Will a hospitalization for Anorexia 12 years ago affect my clearance eligibility?

I was placed in a hospital for Anorexia Nervosa when I was 15 years old. After I was released from the hospital, I did not nor need further treatment. Twelve years later, I am applying for a Secret Security Clearance. Should I be concerned about my eligibility?


I would think not, but you do need to be prepared to talk about the issues that put you that state of mind. What was going on in your life and how things are different today.


I don’t think this will be a problem. Like Ed said, you will probably have to discuss the circumstances around your hospitalization, but doesn’t mean you will be denied.


Read the question. Unless you were ordered by a court or an agency, this is outside the scope of the question; thus, it does not need to be disclosed or discussed.

That’s not the question I am referring to. The question is the following: Have you EVER been hospitalized for a mental condition?

In my case, yes, as a child I was indeed hospitalized.

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I stand corrected. The 2016 SF-86 does ask the question. Previous versions did not ask this question. It was “in last seven years, have you consulted…”

Either way, this will not be a cause of security clearance denial. Additionally, anything outside 10-year window is usually non-issue too.

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The version I was given was electronic, which was titled E-QIP. On the top, right corner, the printed copies from my E-QIP read: SF86 Revised July 2017.

The question I answered only pertains to hospitalizations. As I said earlier, the question is the following: Have you EVER been hospitalized for a mental condition?

The other questions you posted were also asked. However, all questions asked have replaced a time frame with “EVER”. My response to the other questions was “no”. Anorexia is not considered a psychotic illness, and I have never been deemed mentally incompetent. I have also never been told by the government or an agency to receive counseling.

I do hope everything out of a 10 year window is not considered, especially since they might not be able to retrieve the medical records or the doctor I was under. I contacted the hospital, and they told me records are not kept longer than 10 years. My case is 12 years old in October.

I see no relevant security concern. Keep in mind you were a juvenile. You get a big pass for erroneous thinking. Personally, I would report it to demonstrate forthrightness. Is it still an issue in your life? Your medical release form may reveal this hospitalization, but in and of itself I am not seeing it as a negative. It was a one and done situation and outside 10 years. If it continues to haunt you, requires follow up counselings, it still doesn’t rise to the level of something putting you at risk for blackmail. If anything I applaud you for submitting to the hospitalization and getting in front of this.

I see no issue. But always lean to disclosure so no claim can be made you were hiding even innocent material.


I have had my issue under control for years. Immediately after the hospitalization, I did have out patient therapy, which lasted until Spring 2007. However, since the question only asked about hospitalizations, I did not discuss my outpatient therapy, which was not ordered by the government or an agency.

This matter happened so long ago. Not to mention, I was a minor and did not get to handle the paperwork, so I am not certain about the details.

But, yes, I think disclosure was the best option.

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You always want to answer the SCA questions literally. The fact you were hospitalized over 10 years ago for anorexia nervosa and completed treatment over ten years ago are the mitigating factors.