Psychotic Break Mitigation Time

Hi all. Some time ago, I endured a stress related psychotic break. The whole event lasted roughly two weeks, the last ten days of which I was hospitalized. All treatment was voluntary, and the psychiatrist I’ve been seeing does not seem to think I have a condition which can be diagnosed.

The stressors that led to the break were from a myriad, so I don’t think I can simply claim it was familial. How much time do I need to distance myself from this event to mitigate concerns with regards to obtaining a secret clearance? Currently job hunting, and most strongly prefer a job which requires a clearance. If I need to wait a year, though, I will unfortunately have to rule those positions out.


You will certainly have to wait a year or longer even with no issues at all to mitigate. Here at Treasury, public trust investigations are taking one year and secrets are one and one half years with no issues to mitigate. Just look online to see the average time that it takes to complete a secret clearance process. I have been advising all my clients that if they cannot wait a minimum of one year, to look for work elsewhere.
I never over promise and under deliver.

Come on . . . "Some time ago . . . "

Then you suggest that you might have to “wait a year”? Was the break last month? If so, you will likely need to wait longer than a year. If has already been five years, then another year will not make a difference.

Read the mitigating factors in the Guidelines. Time, of course, mitigates most things. But, if there is not a relatively clear cause for the break, it will take time.

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Is there really a timeline for this? This is not like drug use, which is voluntary behavior, usually reflective of a pattern of bad decisions and bad associations.

In my opinion (which is just that of some dude on a web site so keep that in mind), I think that successful treatment and maybe ongoing therapy are more of a mitigation factor than the simple passage of time, or at least the time factor alone.

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@sbusquirrel . . . If you are directing that question at me, I don’t know the answer. But, the mitigating factors for phycological issues do include the idea that the behavior is far enough in the past that it is not likely reoccur.

I’m with Squirrel. I had a cleared employee fighting major depression. His medication made him functional. Clearance was fine. Over time he was really hurting over the loss of his 30 year life partner. He resigned, came back and resigned again. The poor guy was seriously hurting. But with treatment plan in place, and time as Ed said…it can be overcome. Having a medical doctor speak to a belief there isn’t anything indicating it would return making you a danger to others or self, or would help a foreign government…I think you will be okay. Merlin speaks to a painful reality right now. My Secret clearances are regularly hitting 12 plus months for folks who never moved away from home, and had zero reported bad info. It is abysmally slow right now. .

And I thought it was supposed to be getting better!

Ya! I am now seeing waits of up to 4 months before an investigation even opens up. Routine, 18 year old kid, no issues…taking 12 and 13 months.

A lot depends on what checks need to get done. I see some Tier 3 investigations get done in 3 months, others take a year, especially those that have National Guard or Army Reserve checks. I recently had a Tier 5 closed in 5 months, Each case is different and timing is key.

Something related I’m wondering. Do adjudicators count the time from the incident to the time they are adjudicating for mitigation, the time the background investigation is done, or the time the paperwork is submitted.

Sounds to me like these can easily be several months to a year in difference, and would definitely change my thinking about the process. That is, submitting paperwork now and waiting a year for a determination is alot different then having to wait a year to start a yearlong process.

Thanks for replies!