I felt seriously like I could not cope I would say something before it was too late. This would be an honorable thing to do. I hope this helps and good luck.
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