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Tamara
Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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Hello! I am currently working for a Police Department as a

Resolved Question:

Hello! I am currently working for a Police Department as a Community Service Officer. I have been there for the past 9 months. Before I started, I was feeling very depressed due to the loss of my father, grandfather, and great uncle. As a result, I went to talk to a psychiatrist. She put me Lexapro, which helped initially, but then made me very irritable. So, she changed me over to 60mg of Cymbalta, and 150mg of Wellbutrin (I take both 1x per day). Anyway, I know how the opportunity to become a police officer. In order to do so, I need to pass a psychological exam. Will this prevent me from passing? I talked to my psychiatrist, and she feels that I am stable, and said that she would write a letter, or fill out any paperwork stating that my mental state is fine to become a police officer.

As a side note, before I started my current position, I had to go through a medical exam. I revealed that I was on Lexapro, and the doctor didn't fail me for it.

Lastly, what is the Psychological exam looking for? I was diagnosed back in Sept of 09' with moderate depression with anxiety. If you could please let me know, that would be great.

Thanks!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 6 years ago.
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm pleased to try to help you today.

Congratulations on your career choice and decision. I'm sure this is very exciting for you. All I could comment on would be the department where I live, and antidepressant medication is not an automatic refusal in and of itself. But you should check with the department where you live to know what their policy is on it. For instance, use of illegal drugs is always an automatic rejection, even if far in the past. You need to know what the policy is in your department for antidepressant medication. If it's a problem, for example, "in the last 6 months" then you would need to stop taking it for awhile, etc. My guess is that they are going to rely much more on the psych exam, and the letter from your psychiatrist attesting to your mental stability. My advice is - don't worry about what is on the psych exam, or about what they are looking for. These are very sophisticated tests, and they will show if you are trying to look good or fake your results. If that shows up, you will be rejected. So just be honest. If you are mentally healthy in general, you will be fine. But if you are answering to look good, or lying about things, the test will show it. Be honest. But talk to the department (or other officers) to find out what the medication policy is ahead of time so that you can discontinue it for awhile if necessary.

best wishes, and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks so much for your help. So, basically, would Cymbalta and Wellbutrin be considered drugs that impair one's performance? I know that something like xanax or valium are more of a DQ.

Also, is there a big difference between Lexapro and the 2 drugs that I'm currently taking as far impairing one's performance (work wise goes)?

Thanks so much!
Expert:  Tamara replied 6 years ago.
No, they are not considering to be drugs that impair your performance. You are right, xanax and valium are a problem in that way, as are other benzos and pain medication, stimulants, etc. But antidepressants are not viewed that way. Lexapro is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), Cymbalta is an SSNRI (selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor), and Wellbutrin is an NDRI (norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor). They work by inhibiting the reuptake of certain chemicals in the brain, thereby making more of them available, which helps you feel better. They are not mood altering substances. So essentially, they are the same, although they target different brain chemicals.

I hope that answer your question! Good luck with everything. Tamara
Tamara and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Tamara replied 6 years ago.
Could I ask why you left me negative feedback?

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