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Antidepressants and Aviation

Nectar Ananas

New Member
I've read many posts here that go over the subject of antidepressants and getting a waiver but couldn't seem to find one similar to mine. So I was diagnosed with social anxiety and mild depression about a year ago and went to see a psychiatrist for about 6 months (we met about 12-14 times). During those meetings he did prescribe some antidepressants for me (lexapro and hydroxyzine). I took the meds for about 5 months during the time and haven't taken them since about last January. I also haven't gone back to see the psychiatrist since January because I felt like overall I was feeling a lot better and didn't need the meds or therapy anymore. I know I have to wait for a year before applying for a waiver but my question is how would a waiver be looking for my situation. Also, I do plan on applying for SNA so I'm also wondering if I have to worry about a potential NAMI whammy down the road even if I get an approved waiver about this condition. Thanks
 

FormerRecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
I've read many posts here that go over the subject of antidepressants and getting a waiver but couldn't seem to find one similar to mine. So I was diagnosed with social anxiety and mild depression about a year ago and went to see a psychiatrist for about 6 months (we met about 12-14 times). During those meetings he did prescribe some antidepressants for me (lexapro and hydroxyzine). I took the meds for about 5 months during the time and haven't taken them since about last January. I also haven't gone back to see the psychiatrist since January because I felt like overall I was feeling a lot better and didn't need the meds or therapy anymore. I know I have to wait for a year before applying for a waiver but my question is how would a waiver be looking for my situation. Also, I do plan on applying for SNA so I'm also wondering if I have to worry about a potential NAMI whammy down the road even if I get an approved waiver about this condition. Thanks
DQ. Sorry.
 

squorch2

he will die without safety brief
pilot
Seen fleet aviators DQ’d for antidepressants they took after winging 10 years ago.

NAMI does not fuck around.
 

ChuckMK23

Well-Known Member
pilot
But the FAA is OK with antidepressants. So a dream of an airline flying career need not be squashed. Its very common. FAA also will issue Class 1 with successfully treated alcohol and drug dependence.
 

Nectar Ananas

New Member
But the FAA is OK with antidepressants. So a dream of an airline flying career need not be squashed. Its very common. FAA also will issue Class 1 with successfully treated alcohol and drug dependence.
Ya I've looked into the civilian flying route as well, turns out there are a few cadetships available for training new pilots to become airline pilots down the road. Obviously that's not my first choice though, my dad was an army ranger and both my brothers joined the navy so I would love to follow in their footsteps and join even if it isn't as an SNA. When I look at my situation objectively I feel like it's not that bad and I feel fine now but then again I don't make the decision nor do I know a lot about others in the situation that I'm in and if they got waivers approved. So atm just looking for general opinions of people with some military experience on my situation before I eventually apply for this waiver.
 

Angry

NFO in Jax
None
Waivers for anti-depressants are exceedingly rare in aviation. As in the docs will tell you there is basically no chance of getting it approved. In order to even apply for a waiver, you need to be off medication and asymptomatic for at least 12 months, while under the care of a behavioral health provider. And that's if you are a winged aviator already - the likelihood of NAMI granting a waiver to an SNA is almost nil. From the Navy's perspective, you are too much of a risk to get through the pipeline with a previously diagnosed anxiety/depression issue.

However, my understanding is that the USAF has changed their policy on the use of SSRIs and SNRIs for individuals in a flight status. Other members of the site from that service might be able to provide better info on what the policy is, but its becoming a more accepted part of life in the cockpit. Don't expect the Navy to come out of the dark ages anytime soon though.
 

FormerRecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
Waivers for anti-depressants are exceedingly rare in aviation. As in the docs will tell you there is basically no chance of getting it approved. In order to even apply for a waiver, you need to be off medication and asymptomatic for at least 12 months, while under the care of a behavioral health provider. And that's if you are a winged aviator already - the likelihood of NAMI granting a waiver to an SNA is almost nil. From the Navy's perspective, you are too much of a risk to get through the pipeline with a previously diagnosed anxiety/depression issue.

However, my understanding is that the USAF has changed their policy on the use of SSRIs and SNRIs for individuals in a flight status. Other members of the site from that service might be able to provide better info on what the policy is, but its becoming a more accepted part of life in the cockpit. Don't expect the Navy to come out of the dark ages anytime soon though.
Especially by bumping the age limit to 32, opens the gasket for more healthy applicants to apply.
 

Gonzo08

*1. Gangbar Off
None
Just another example of DoDs lack of care about mental health.

Knowing that you could be DQ'd for even talking to a doc about depression is a huge reason to just avoid seeking treatment. AND they even ask you any time you visit the clinic.
 

ChuckMK23

Well-Known Member
pilot
Just another example of DoDs lack of care about mental health.

Knowing that you could be DQ'd for even talking to a doc about depression is a huge reason to just avoid seeking treatment. AND they ask you any time you visit the clinic.
...and of course what happens is people seek treatment and just keep it to themselves which is something the FAA woke up to - and so it seems USAF.
 

Angry

NFO in Jax
None
Just another example of DoDs lack of care about mental health.

Knowing that you could be DQ'd for even talking to a doc about depression is a huge reason to just avoid seeking treatment. AND they even ask you any time you visit the clinic.
Every CO at Safety Standdown: "If you need help, say something. We are here to help you. The Command will support you."
Flight Doc: "Yea...nah, actually I'm going to down you, call NAMI to give them a heads up you're a psycho, and then get your flight pay revoked in exactly 366 days."

It's pretty sad how much of a stigma mental healthcare still has associated with it, especially in a force where we are constantly being pushed to our limits mentally (and physically) for the mission. I've seen numerous people not get help because they are terrified of losing their flight status, only for their issues to create much bigger problems down the line. Getting help is never wrong, the Navy should stop acting like it is. I'd rather fly with the guy talking to a doc every few weeks about his issues and taking medication to deal with it than the guy who hides all his problems and internalizes them until he explodes.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I'd rather fly with the guy talking to a doc every few weeks about his issues and taking medication to deal with it than the guy who hides all his problems and internalizes them until he explodes.
And this has happened, behind the boat, at night. One of my least favorite flights. Spent most of that recovery as the ECMO1 verbal punching bag of a certain individual who shall remain anonymous in a public forum. I'm just thankful I didn't have to pull the damn handle, because for a little bit I was seriously wondering if I'd need to. Turns out flipping one's shit isn't conducive to fine motor skills like in-close ball flying or post-bolter tanking. We snagged a lucky wire, thankfully . . .

Said individual is/was a great human being most times, but if ever there was a candidate for just what you're suggesting . . .
 
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