Can I Still Become a Pilot If I Have Psychotic Depression?

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by uns4, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. uns4

    uns4 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    thom
    I am a high school senior and one of the career paths I am entertaining is becoming a pilot. My boyfriend however discouraged me from becoming one because he knows I have psychosis and that generally individuals with psychosis cannot become pilots. I am medicated and my medication works very well, I rarely experience any psychotic symptoms. Because my symptoms are so well managed would I be cleared to become a pilot? Thank you to all who reply.
     
  2. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    Oh brother..... here we go again.
    Assuming you are legit, are you talking private pilot in small airplanes, or a career as an airline pilot?
     
  3. Rockymountain

    Rockymountain Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Ogden Utah
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rockymountain
    That probably won't work out so well with that diagnosis in your recent history. Might want to talk with an aviation medical examiner, also called an AME, maybe let them get some more information on your condition, the medications involved, but the diagnosis and the required medications are probably going to exclude you from a medical. Good luck with all.
     
  4. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    10,549
    Location:
    DXO124009
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Light and Sporty Guy
    You will never be able to get an FAA medical.

    Your psychosis may be under control, but the FAA's paranoia about mental issues is not.
     
    bflynn, RJM62, LDJones and 3 others like this.
  5. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,948
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Stingray Don
    Even if you cannot get a medical, you can still fly a plane. You just can’t solo. You can fly with a flight instructor or a certificated pilot.
     
  6. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,621
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rushie
    This. Your boyfriend is correct. A diagnosis of psychosis or psychotic depression even if controlled by meds is probably never going to be certifiable. I'm sorry, but as stingray don says you can still learn to fly for fun, but you would not be allowed to solo and you would not be able to fly for a career.

    My understanding is you can fly a single seat ultralight with no certification.
     
  7. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    10,549
    Location:
    DXO124009
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Light and Sporty Guy
    Or, other no-medical options.
    But it will never be a jerb (except for hot air balloons?)
     
  8. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Messages:
    123
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Topgun260
    "Individuals with psychotic depression experience the symptoms of a major depressive episode, along with one or more psychotic symptoms, including delusions and/or hallucinations.........Hallucinations can be auditory, visual, olfactory (smell), or haptic (touch), and are congruent with delusional material."

    What could possibly go wrong? Ask your boyfriend if he would fly with you if you were a pilot.
     
    mryan75 likes this.
  9. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    4,249
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    There is always sport pilot. You are limited in weight and speed, but it only requires 20 hours of experience rather than 40. All you need is a drivers license
     
  10. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    IMO, this would be a strike against the sport pilot limitation. Although legal, it only takes one but job (not referring to the OP) to blow it for everyone.
     
  11. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    What makes you think it would only take one? There have been far more than one bad outcome on the part of medically certificated pilots-in-command, yet medically certificated pilots are still allowed to fly.
     
  12. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    You’re the too smart to ask that question. You know they are watching this closely and looking for an excuse. As time passes, maybe not so much.
     
  13. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    Well actually, I don't know that.

    Anyway, I'm just suggesting a counter argument that we're going to need to make if the above turns out to be true.
     
  14. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    One accident because of an unreported psychotic event that may have otherwise been reported on a class III.... I still think you know better.
     
  15. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    17,353
    Location:
    Behind you!
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    How bad do you want it, and how much money/influence does your family have?

    If the answer to both is "lots" sure

    Otherwise no
     
  16. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    273
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PeterNSteinmetz
    Do you guys think the OP was serious?
     
  17. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    Not really, no. I alluded to that in my initial post.
     
  18. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,092
    Location:
    KBAZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    I see what you did there....:eek::D
     
    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe likes this.
  19. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    2,450
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Half Fast
    Even with SP you are required to self-certify. If you fly with a condition known to be disqualifying, it could be argued that you're in violation, and if you had an accident this point would almost certainly be made.

    Best thing I can recommend for the OP is to become a drone pilot. By the time she's ready for a career, there will probably be more jobs for drone pilots than for any other type of pilot anyway.
     
    Stingray Don and abqtj like this.
  20. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    Good point. I was thinking the same as well.
     
  21. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    That argument could be used to ground all medical certificate holders because a first class medical certificate holder deliberately crashed an airliner full of passengers into the side of a mountain.

    I don't know where you went to mind reading school, but I think you need to demand a refund of your tuition.
     
  22. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    What difference does it make?
     
  23. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    Huh? Your statement is nonsense.
    Can’t I *think* something without being clairvoyant?
     
  24. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    But I do believe you are arguing just for the sake of arguing.
    The Feds approve no medical or basic med, it’s silly to believe they are not looking closely at the outcomes. Especially when the offending condition would be disqualifying on a class III.
     
  25. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Klamth Fall, OR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad Smith
    Even Hot Air Balloon and Glider pilots have requirements when it comes to self certification. From the FAA website for medical examiners:

    "To be issued Glider or Free Balloon Airman Certificates, applicants must certify that they do not know, or have reason to know, of any medical condition that would make them unable to operate a glider or free balloon in a safe manner. This certification is made at the local FAA FSDO."

    I believe sky diving, hang gliding, BASE jumping and ultralights are still valid options for those with medical conditions. But then again, I haven't researched requirements for those sports.
    BTW- I think the OP was fishing for an answer without wanting to reveal their identity. Understandable.
     
  26. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    No, I'm arguing because I think this is important: The idea that a single bad outcome would justify ending flight privileges for sport pilots as a group when it hasn't worked that way for medically certificated pilots is illogical, and the more it gets repeated, the more people will believe it without really thinking it through.

    A valid analysis would require comparing the rate of occurrence between sport pilots and medically certificated pilots. The same applies to evaluating the BasicMed program.

    I don't think either of us knows to what extent the sport pilot program is under scrutiny, but it's been in existence for over a decade without knee-jerk thinking bringing it to an end. With regard to BasicMed, Congress did mandate an FAA evaluation of the safety impact after a specified period of time. What we don't know is whether logically flawed reasoning will be applied, or whether there will be a scientifically valid comparison. Assuming that it will be the former is defeatist, and the problem with defeatism is that all too often, if we think we're defeated, we are.
     
    azure and bflynn like this.
  27. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    I’m not only betting they are looking at Sport/Basic closely, but also all classes. The whole sleep apnea thing comes to mind.
     
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    Who's "they"? I'm sure that there are some people (especially politicians!) who aren't capable of thinking rationally about rates of incidence, but assuming that they will prevail is defeatist.
     
  29. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    Who’s they??? The Feds in general. I guess it starts with the FAA and winds up from there.
    Again, I believe you knew that but are just being difficult.
     
  30. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    2,450
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Half Fast

    Only if she's psychotic.
     
    PeterNSteinmetz likes this.
  31. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    What's up with the accusations?

    I honestly do believe that there are Feds who understand the science and math that apply to accident rates. I'm not saying all of them.

    If you think I'm lying about my motivations, that's your problem.
     
  32. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,807
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    No problem here. I just think on some points you are arguing for the sake of arguement.
    I know you know who “they” are. That was silly.
    We may disagree at times on the board, but I do know you are not stupid. Just because we may disagree at times does not make either of us stupid. Reasonable people can disagree.
     
    LDJones and abqtj like this.
  33. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    9,457
    Location:
    NM or the emergency room...
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy

    Who here believes the OP is not a male..???

    Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

    too many clues
     
  34. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,192
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bruce C
    A psychotic depression off meds would make the agency "get the creeps" about certifying you due to the consequences of recurrence.
    A psychotic depression on one of the 4 SSRIs would be denied as psychosis is a "severity excluder" from the SSRI protocol. You cannot be certified post psychosis, even with "good control" after a psychosis because the agency cannot control whether you took you meds on the day of the accident.


    So, the answer is "no".
     
    Radar Contact and Stingray Don like this.
  35. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    Perhaps, but this is not one of them. I've tried to explain why I consider this important, and I don't understand why you think that's consistent with arguing for the sake of argument

    A reasonable inference, since I stated my opinion of who "they" are.

    That's no substitute for a reasoned argument.

    I agree.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  36. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    2,457
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    You'll be fine. I know lots of women that got a pilots license.
     
  37. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    11,150
    Location:
    My own special place.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Old dog w/o new tricks
    And what percentage of pilots going the sport pilot route knowingly have disqualifying conditions that would be caught on an honest medical? I’d say it’s very high.

    If I could no longer fly real airplanes, I don’t think I’d be all that interested in flying drones. For me, flying is about me being up in the air and the feelings that come with it. The plane is just the vehicle. Drone flying is just about the drone bring up there. Vastly different.
     
    mscard88 and abqtj like this.
  38. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    11,150
    Location:
    My own special place.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Old dog w/o new tricks
    I don’t believe OP is a woman. You seemed to have drawn that conclusion based upon the reference to a boyfriend. However OP’s profile states male.
     
  39. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    2,457
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    My post is a joke. I was tongue-in-cheek implying that all women are psychotic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  40. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,496
    Location:
    Huntersville, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jerry
    while you guys are ranting, arguing and throwing mud at each other, have you noticed that the OP hasn't made a peep since the first post? Kinda like "she" tossed a grenade and left the scene..... LOL!
     
    SkyDog58 likes this.