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depression in the past

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  • depression in the past

    After reading the board my major concern in obtaining a job in LE is my past "depression". I was i guess depressed for a certain amount of time about 6mos according to the shrink took 20mg of paxil/day for 3 or 4mos, saw a shrink to appease parents because of my lack luster of energy after a break up with a girl. Im 24 now and this was when i was 22 i saw the doctor for the 4mos as well and that was it, I feel that i wasnt depressed but I think in my medical records it says i was but I was just sad. Is this an automatic DQ as thinking of part-time in the soon future.
    Last edited by GJK; 07-14-2004, 10:44 AM.

  • #2
    does anyone have any input? this worries me that this could DQ me any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks guys

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    • #3
      I kind of doubt it will be a problem. A lot will depend on how you describe the matter to the hiring authority's medical staff and what your medical records show. You might talk to the physician that treated you, tell him what you are trying to do and ask him if there is anything in your records (or in his opinion) that would disqualify you from becoming an officer.

      Probably none of this will come to light until you reach the psychological testing phase. (As part of the hiring process, most states require police applicants to go through psychological testing.) This usually involves taking a written exam like the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Inventory test (MMPI). If your answers on the test suggest something might be out of line, you are then flagged to go chat with a shrink for an hour. He decides from there whether you meet the minimum qualifications. If the MMPI doesn't detect anything unusual, you may be home free.

      BTW, don't panic if they do send you to the shrink. Some agencies do this to all applicants, irrespective of what the MMPI does or doesn't show. Your time is usually spent in casual conversation, telling the doctor about yourself, why you want the job, etc.

      20+ years ago I was tempted to go to another agency and took their test. When they sent me to the shrink, he asked me about my hobbies and I told him I liked to restore antique slot machines. He told me he liked to restore antique cash registers. We spent the rest of the hour going through my address book, trying to hook him up with people who sold antique cash register parts. Needless to say, I passed the exam.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        really thats makes me feel a little better, never really thought going to this would affect my chances at a job, I was appeasing my parents and frankly i did to maybe help the onslot of the greif i was feeling plus i was young in love as they say and was just really sad. I just dont want to go through anything that might get out to others or not get a job because they thing im unstable because of a stupid break up, thanks for input really appreciate it

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        • #5
          I think everyone goes through bouts of depression in their life. It's just a part of life that we have to deal with and it sounds like you dealt with it. I know how breaking up with your first love can make you depressed for a long time (been there before). Unless they ask about it, don't tell them. I don't think it will hurt you eigther way as far as getting a job with a PD.

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          • #6
            Don't think it will cause a lot of problems as long as you let them know and you can prove it was a personal issue. They really look for a mental illness. I took a 6 month leave of absence after my wife died but had 15 years on the job to see a shrink. They didn't care as long as it wasn't job related and a personal issue.
            Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.

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            • #7
              There are a couple of other things I forgot to mention that might put your mind at ease. Generally speaking, the practices/rules/laws I'm about to discuss apply in most states (although I'm sure there may be an exception or two out there).

              Although it may seem like it at times, the background and medical are not intended to be witch hunts. It's just that most applicants don't know what the rules are so they leave it to their imagination to fill in the blanks (which can get dangerous). (G)

              In order to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and not discriminated against, most agencies and states have written laws governing the hiring process and criteria for acceptance or rejection of police applicants (background, medical, etc.). These rules are not deeply held state secrets that are interpreted at the whim of a background investigator. Instead, they are public record that you should be able to access. The only difficulty is finding where the standards are kept and knowing who to ask. The hiring agency may define some standards while each state's Peace Officer Standards and Training agency may define others. (Finding them is kind of like going on a scavenger hunt.)

              Next, certain questions may only be asked at specific times in the hiring process. For example, most states prohibit conducting a background investigation, asking medical questions or requiring a physical exam unless they are required in connection with a conditional (but genuine) offer of employment (Dear Mr. Jones: You are offered employment as a police officer with our agency effective October 1, 2004, subject to your satisfactorily completing a background investigation and medical exam). To ask about these areas prior to making an offer of employment usually violates your rights under various privacy protection laws.

              Even then, certain questions may only be asked by someone who has the training and expertise necessary to evaluate your answers. For example, Background investigators are not doctors. Therefor, a competent background investigator is not going to try and discuss your hernia from six years ago or pass judgement on whether you are medically fit, because he is not qualified to do so. (In most states he could get his and his department's asses sued for trying this.) Instead, he is going to leave all that to the Department's doctor, who is qualified to pass judgement.

              The best thing to do here is not dwell on what might come way down the line. Instead, take things one step at a time. As you move from one phase of testing to the next - then do your homework, find out what comes in the next phase, prepare yourself accordingly and you should do ok.

              Good luck!
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                thanks for the help guys, appreciate it

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                • #9
                  As long as you didn't shoot up any grocery stores with an AK-47 while wearing a dress & Army boots you should be fine.
                  WE ARE THE POLICE...RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

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