Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mental health history issues and getting security clearances

I’ve covered a few of Derrick Dortch’s (Diversa Group) columns before, and on Sunday April 11, The Washington Post “Jobs Chat” column by him on p H1 covered the issue of mental health and background investigations for security clearances. The link is here

He talks candidly.” Getting help by seeing a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist is never a bad thing. If you need the help then you should get it, and do not be ashamed or afraid to do so. I have seen how people have been helped and had their lives changed for the better. With that said, the honest truth is that seeing a mental health services provider will be considered a red flag warranting further attention by a background investigator. It will be taken seriously into consideration by an adjudicator to determine your suitability for a clearance.” He gives a reference here ("Psychological Conditions: Relevance to Security") at the Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA).

There is one item under “Other Observable Behaviors” that caught my attention because of my own history, “Inability to form personal relationships; limited capacity to express either positive or negative emotions towards others.” Earlier there is mention of the DSRM, but this item sounds descriptive of the so-called “schizoid personality” (almost a “sic”), or possibly related to people with higher functioning Asperger’s Syndrome. The item is a bit “offensive”. It seems as though this item is more related to the need for a person’s “natural family” (I’ve covered the term on my other blogs) or community to beckon emotional response and interaction from him or her rather than from a legitimate concern over someone can function properly with classified information. Of course, there are other personality disorders (“narcissistic personality disorder”) that seem related that do raise concerns about a propensity for criminal behavior later.

After finishing Basic Training in 1968, I was at the Pentagon for three months before I was “mysteriously” transferred to Ft. Eustis after my Top Secret BI had started. I’ve dealt with all this before. In the past, this "observavle behavior" item had been incorrectly associated with homosexuality (or disinterest in procreation), as moral culture used to view things.

No comments: