I am so glad I whiteknuckled my depression and suicidal ideations to get into the Air Force and then left with veteran benefits
If I "got help" and "did all the right things" according to what a depressed person is supposed to do, like if I was honest to some shrink about my suicidal ideations and got locked into 72 hour hold and was prescribed meds, I would never have been able to join the air force. If I "got help", I would've been a victim to the system and be passed around from institution to institution. I would've still been stuck in a bumfucknowhere with no serious job prospects, struggled to maintain a shit job because nobody else would hire me, stayed homeless because I was abandoned by my family, stayed in a crack house with 5 federal convicts because that's the best I can do, sink into medical debt from the involuntary hold even though I had no insurance and was too poor to get regular medical help on my own - who the hell wouldn't want to off themselves in that situation? And if I decided to brighten my future and go to school, I would've been in serious debt to pay for it and I am not that bright either to navigate the college system. Fuck all that.
I was too poor to see an actual therapist or doctor, so I had no medical records. I kept my mouth shut about my real thoughts and joined.
I was less depressed during my service, it felt like I had a pre-established group of friends and I was less likely to just fall through the cracks or float away because someone somewhere would notice if they didn't hear from me for a couple days and bring me back into the fold. I worked on a degree during my service because I had stability for once in my life. Now that I am out again, at least now I am depressed in a nice house with my own car parked out in the garage, depressed with some savings in the bank instead of nothing, and sitting here being depressed with my homework while having the GI bill pay for my master's degree and also giving me money to go to school. It's definitely better to be miserable inside a nice warm house and something to keep me busy instead of being miserable while jobless and sitting under a bridge or inside a crack house with like 5 federal convicts.