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Mr.Index
January 5th, 2015, 09:18
Hello everyone!

Recently become very interested in the JET program and I'm considering my application for October, however I thought I'd come here to ask about my chances based on medical history.

Basically I suffered from anxiety for 5 or 6 months in early 2012. I was put on a low dosage SSRI by my doctor, started weekly counselling sessions over the phone shortly after, drastically improved a month later, and then rode out the dosage for a few more months as per the doctors recommendations.

Now, I personally put my recovery down to the counselling above all else as the medication had little effect. I've since complete my degree, commuted, lived away from home, and worked in retail without any troubles.

So while I hope this wouldn't have an impact on my application, I also wanted to be honest as it's better to be safe than sorry.

Thanks for reading :)

laura1088
January 5th, 2015, 11:50
As long as you can convince them that it's no longer an issue and won't disrupt you in your job as a JET, then they have no reason to use that against you. Like you said, being honest is key. They'll likely ask you about it at the interview so just be prepared to answer those kinds of questions ahead of time. Also, it's not a bad idea to emphasize that fact in your SOP as well.

Right now everyone here who is applying is on pins and needles waiting for the big news on whether they are getting an interview or not. We'll find out any day now.

AyaReiko
January 5th, 2015, 13:04
I suffered from depression many years ago and they asked me to get a paper from my doctor saying what my current state is, but that's pretty much it. I wasn't asked about it during the interview last year (and I didn't put it in my SOP). I guess it will depend, but for sure get a doctor to fill them in with more details.

itsabird
January 5th, 2015, 13:06
It might come up in the interview, but technically they aren't supposed to penalize you for it. I'm sure Miami or another official coordinator will eventually come here to tell you the same thing, but yeah. Even if you needed medication, as long as it's one that's available in Japan, it shouldn't be a problem. It just might affect your placement is all (like getting a placement where you could potentially get any meds if you needed them, etc). The main thing is just act like a normal human being if you get to the interview stage/have an answer ready if they ask about it, and you should be fine.

Also since you said you're thinking about applying in October, you've got a long wait ahead of ya. I would recommend finding a way to not think about the JET program that much. And if you insist on thinking about it, then find some stuff to do in the meantime to increase your chances as well.

Kyle
January 5th, 2015, 17:43
Just put it down on the form. Trust me, it will be fine. I just got a letter saying that i have an interview this year and my medical history was basically a full page of medications and past illnesses such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome etc. I also took several semesters off university studies for these problems.

Just try and make it up elsewhere on the application form. For example, i mentioned in my SOP that i have been to Japan 10 times, am married to a Japanese woman, have spent time helping kids in Japan with English, majored in Japanese at university etc. I'm sure that all of these things far outweigh my past medical problems. As long as your doctor signs the form and says you are fine now, you should have nothing to worry about. I'm sure that these past issues will come up in my interview and that will me a chance to explain everything.

mothy
January 5th, 2015, 22:25
People go to the doctor for anxiety now? What ever happened to alcohol and excusing oneself to go to the bathroom to have a cry? It's that damn medical marijuana isn't it?

sharpinthefang
January 5th, 2015, 22:41
mothy... Be nice.. Not everyone can deal with what you put up with ona daily scale.

mothy
January 5th, 2015, 22:51
I'm just talking about high school. By the time I came to Japan Outkast and sex had fixed my anxiety issues.

Mr.Index
January 11th, 2015, 11:55
Hello everyone!

Thanks again for the insightful replies and understanding. This is a neat community you've got here! As itsabird pointed out, my own experience with the JET application is still rather far off, but I'll definitely be coming back now and again in the meantime.

As for those of you awaiting on the news regarding interviews - good luck! And all the best in the steps that follow :)

JestersJ
January 12th, 2015, 23:14
Hello everyone!

Recently become very interested in the JET program and I'm considering my application for October, however I thought I'd come here to ask about my chances based on medical history.

Basically I suffered from anxiety for 5 or 6 months in early 2012. I was put on a low dosage SSRI by my doctor, started weekly counselling sessions over the phone shortly after, drastically improved a month later, and then rode out the dosage for a few more months as per the doctors recommendations.

Now, I personally put my recovery down to the counselling above all else as the medication had little effect. I've since complete my degree, commuted, lived away from home, and worked in retail without any troubles.

So while I hope this wouldn't have an impact on my application, I also wanted to be honest as it's better to be safe than sorry.

Thanks for reading :)


Hello,

I watched a few jet interview videos with good answers for this. From what I know, this will be brought up in your interview (at least according to the patterns I found)
The questions I found goes something like this, "Do you think your history of anxiety will make you unlikely to complete your year in Japan?" something like that
A good answer I found was, "I believe that going through this hardship allowed me to know my stress factors and how to keep myself from this state of mind or treat it if there comes a time where it does surface. I don't believe it will be a hindrance, but rather a strength that I have gone through anxiety and know how to overcome it."

This is a similar answer to an applicant from 09 who did get accepted as an ALT and spent 3 years in Japan. Her question was more wrapped around depression instead of anxiety but you could probably play with the answer to make it your own or at least be prepared to be asked about it! (:

Good luck!

SupremeGentleman
January 25th, 2015, 15:06
its not a dealbreaker, but itd be a lie to say it doesn't reduce your chances of acceptance drastically. good luck to yo

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 31st, 2015, 09:34
We don't use participants' medical histories as a reason to disqualify you. The only way it can disqualify you is if either you lie about it on your initial application and then your doctor mentions it on your official Certificate of Health form, or if your doctor says that your medical condition prohibits you from working in Japan. We need to know your medical condition so that if anything happens to you we can make sure you get the proper treatment.