Can Issues with Mental Health Affect Your Security Clearance?

Last Updated: June 2, 2023


May is mental health awareness month. The month of May should serve as a reminder that those living with mental or behavioral disorders are not alone. We encourage our readers to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 5 adults live with mental illness. Around 1 in 25 adults live with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. If you are struggling with mental health, seek proper diagnosis and treatment.

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) has noted the unlikelihood that mental health issues will result in a security clearance denial. Applicants denied a security clearance related to mental health are those who show a pattern of self-destructive coping mechanisms such as illegal drugs and alcohol, failed medication regimens, and mental health therapy. From 2012 to 2018, the DoD CAF rendered 2.3 million adjudicative actions, and only 12 applicants had their clearance eligibility revoked or denied based on psychological conditions alone.

Mental health concerns present a security clearance issue when there is a pattern of discontinuing mental health treatment despite clinical recommendations, failure to honestly disclose mental health issues when required, or when a mental health professional believes an applicant’s clearance eligibility should be revoked. It is less likely for an applicant to get their security clearance if they seek help and follow the recommendations provided by a medical professional. Are you facing a security clearance matter?  

Contact the Law Office of Asya Hogue, Esq., at or (904) 884-5891.