Federal & Postal Medical Retirement through the OPM: The House of Doom, with a Spare Room

Psychiatric conditions and early medical retirement in the Federal Government workplace or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)

The inescapable tangles and chains of oblivion are often those dark recesses within one’s psyche; Houdini merely performed to the public the capacity and ability to escape physical constraints; the greater challenge for most continues in the deterioration of the psychology of despondency.

Whatever the paradigm of modern medicine bases its treatment approach, whether on an organic component, subconscious repression of childhood trauma, the spectrum of tolerances unique to each individual; or perhaps a combination of neurological origins and excessive overload upon synapses and brain circuitry; whatever the myth of origins may be embraced, the reality of psychiatric conditions must be acknowledged.

Fortunately, for Federal and Postal employees who are considering preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the good news (as such information can be deemed “good”) is that psychiatric-based medical disabilities (including, but not limited to, Major Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, components of paranoia, suicidal ideations, etc.) are not analyzed, approached, evaluated, or otherwise decided upon in a way or manner different than physical ailments.

More than a decade ago, the concern may have found some reality of support in bifurcating the distinction between physical and psychiatric conditions; but with more recent judicial clarifications undermining any conceptual and legal distinctions previously made by OPM concerning “objective” medical evidence as opposed to “subjective” declarations of such conditions, the walls separating psychiatric and physical medical conditions have crumbled to nothingness.

Today, it is more likely that it is the individual, and not the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, who remains the singular obstacle to proceeding with an OPM Disability Retirement application. For, within the hellish confines of one’s psyche, men and women create a House of Doom — that cage of insular fears within the deep recesses of one’s mind, full of anxiety and self-doubt, compounded by submitting to an artifice further complicated by the lack of support from the Federal or Postal workplace; but what must be done is to acknowledge and recognize the existence of that House of Doom, and to make certain that within the labyrinth of madness, one must construct a spare room, where exit and escape allows for a reserve of quietude, and where the soft winds of time bending the hollow reed of rye echoes with a future peace in the whistling tune of hope.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


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