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Wasting My Life in the Navy

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms.Vicki,

I have been in the Navy for two years now. Recently, a wave of depression has hit me.

I don't know how to handle it. All I can think about is that I'm wasting my life and I want out. Ever since I took leave and experienced happiness again back home, it's been this way.

I haven't told anyone in my department because I feel like antidepressants won't work. I have taken them before when my father died and got bad results.

I just can't shake this and don't want to end up doing something idiotic to get out.

Sincerely,
Sick of the Navy

Dear Sick,

Please don't do anything idiotic to get out of the Navy. You could risk receiving a dishonorable discharge.

Let the joy and happiness of visiting with family and friends give you the strength to make it through.

It sounds like you are not enjoying being in the Navy and that is OK. Sometimes, we choose to do something and we later realize that it's not a good fit for us.

You didn't disclose why you don't like the Navy. Maybe you don't like your job, where you are stationed, you don't like your leadership or perhaps you discovered that you don't like being on a ship.

This is normal. I've taken jobs and assignments before that I did not like. It's all about self-discovery, which is a process, not a destination.

You should try to find someone you can bond with in your unit. You should also depend on close family and friends to help you get through.

More important, depression is serious and it can get worse. I don't want to minimize that this situation sounds stressful for you and that you don't have a lot of support to help you cope. You should consider therapy services and medication too.

I'm not a doctor so I will stay in my lane, but I will say that medication used with regular meetings with a therapist offers a good outcome. Go see someone. Please keep in touch and let me know what you decide.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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