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Security Clearance

A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information. Those trying to get a clearance may have questions such as how does one go about attaining a clearance? And, what are the different levels? As well as other questions. This area will allow those that have clearances offer advice and suggestions to those inquiring about clearances or upgrading their clearances.

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whysosiriusblack  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:11:52 AM(UTC)
whysosiriusblack

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 3/30/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2

My wife is currently in adjudication for a SECRET clearance. The BI went very well... apparently she is a priority case so it took about 4 weeks to complete.  She's been in adjudication for 2 weeks. However, we are a little worried. Last year she was experiencing very severe depression. She was experiencing negative delusions (she was worthless, no one loved her, needs to kill herself, etc.) and hallucinations (voices telling her she was ugly, worthless, etc.). She went to a psychiatrist and was put on antipsychotics and antidepressants, then voluntarily checked herself into a mental hospital for 4 days because she felt she wasn't improving quickly enough. In the hospital ,they upped her meds and she stabilized very quickly. She was diagnosed with major psychotic depression and they sent her home a few days later, saying she didn't need to be there. She has been visiting a new psychiatrist and therapist regularly since then... about 7-8 months, and is pretty much back to normal... mild depression maybe one day out of every 2-3 weeks, but otherwise fine. Her pdoc is only seeing her about once a month. Her current pdoc is thinking it may be Bipolar II, although it's hard to say since she's never had a manic or hypomanic episode. The two diagnoses are very similar, and from what I understand the actual diagnosis doesn't matter much for a clearance... it's whether or not the person is a security risk.

So, anyway... she filled out her SF-86 and ticked yes to the mental health question. Her current pdoc discussed the security form he was sent with her, and said that he does not think she has a condition that will affect her judgement or ability to handle classified info... which, I personally agree with... even at her worst, she still did her errands, went to work, paid bills, etc., and of course she voluntarily sought help and escalated her treatment when needed. I don't know what her pdoc from the hospital said... we haven't been able to get in contact with him. However, the investigator never asked her anything about her treatment. The only thing they asked me or any of her references was whether or not she showed good judgement, and everyone answered yes as far as I know. They haven't actually spoken to her current pdoc or her therapist as of last Friday.  I do know they requested her medical records from her first psychiatrist and the hospital.

Outside of the above she's spotless... no record of violence, impulsive behavior, drug/alcohol abuse, etc. She takes her meds religiously, is actively involved in her treatment, and has a great support system. However, we're concerned that they will see the major psychotic depression/bipolar as a disqualifying factor. We're on pins and needles waiting and I just want to get some feedback. 

Thanks!
jhennessey  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:09:12 PM(UTC)
jhennessey

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 11/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,087

Hi whysoseriousblack,
 
first, I wish your wife well and it sounds like she has a good husband supporting her.
 
I will state that no one here (including myself) can answer your concerns with any certainty.
 
From what you described she is doing much better, which is great, and we all wish her the best.
 
Jim H.
 
 
 
 
Jim Hennessey<br />Leesburg, VA<br />Federal Background Investigator (Ret.)<br />Security Clearance Consultant
whysosiriusblack  
#3 Posted : Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:45:55 PM(UTC)
whysosiriusblack

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 3/30/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2

Hi Jack, thanks for replying and the kind words. Yes, she seems to be doing much better. 

I understand that no one can say anything with certainty, I guess I'm just hoping to get some insight into this. I've read a lot of posts on here and other websites that say that 99.9x% of mental health cases get a favorable adjudication, so that's encouraging. I just wonder about the other small percentage that don't. In your career, did you ever have a mental health case that went beyond the typical depression/anxiety/etc. disorders?

Thanks! :)

chillynds  
#4 Posted : Monday, April 16, 2012 6:04:55 AM(UTC)
chillynds

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/10/2010(UTC)
Posts: 10

From my experience, if the doctor answers "No" to that first question on the medical release ("Does the person under investigation have a condition or treatment that could impair his or her judgment or reliability?") then no further information is obtained from the medical provider. They don't ask about the reason for treatment or anything, and no further follow up is done. So if the doctor said "no", it's most likely not going to be a problem. Even if the doctor answered "Yes", all that means is that the additional questions on the form would be asked, and then your wife would have been contacted to sign a specific release so the investigator could go back and get more details about the condition/treatment, so the adjudicators can decide whether it poses a security risk. As was stated above, no one but the adjudicator can give a definite answer as to whether it will be a problem, but if the medical provider doesn't think it's an issue, then the investigation won't even get details about it, so I doubt it could be used as a reason to deny the clearance.
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