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  • Psych Question

    Does having depression and/or obessive compulsive disorder neccesarily DQ you? I haven't been diagnosed yet, I am still waiting to go to the doctor. But I am wondering if they put me on medication for the depression if that will ruin my chances?

  • #2
    It won't help at all, may not destroy your chances but they will be reduced greatly.

    Comment


    • #3
      That would definitely put a damper in your application and more than likely DQ you depending on the doctor that interviews you during your psych. But then again none of us here are doctors or can predict the future. Take the psych and see in what category you land in.

      The truth is that police work is full or highs and lows on a regular. You will see things that you will take with you home & that you will have to cope with on your on time. If you have problems with your personal life as a whole the additional burden of everybody else’s problems will overwhelm you for sure.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by michiganDT View Post
        Does having depression and/or obessive compulsive disorder neccesarily DQ you? I haven't been diagnosed yet, I am still waiting to go to the doctor. But I am wondering if they put me on medication for the depression if that will ruin my chances?
        Rather than post the same question twice, I just want to say I have the same problem and am looking for advice too. I was diagnosed with depression about four years ago. They put me on Zoloft, and I took it for a few months. I also went to counseling. After I felt I had worked through my issues, I stopped taking the Zoloft, and the psychologist agreed I didn't need to be on it anymore. Since then I haven't felt the need to go back into counseling, I'm able to deal with things a lot better. I'm wondering how much this will hurt me as well. What I don't understand though, and I'm hoping someone in LE can answer this for me, aren't counseling services offered for police officers anyway? I mean if an officer experiences a traumatic event or sees something upsetting, aren't there counseling services provided in case they want to talk to someone about it? If they are troubled by something and seek a professional to speak with about it, does that indicate that officer is not mentally strong enough for the job? I doubt that very much. I think the biggest reason I went into counseling is there were things that had happened in my past that I had kept buried for many years and it finally caught up to me. I think there are loads of people out there who should seek counseling and go without it.
        "When people show you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

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        • #5
          What if they send me to a psychologist and I just get talk therapy. Same thing?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by michiganDT View Post
            What if they send me to a psychologist and I just get talk therapy. Same thing?
            Anyone else out there have some more insight into this issue, please?
            "When people show you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

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            • #7
              There are lots of threads with info on this...check the search option

              I have similar concerns and posted a few months ago. Opinions seemed pretty mixed. Some say it's a near-automatic DQ, some told me that as long as you aren't depressed anymore, you are fine, while others said that opinions are changing as mental health becomes less stigmatized, and if it is being treated, it's all good.

              Very subjective...I think it just depends on where you are and who your doctor is.

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              • #8
                I'm going to throw something out that a lot of guys may not like to hear, agree with, and some may thank me for finally saying it. You need to consider the role of a police offcer and the duties it entails. This means you are responsible for a great deal and need to be in the right state of mental health.

                I'm not saying you are crazy or have serious issues but the fact that some people worry about not passing the medical due to past psychological problems is concerning. Everyone that wants to work in law enforcement needs to step back and not only decide if this is the best choice for them, but is it best for the community and EVERY person you will come in contact with.

                There is no room for someone who is unstable to have a weapon(s) and the "power" to use it and the "power" to take away someones freedom. You will see things in this line of work that you will never want to see again, nor can you imagine... At times the job is depressing and stressful, and any unstability can be dangerous to you, other officers, family, and citizens.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I cannot say it won't hurt you for sure because some dept's have that as a mandatory DQ. At the same time i know people that it has not effected. I personally don't think it should, taking medication and seeing someone is taking responsibility and resovling the problem. People that take an anti-depressant are not crazy nor unstable as many people think. I have family members on AD drugs and depression/ just feeling sluggish can be hereditary. Now if you're taking powerful sedatives that's another story all togeather. Heck some AD drugs such as wellbutrin (sp?) are used for smoking cessation aka quitting smoking. In my personal oppinion don't worry about it my psych didn't even ask about that it's more likely going to be something asked in your med physical when they ask you about any medications you are taking.

                  Just my thoughts

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                  • #10
                    I think the biggest issue is how well-informed and sophisticated the agency is. Where any mention of mental illness used to be a ticket out the door, law enforcement is now becoming aware that certain mental illnesses, such as depression, are very common and even expected as a consequence of a life in police work. I know of many cops that take or took antidepressant meds (me included) while they were active duty cops and the meds made no difference at all.

                    I attended a couple of workshops at last year's IACP conference on the topic of mental illness among active duty officers. The gist was that some meds should not be taken by active cops (although many can return to active duty when the course of medication has ended), and others present very little hazard. They did recommend that any active cop taking a psychoactive medication be required to perform fitness and proficiency tests before being restored to full duty, as these meds act on everyone uniquely.

                    Pamela Kulbarsh is a regular contributor to Officer.com, and her last article was "Are You the One in Two?" The article itself has some great information, but there are links at the end that provide more. I draw your attention especially to the next-to-last one listed, which is a report from the Force Science Institute on the relationship between policing and antidepressant medication.

                    All that said, depression isn't a bright line bar to employment as a cop, but bipolar/manic-depressive disorder might be. That is much more difficult to treat, and patients frequently decide they don't need their meds anymore and stop taking them. That could be very bad voodoo for a cop.
                    Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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                    • #11
                      Turns out they think i am just under a lot of stress, they said if they gave me anything it would be anti anxiety meds but they want me to wait 2 weeks.Thanks for the info.

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                      • #12
                        i once had someone tell me i was ecompulsive because i check and double check the stove,windows,doors,etc before i leave home.while everyone else is out in the car waiting for me,i am looking at everything in detail before i leave.i dont think thats compulsive,its being safe.there are a lot of things that you can do today,that some people deem in excess.those same people could possibly lack a very needed quality..common sense..

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tim Dees View Post
                          The gist was that some meds should not be taken by active cops (although many can return to active duty when the course of medication has ended).
                          Do you remember which meds?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If someone with depression has sought counseling or medical treatment that person has demonstrated the ability to know when something is wrong. And are more apt to seek help when depression reveals itself again or they know they need to talk it off.

                            A lot of officers don’t like to share their feelings with anyone, including their wives, thinking they may show signs of weakness. Too many times I’ve seen people self medicating with alcohol. That’s a dangerous slippery slope.

                            If someone has sought treatment and got it, that should not DQ them. At least they know the signs. However, some meds like Tim was talking about should not be used on duty. Tell your MD about wanting to become or is a LEO and seek alternatives meds.
                            "The angle of the dangle is proportional to the heat of the meat." - Beavis

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by flash40 View Post
                              Do you remember which meds?
                              A complete list, no. But most of them were the kind you could guess--controlled substances and the ones with the "do not drive or operate heavy machinery" labels on the bottles. I bring home tons of material from these conferences, and I'm never sure what to save or throw away. Unfortunately, most of it just gets thrown away.
                              Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

                              Comment

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