I'm an applicant to the Peace Corps currently working out some kinks in my application. Up next will be medical. I'm a little worried about this one, because there's an incident in my past that might effect my eligibility.
So basically, almost four years ago, I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. It was thought that I might have bipolar disorder, but after nearly four years with regular evaluations, no medication and no symptoms, it's pretty clear that I don't have it and the episode was just a one-time thing. I've taken the whole thing very seriously and it doesn't appear anything like that will happen again. However, there's something else related to the episode that has me a little worried.
One reason I know the episode would NOT be recurring was that it was related to heavy cannabis use (at least, heavy for me.) It was my way of coping with a difficult time, which I know now is not a good idea, and it sure didn't help my mental state. I'm aware of the Peace Corps policy on illegal drug use, but two things: 1) it's been over four years since that incident, and the Peace Corps says they overlook charges over a year old; and 2) there was no legal involvement with the incident whatsoever. I wasn't arrested, wasn't charged, and I admitted myself into the hospital.
Basically, I'm wondering how both previous mental health issues and previous cannabis use might effect my application. The cannabis use isn't on my criminal record – its on the medical evaluation, but do I even have to disclose it since it's PHI? Would it be a problem if I did?
I'm guessing that I'm not the first Peace Corps volunteer to have a history with cannabis use. Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated. Given the nature of this topic, feel free to send me a private message rather than post here.