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User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Posted (16 years 1 month 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1371 times:

I was wondering if going to a psycharist would ruin your chances of becoming an airline pilot. I know that a pilot's medical records are open to most anyone.

I've been debating this with myself for a while now. I've diagnosed myself with depression and anxiety. None of which are severe; I'm just tired of feeling down all the time.

I know this comes at a bad time, as the NTSB is still investigating EgyptAir 990. I just want all of you to know that I would never endanger other's lives. Earning a pilot's license is a huge responsiblity, something that I do not take lightly.

Please... I'd really like serious comments on this issue.

Thank you,

Neil B. Harrison

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBen88 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1093 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (16 years 1 month 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1275 times:

It would probably be a good idea to stay AWAY from a psychiatist, since they are likely to prescribe medication. I would recommend going to a psychologist if you need someone to talk to. I don't think that it would hurt your career options. On the other hand, being prescribed medication for depression might make someone think twice before hiring you. Mild depression is something we all go through at some time i our lives. You're probably away from your loved ones and feel a bit isolated. Don't worry about it, as it happens to the best of us. This might sound trivial, but diet can have an extaordinary impact on emotion. Make sure you eat a lot of leafy green vegetable and drink lots of water. Stay away from caffeine and cigarettes, they can lead to anxiety. This of course is only my opinion, so consider yourself disclaimed   Feel free to e-mail me at bcavallone@mediaone.net. I'm always open to making new friends. Thanks,

User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (16 years 1 month 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1250 times:

I would put myself before my flying career. If you are not ahppy do something about it as you only have 1 life. If you do not do anyting about it, it will probably get worse. Also if ask yourself in your condition is it safe to fly? You will probably be very pleased once you have spoken to some one.

User currently offlineATRpilot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (16 years 1 month 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1247 times:

First of all, try not to feel bad... Anxiety and depression affects a huge segment of the population and I have known pilots who have been sufferers.

My understanding is this: while anxiety and depression can under certian circumstances be disqualifying conditions, unless you are taking drugs to treat it or a doctor feels you are in danger of hurting yourself or others you can hold a medical. For an even better and more accurate answer, get involved with AOPA and call thier medical question line (free once you are a member). Its confidential and the answers are usually right on track.

If I was in your shoes, I would probably seek the help of any of a large number of counciling services avialible. To find what kind of service is most appropriate to you, visit your general physician and express your concerns about being a pilot. Your conversations with him/her are confidential so don't worry about the FAA finding out. My point is, there is lots of help out there if you take advantage of it.

So, try and relax and remember you have lots of company in the way you feel. You also have allot of people willing to help if you give them a chance, and I am virtually certian it will have little effect on your ability to fly in the future. Just consider yourself lucky... you are one of the few who are smart enought to know when to get help. Good luck, We're all pulling for ya!

User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (16 years 1 month 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1246 times:

Thanks for your concern! It's much appreciated!

I'm not clinical by any stretch of the imagination. I feel that I'm safe to fly.

I believe this is probably just related to the 'jitters' over finals and the fact that I do so much work that I never have any real 'free' time.

I wanted to consult the 'professionals' here because if I went to a psycharist for help, I didn't want to ruin my future career aspects. I didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about me.

It could be all the pent up anger, frustration, stress, and sorrow that I've been through for the past year. Just before Christmas, I lost a close 'advisor'. My old guidence councelor succombed to lung cancer. I'd be emailing him right now, if he was still around.

I consider all of you my friends here...

Thank you all for listening to me!  

- Neil Harrison

User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 47
Reply 5, posted (16 years 1 month 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1237 times:


I have spent a little time working with pastoral care in a hospice, and perhaps can offer you a bit of advice:

What you're experiencing is normal and quite understandable. Having to deal with a loss such as you have, along with stess of finals and end of schoolyear stuff it's not at all surprising you're feeling anxious and depressed.

I would agree with the others above you should perhaps get some counseling, preferably someone who specializes in grief issues. If you attend church, many priests/ministers are trained in this sort of area and can be an enormous help, or will have someone on their staff who work with you on this. Based on what you said I would see a counselor rather than a psychiatrist/psychologist as they deal more with disorders and illnesses which you do not seem to have by your own admission. Be assured anything you say to them will be kept confidental and cannot be released or communicated to the FAA.

In the meantime, I do suggest you talk to someone sooner rather than later. If you have been putting off having to deal with these things, it gets more difficult the longer you leave it.

Take care. You are in my prayers.

Charles Barnes, S.J.

The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (16 years 1 month 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1233 times:

Thanks a lot Ctbarnes!!!

That's a good idea! I shall take that into consideration. I'll let you guys know what becomes of it all.

I guess this is my own doing, actually. I've always tried to be that stalward Captain, someone others can look up to. I guess it's catching up to me after all. In addition, I've been 'blessed' with parents who refuse to listen to me if I ask them for advice. After having my problems literally mocked by them, I've stopped asking them for help on anything.

Thanks for you concern. As always this forum is worth its ounce in cybergold!

Please don't think that I take what you've said lightly. I shall heed every word.

My main reason in asking for your advice is because I don't want as hard as I have in trying to become an airline pilot then have it all thrown away becuase I saw someone for advice (which the airlines will probably see a different way).

I'm mentally stable and everything is fine in that area. If I wasn't, believe me, I would seek help.

Thanks again for your caring...

- Neil Harrison

User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 47
Reply 7, posted (16 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1224 times:

Glad I could be of help.

Remember, allowing yourself to rely on others is every bit as important as allowing others to rely on you. This too is a sign of a stalwart captain!



The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
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