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  • Question re: psych exam

    Hi, I'm new to the board and had a quick (maybe stupid) question. I'm a 25 year old female in my 3rd year toward a BS in Criminal Justice. I have my associates in Police Science. I've wanted to work in LE for as long as I can remember, but being a police officer would be my biggest achievement.

    However, I feel I have something in my past that may hurt my chances of being hired. I've never been in trouble or arrested or done drugs. But when I was 20 years old I was hospitalized for 4 days following what can only be described as a nervous breakdown. I had an eating disorder, brought on by stress and control issues, and I checked myself into the hospital to get help. It worked.

    I have been issue free for 5 years now. I'm not on any medication, I don't see a psychiatrist or anything, and I am back to a very healthy weight. However, I know they check into your past, and I don't know if they would look at that incident as me being crazy or unbalanced, because I'm not. The only way I can describe it is "growing pains" that I quickly nipped in the bud.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Should I hang up my dream and not even bother? I have back up plans (I would love to do criminal social work), but being a cop is my life long dream.

    TIA!

  • #2
    You checked yourself in, that's good. The problem was an eating disorder, that's far better than hearing voices. I don't know if I would refer to it as a mental breakdown, but that's your choice.

    Be honest, be comepletely truthful. That's the best advice I can give.
    Illegitimi non carborundum - Don't let the bastards grind you down.

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    • #3
      One avenue you might consider is to go back to the physician or psychologist that treated you at the time and see if they will write you a letter expressing their opinion that you are recovered and capable of working as a law enforcement officer. They will have a better sense of your condition now and then, and their opinion should have more weight than that of a practitioner seeing you for the first time, with no sense of your history.

      In the past, admission of any episode of mental illness was the kiss of death in the hiring process for many law enforcement agencies. Now, it is commonly acknowledged that many people are treated for some form of mental illness (depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, etc.) during their lifetime, and in fact it is healthier to recognize that there is a problem and to seek treatment than it is to keep it all bottled up.

      Good luck to you.
      Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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