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Did I just nail the coffin to my future flight career?

Joseph II

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Posts
120
Total Time
2.8e2
Ok, I realize all of you will be giving your opinions and there is probably no perfect answer but I’ll ask anyway.

Background: I have not flown for ~3 years. I have my medical but really only have it because my company pays for a medical checkup each year. I do not fly for a living.

I am working full time and taking online classes. I am married with a house and a baby. Basically my life is pretty hectic right now!

I heard a presentation from the “Wings” program talk about medicals and how he personally knew pilots who have died because they had a medical problem and did not want to get it checked out for fear of it resulting in their medical being pulled. Well, I had chest pains that eventually increased to the point where I said “screw the medical, get me the hell to the ER”… At the ER, they said my heart was fine and the stress I had experienced at home caused the chest pains. So, the diagnosis was stress and anxiety.

Since then, I went to my family doctor and was prescribed a drug (can’t remember the name right now) that is on the “do not fly” list. I noticed on the sheet that the doctor writes on that you take to pay at the front counter had “anxiety” on it.

Right now, I don’t have any plans to fly for at least 18-24 months because I am working on my degree. So, being grounded now is not a big deal (well, besides mentally knowing that you cannot fly sucks a bit!) My plan was to finish my degree and instruct part time (I have my CFI already), see how the market went and potentially take the jump into an aviation career at that time.

I know that if I went to an AME today, I would be totally hosed. I also realize that I could lie and say that I had not seen a doctor at all this year. The fact remains that I do not plan on seeing an AME for at least 18-24 months so I’m not worrying about lying or being deceptive at all right now.

The problem for me is that let’s say I am off the meds for six months or whatever the rules say before I apply for the medical. Does the fact that I went to the ER and the family doctor both saying “anxiety” basically seal my fate regarding of the fact that I was on medication?

We could debate the lying aspect of not mentioning all of this on my medical but I would not be happy if somehow 10-20 years from now it was discovered that I was untruthful on my medical. Put simply I don’t want to deceive the FAA!

So, long story short, since I had the diagnosis of anxiety, does that seal my flying career fate?

Thanks for reading this! All comments appreciated!
 

avbug

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Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
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n/a
No, your fate isn't "totally sealed." Do maintain documentation of your medical records for future reference (ask your doctor for copies, and keep your own file; you're entitled).

At such time as you're able to pursue medical certification, you'll be asked to provide documentation regarding your former condition and treatment, as well as possibly additional testing to show your fitness. Not a big deal. A good AME will guide you through the process.
 

Buckeye

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2003
Posts
364
Total Time
-
You will be fine, They will even give medicals for clinical depression provided your off meds for a certain amount of time. I would focus on school and family, when the time comes take your medical documentation and start the process. If you had a heart attack, chances you would have gone to the ER. Good Luck
 

pylut

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Posts
177
Total Time
7000hr
Joseph-

I obviously don't know the details of your situation, but would suggest a different path than medication to deal with stress. I am no expert but unfortunately know way more than I would like to about anti-anxiety/anti depressants as a result of a family doctor handing my wife an anti-anxiety medication some months back. My advice would be to deal with the situation causing the stress rather than to try to mask the symptoms with a drug that may(will) incurr a whole range of side effects. Most of these drugs are some version of benzodiazepines. Be very careful taking any form of these unless absolutely, ABSOLUTELY necessary. These are highly addictive, and the resulting side effects can make your original stresses seem minor in comparison.
Best of luck to you.
 

dalegribble

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Posts
110
Total Time
7000
Joseph-

I obviously don't know the details of your situation, but would suggest a different path than medication to deal with stress. I am no expert but unfortunately know way more than I would like to about anti-anxiety/anti depressants as a result of a family doctor handing my wife an anti-anxiety medication some months back. My advice would be to deal with the situation causing the stress rather than to try to mask the symptoms with a drug that may(will) incurr a whole range of side effects. Most of these drugs are some version of benzodiazepines. Be very careful taking any form of these unless absolutely, ABSOLUTELY necessary. These are highly addictive, and the resulting side effects can make your original stresses seem minor in comparison.
Best of luck to you.


Similar problems within our family. I second the above and will add that SSRI's can be even worse. Some doctors will listen to your complaints about the side efffects of these "medications" and then increase your dose until you become a walking zombie"

Try Yoga, Ambien, massage, chiropractor, andything but benzodiazapines and SSRI's. The drugs should be a last resort for treating anxiety. I'm not a doctor or medical expert but this is what we have lived through and found through a difficult couple of years.
 

Paul R. Smith

Fender Bender
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Posts
722
Total Time
4:30
Anxiety is disqualifying?

You are familiar with this business right?:beer:

J/K

Good luck friend.
 

TimsKeeper

Registered Abuser
Joined
Dec 14, 2003
Posts
290
Total Time
8000
situation

Best thing you can do is exactly what was said before.

Get documentation of everything. Most importantly don't lie about anything; it will only get you in trouble later.

As far as your stress and anxiety goes we usually make it 20x worse that it really is. Try and relax because you're fine.

Good Luck
 
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