How Suicidal Thoughts and Depression Can Affect Clearance Eligibility

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Under the National Security Adjudicative Guidelines (SEAD-4) Guideline I: Psychological Conditions it states certain emotional, mental, and personality conditions that can impair judgment, stability, reliability or trustworthiness are a concern. The Adjudicative Desk Reference goes into further details regarding specific types of mental or personality disorders, why they are concerning, and what mitigation could be…

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The key point here is that the individual was not seeking treatment and the condition was not well managed. It may also be significant that the bipolar condition had been present for a long time and was clearly some kind of chronic condition. I believe that if someone is following a treatment plan, even if it includes medications, in most cases they will be granted a clearance.

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Concur with both. The whole hitting head with hammer thing…he’s committed, all in. I too would question if he was stable enough to work around. I’ve known many who takes meds long term and are great, trusted friends. The “well managed” part is key to me.

Pieces like this remind me of why security clearances have become a total joke. You have people with the worst forms of mental illness (bipolar, manic-depressive, suicidal ideation) and taking psychiatric medications yet there is a bend-over-backward accommodation in the security clearance process to give the applicant every possible opportunity to show their major mental issue is not an issue (in the common meaning of that word).

You apply for a job as a ditch digger and show up missing an arm or two and it’s, “Sorry buddy, there are others jobs out there you can do but this ain’t one of them.” Meanwhile you apply for a national security job and show up with a major psychiatric disorder and it’s, “Let’s attempt to establish that you can be trusted and you can be stable in spite of a having a non-static mental condition which guarantees that you can’t do either.”

Look, I have a lot of sympathy for people who suffer very real mental issues which they had no part in creating (e.g., congenital, as opposed to smoking MJ which causes psychosis and schizophrenia). Someone who’s born with, or naturally developed, a psychiatric condition has a hidden deformity and is worthy of as much pity as the person born with no arms. In the former case it’s more tragic because it’s hidden and thus most people are less tolerant of the handicap. That said, there are plenty of jobs which don’t have as their fundamental requirement having to be trusted with secrets, specially, national security secrets.

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Wait Marijuana causes psychosis and schizophrenia? Or did I misunderstand what you were saying?

At least among teenagers, marijuana use increases the risk of psychosis and Schizophrenia, yes.

Not defending marijuana use in any way but from the link posted above:

“So far, this research shows only an association between smoking pot and developing psychosis or schizophrenia later on. That’s not the same thing as saying that marijuana causes psychosis.”

I was quite careful to not say that it did. It’s use does increase the risk of developing psychosis and schizophrenia, however.

Didn’t say you did. Someone up post declared it as fact.

In 2009 the VA decided I needed mental health treatment and counseling because my mother committed suicide while I was overseas. THEIR words. I refused any treatment because she died from cigarette smoking, and the avid VA anti-smoker considered it was self-inflicted, and therefore a suicide. In 2010 at SCI renewal time I had a lot of fun explaining that one. There are still lots of medical forms you and I will never be able to seem that are in our files. I’m just glad the VA was vocal about their opinions on smokers.

Reframe from offering “pity” to “empathy.” Don’t pity anyone. But if you consider life from their point of view…maybe you understand better?

I think one of the best portrayed experiences of mental illness…just an actor…but a painfully sweet performance can be found in the last episode of Ozark. The brother of a main character has intense bipolar disorder. He painfully describes remembering what it was like before “the thing that broke my mind” happened. I think it really helps understand what some people deal with in their heads.