Would the sz/sa diagnosis prevent me from becoming a police officer?

Diagnosed schizophrenia(“if you have another depressive episode your diagnosis will be updated to schizoaffective depressive type”)

I talked to a police recruiter and told him about my interest in joining the police force. Told him about my mental illness and he asked me if I’m medicated to which I replied yes. He said there are cops diagnosed with bipolar and ADHD and he said everyone’s interviewed by a psychologist prior to the academy and the mental thing is based off a case by case basis. My older brother said they’re just saying that and my diagnosis will prevent me from joining. But I’m medicated, looking for the right med and dosage. I experience minimal symptoms on the lowest effective dose of latuda for schizophrenia. I’m a sharp physically fit young man. 20 going on 21 6"4 240 lbs with an IQ of 106. I’ve carried my dad’s dead body in my arms and called 911 promptly while keeping my cool and I’ve rushed to break up fights outside of my work during super bowl Sunday so I think I could handle the intensity and stress. I’m just wondering do you think I could get a clearance? I was in the enlistment process for the army when I was diagnosed and hospitalized so those dreams are gone but law enforcement is the next best thing. I want to fulfill a civic duty and help people and experience the rush of life or death situations. What do you guys think my chances are?


You can always try. You wouldn’t lose anything by trying, and you might help lift the stigma.


@Swaq u can try other ez job…!!

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I think you should try if that’s what you genuinely want to do. I have no idea what the rules are about SZ in the police, though.


Give it a shot!

They wouldn’t have to make you a front-line Policeman, if the Force felt there may be some liability issues in case something unfortunate occurred.

Perhaps you could go to schools as an Officer of the Law and teach kids about overcoming stigma! :slight_smile:

Unlikely. The police force has rather strict physical and mental entrance standards. Unless your condition is completely resolved and was minor to begin with, the police service is unlikely to let you join.


As long as you’re honest about your mental illness and don’t try to hide it during the application process, you can always try applying and see how it goes.

I will say, that one of your recent threads about not being able to feel empathy for others is concerning, especially if you go into a field such as law enforcement where you have to deal with people all day every day. Just something for you to consider.


Eh I was kind of in an edgy mood. Like psychotic symptoms, my lack of empathy comes and goes. At work today some of my co-workers initiated conversation with me and I was engaging naturally and being sincerely kind. So I do have empathy my traumatic upbringing may have dampened it though.

I think its possible to work for a pd or sheriffs office… im unsure if sz would limit avaliable positions to you or not though… it seems like a high stress job tho it seems pretty heavily taxing mentally…

Sz/Sza is a liability in the law enforcement world, but you might look at being a “Mental health” liaison or a crisis intervention worker.
It’s hard to say if you’d be flat out denied, they might let you apply, why not talk to them directly?

Pretty sure you’d get kicked off after the psych exam. But I’m not here to crush your dreams. Might as well try it if you’re stable.


I don’t think people with SZ/SZA should be police officers, their paranoia would shoot through the roofs. On and off the job.


How about becomming a paramedic. Seems like you have some life experience with that. Just in case you can’t.

I think so…

To be a police officer is a very high stress job, kind of like nursing. On that level of stress. Sz/Sza’s can’t do that kind of work. It’s too stressful for them. They are very likely to become psychotic on the job due to the stress and put themselves and others in danger. I wouldn’t recommend going into that field. Sz/Sza’s need low stress jobs.

If your dx ever got out, the stigma would be awful!
Plus, being a police officer is a very high stress position.

You may want to consider being a paramedic or nurse.

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If I stay on SSDI and quit working I am thinking about volunteering for the Sheriffs office part time.

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These are both high stress careers. Many develop PTSD from these careers.


Yeah you are right @Tomasina.
Just thought about this.


Not sure about law enforcement but even something like getting a cdl may barre you. But still not sure. Best wishes to you. :slight_smile: