A new question about OCD

KickTheTires

Well-Known Member
Hey this is my first time posting a thread on this site and i have an important question for you. I have been flying for about 6 months now. i have my private SEL and am about to be instrument rated. I took my medical examination 7 months ago and passed it with flying colors. I have no medical history of any illness, mental or physical. However, I have been dealing with what I believe is OCD for my entire life. I have never been diagnosed with it, but I took a psychology class in college and I fit the diagnosis to a "T". I think I may also have somewhat of a reading disability. Still, these things have never stopped me from doing anything in life, although I feel they may slow me down a bit. I graduated college this year, and despite the fact that I have these problems, I finished with a good GPA.
Now that I am flying, my OCD plays an annoying role mostly when I have to check things. I spend a longer than usual time doing my preflight inspection than most other pilots. I have obsessions about making sure the bolts are fastened, and making sure everything is absolutely perfect. These thoughts can be very distracting and can often take my focus away from what it should actually be on. Sometimes these obsessions will take my focus away from something, and I will forget to do the other things because I was distracted by these thoughts.
I am considering going in for a mental assessment by my family doctor. I don't think that my condition is sever enough to go on medications. i know if i go on medications, i will not be able to fly until i am off of them and have no more symptoms for three months. My goal is to get my commercial license and start a career, and I know this has the potential to de-rail it.
My question are: if the doctor does diagnose me with OCD, is the FAA going to take away my medical certificate based on my history of the problem? Even if I don't take any medications and just do psychological therepy? How can this effect my future?

Your answers will be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
The issue is not the medication but the underlying diagnosis for which the medication is prescribed. If you have OCD severe enough to make you worry about safety, you should not fly until you get an evaluation. Your statement "These thoughts can be very distracting and can often take my focus away from what it should actually be on" is bothersome to me. You are required to self-ground under 14 CFR 61.53.
 

KickTheTires

Well-Known Member
Ok. I read 14 CFR 61.53. So if I self-ground and begin to see a psychologist, how is this going to effect my medical? How long is it going to take me to get cleared by the FAA for a first class medical again even if I'm not taking any meds, just threpy? Also, what if the doctor doesn't diagnose my OCD as severe, is this still going to keep me grounded? With this on my record, am I going to be a less-competive applicant for future jobs? Lastly, what is the FAA going to do to make me prove that I am safe to fly after therepy? I have read some of the other posts and I saw you told someone 4 thousand dollars. Thanks for your answers I really appreciate it.
 

Stomp16

You mean Shennanigans?!?!
What Dr. Forred is trying to convey to you is that you just went on record and stated you have a problem concerning the safety of flight. In response, he said you must self-ground under 14 CFR 61.53.

In other words, don't fly again until you see somebody.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
What Dr. Forred is trying to convey to you is that you just went on record and stated you have a problem concerning the safety of flight. In response, he said you must self-ground under 14 CFR 61.53.

In other words, don't fly again until you see somebody.
Actually, the issue is not that he "went on record". He has a condition that warrants further investigation because it might affect safety of flight, thus he is required to ground himself until the issue can be resolved. While I agree with the bottom line of what you say, I want to clarify that the reason has nothing to do with him talking about his condition here, or anywhere else. "On the record" is irrelevant.

Let's look at the reg that the doc quoted:

Title 14 CFR § 61.53, Prohibition on Operations During Medical Deficiency
Operations that require a medical certificate. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a person who holds a current medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter shall not act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person:
Knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation; or
Is taking medication or receiving other treatment for a medical condition that results in the person being unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation
Operations that do not require a medical certificate. For operations provided for in § 61.23(b) of this part, a person shall not act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner.
I think it's pretty self explanatory. In broad terms, if you're not fit to fly you must ground yourself.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
Just something to consider but personally I think sometimes people self disclose too much info to the FAA.

Also doctors have a tendency to over diagnose. Combined with the above, and that can be career ending.

All I'm saying is think before you do anything crazy as far as the FAA is concerned and get good, qualified advice from several unbiased sources before acting. Just IMO.

I got lucky in that my case had a positive outcome (as it should have) but I had a respected neurologist diagnose me for atypical migraines and prescribe an anti seizure medicine for them. Can you say "career ending"??? I had to word my self disclosures carefully when it came medical time (with the help of ALPA medical).
 

Stomp16

You mean Shennanigans?!?!
Actually, the issue is not that he "went on record". He has a condition that warrants further investigation because it might affect safety of flight, thus he is required to ground himself until the issue can be resolved. While I agree with the bottom line of what you say, I want to clarify that the reason has nothing to do with him talking about his condition here, or anywhere else. "On the record" is irrelevant.

Let's look at the reg that the doc quoted:



I think it's pretty self explanatory. In broad terms, if you're not fit to fly you must ground yourself.
I have seen a few threads lately where people have really divulged way more than they needed to on a public forum. Some things need to be thought about before being typed. My "on the record" point was to not post things that may get you into trouble down the road. Don't divulge more than you need to, that's all.
 
Top