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Will I be able to become a cop with diagnosed anxiety disorder?

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  • Will I be able to become a cop with diagnosed anxiety disorder?

    I was wondering, if I was pursuing being a cop and during the background check they somehow figured out that I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder what would happen. Would it be an automatic disqualification or would I be able to explain the circumstances? Here they are. When I was in middle school I was fairly large and was bullied throughout the school day, at lunch, and on the bus ride, giving me a lot of anxiety in school causing me to go to the guidance and nurse’s office as often as I could to get away from the taunting. My parents brought me to the doctors and he diagnosed me with anxiety disorder because of the stress I was facing at school on a daily basis. I was put on anxiety medication in 6th grade and have not had a panic attack since 9th grade. I am in 12th grade now and still on the medication but with it (it’s a low dosage, 10mg) I am able to function completely fine in social and nerve wracking situations. It has been my dream to be a police officer ever since I was young and I just really hope that this won’t stop me as I am able to function just as calmly if not more calmly than most of my peers in stressful situations. If I explain this to the BI or Medical examiner will they understand?

  • #2
    As part of the hiring process, your are required to take and pass a psychological screening exam to determine if you are free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect your ability to exercise of the powers of a peace officer and to otherwise ensure that you are capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position.

    While what has happened in your past will be a factor in determining your suitability, the primary deciding factor will be your mental and emotional condition at the time will apply. If you are in the 12th grade right now, it will be several years before you are old enough to be eligible to apply. What your pshcyological state will be at that time is anyone's guess.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • Griffin4Lif3
      Griffin4Lif3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Okay, that makes a lot of sense, I appreciate the input. Thank you.

  • #3
    Taking anti-anxiety meds will be something they ask you about. As L-1 said above, during the application process you'll be required to divulge all that. Hiding it and being found out will definitely DQ you so be up front.

    Most importantly; are you doing what's good for you to be mentally healthy? Objectively, do you feel you can handle a high stress work environment? If yes, then apply. We can always use good people in the field.

    Plenty of time to decide if this is really what you want. If this is your dream, chase it, and remember you'll hear a lot of 'no' before you hear 'yes'.

    Comment


    • Griffin4Lif3
      Griffin4Lif3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the advice. Yes I plan on pursuing it, it’s just nerve wracking knowing that I won’t know if I’ll be eligible up until I’m at the point of applying because a lot of people say “it depends” when talking about medical disqualifications. I’m just worried to get my hopes up and then be let down.

    • NW121
      NW121 commented
      Editing a comment
      Being let down is part of life. Cliche statements aside, your own mindset will be your own worse enemy. Go in confident, try your hardest, and keep plugging at it. You're going to be told no. A lot. I was rejected by numerous agencies before I was hired. Most here were. My entire career in emergency services, going on 13 years now, I know of one person who got hired by the first agency he applied to. Keep pushing. If it's your dream, you chase it until you get it.

    • Griffin4Lif3
      Griffin4Lif3 commented
      Editing a comment
      I truly appreciate that.

  • #4
    There's an old saying. Be careful what you ask for. You may not like what you get.

    If you are really that curious, go here http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/...ing_Manual.pdf and read the entire publication.

    It is California's manual on psychological screening. While it is California's standard, the principles behind it do not stop at the state line and you will find most states follow the same practices. You will see that the issue of psychological screen is not as simple as you think and will not depend on your single issue of anxiety disorder while in high school.

    A word of warning before you read it. The manual if complex and and confusing. It talks about issues and conditions in vague terms you may self diagnose yourself as having when you actually do not have them. When you are through reading it, you may talk yourself into thinking you are Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Read with caution.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #5
      If you work in LE, you're going to receive a lot of bullying and anxiety from everyone on and off the bus. Can you handle that stress without taking medication?

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by clof2001 View Post
        If you work in LE, you're going to receive a lot of bullying and anxiety from everyone on and off the bus. Can you handle that stress without taking medication?
        I am able to take the heat. I am on anxiety medication but it is because I have pretty bad test anxiety which stems from my parents who put an extreme amount of pressure on me for school. Outside of school my anxiety is non existent and just as average as anyone else’s. Thank you for the input though sir!

        Comment


        • #7
          because I have pretty bad test anxiety which stems from my parents who put an extreme amount of pressure on me for school
          At some point you'll come the realization that your parents did the best they could, only wanted the best for you, and can only be blamed for so much...

          To answer your question: it depends. Some people who take anti-anxiety or depression meds get hired. Some don't. A professional will make the call as to which category you fit. Their decision has a lot to do with severity, causation, prior treatment success. No one here can say. Best thing you can do is take stock of yourself and ask serious questions about whether LE is the best fit given the circumstances.
          There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by Griffin4Lif3 View Post
            I was wondering, if I was pursuing being a cop and during the background check they somehow figured out that I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder what would happen. Would it be an automatic disqualification or would I be able to explain the circumstances? Here they are. When I was in middle school I was fairly large and was bullied throughout the school day, at lunch, and on the bus ride, giving me a lot of anxiety in school causing me to go to the guidance and nurse’s office as often as I could to get away from the taunting. My parents brought me to the doctors and he diagnosed me with anxiety disorder because of the stress I was facing at school on a daily basis. I was put on anxiety medication in 6th grade and have not had a panic attack since 9th grade. I am in 12th grade now and still on the medication but with it (it’s a low dosage, 10mg) I am able to function completely fine in social and nerve wracking situations. It has been my dream to be a police officer ever since I was young and I just really hope that this won’t stop me as I am able to function just as calmly if not more calmly than most of my peers in stressful situations. If I explain this to the BI or Medical examiner will they understand?
            I am able to take the heat. I am on anxiety medication but it is because I have pretty bad test anxiety which stems from my parents who put an extreme amount of pressure on me for school.
            You've given us two very different explanations as to why you're on anxiety medication. So which is it? General anxiety due to bullying from your peers...or test anxiety due to pressure from your parents?

            Middle school and high school are a cakewalk compared to the academy, field training and the job itself. Are you going to go to the "nurse's office" when one of the academy instructors gets in you face? Are you going to hide in the bathroom when the other recruits give you a hard time?

            You seem like a respectful young man with good intentions...but I don't think you have the slightest idea what you're in for. I'm afraid you'll be eaten alive.


            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post

              At some point you'll come the realization that your parents did the best they could, only wanted the best for you, and can only be blamed for so much...

              To answer your question: it depends. Some people who take anti-anxiety or depression meds get hired. Some don't. A professional will make the call as to which category you fit. Their decision has a lot to do with severity, causation, prior treatment success. No one here can say. Best thing you can do is take stock of yourself and ask serious questions about whether LE is the best fit given the circumstances.
              That makes a lot of sense, thank you for the input sir.

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post



                You've given us two very different explanations as to why you're on anxiety medication. So which is it? General anxiety due to bullying from your peers...or test anxiety due to pressure from your parents?

                Middle school and high school are a cakewalk compared to the academy, field training and the job itself. Are you going to go to the "nurse's office" when one of the academy instructors gets in you face? Are you going to hide in the bathroom when the other recruits give you a hard time?

                You seem like a respectful young man with good intentions...but I don't think you have the slightest idea what you're in for. I'm afraid you'll be eaten alive.

                Sorry for the confusion. I was put on the meds in middle school because of the bullying and when I was taken off them in 10th grade I found that tests were stressing me out so they put me back on it. Also, I understand there will be a lot of up close personal in your face instructors as well as the same for the other recruits. I know I’m talking about anxiety but I can ensure you I’m not a pushover and I can handle myself. I very much appreciate the input though sir.

                Comment


                • #11
                  The best advice is to not make any major life decisions based on advice from strangers on an open public forum that requires no formal proof of any form of qualification (for all you know, half of these people are only cops on the internet). Seek professional advice from your doctor or mental health care provider.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by CJ Prof View Post
                    for all you know, half of these people are only cops on the internet.

                    Good point. Or criminal justice professors, for that matter....

                    There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by CJ Prof View Post
                      The best advice is to not make any major life decisions based on advice from strangers on an open public forum that requires no formal proof of any form of qualification (for all you know, half of these people are only cops on the internet). Seek professional advice from your doctor or mental health care provider.
                      Thank you a lot. I’ve been kinda been getting eaten alive haha.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        No problem with dreaming.......but that is just what you are doing. If you are on meds, no matter the level, what is going to happen as you start college. This is a lot less stressful than any LEO job. High school does not cause mental problems with the vast majority of students.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Griffin4Lif3 View Post

                          Thank you a lot. I’ve been kinda been getting eaten alive haha.
                          If you feel that you've been "eaten alive" by posters who were giving you advice here...then you've got another thing coming in the real world, junior. For the most part, we've been treating you with kid gloves because 1) you ARE a kid, and 2) you've been respectful. However, you've now started to argue back and forth to the point where some of us (myself included) are losing our patience. Clearly, the only answer that you WANT to hear is: "Of course you will get hired with a history of anxiety and psych meds. They probably won't even find out."

                          All I can tell you is apply when you're old enough and find out for yourself. If you're smart, develop a solid plan B.

                          Comment

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