Mild Depression/Anxiety and Migraines – AOPA Pilot Information Center

I have suffered from mild anxiety and mild major depressive disorder since I was a child due to my difficult upbringing. In 2017, I was on the verge of suicide (no ideation but I wanted my life to end). At that time, I started seeing a licensed psychologist, which helped me a lot. This was shortly after a very difficult breakup that took me about 3 years to recover. The depression itself manifests as a lack of emotions (happiness/etc), but for those 3 years the depression was painful (I don’t know how else to describe it). I guess “technically” you could say I had a bout of depression that lasted 3 years? I don’t know how the AME would view this though.

A few years later in 2019 I moved to another state and started getting migraines with aura intermittently (about every 1-2 months). What’s good here (and the only reason I’m considering flying again) is that my migraines have improved dramatically (I’ve only had three in the last year). I realize that this alone is a serious blow since it is now on my medical records. I am also currently prescribed Imitrex which I take as needed (no preventive medication currently).

Also, I’ve just been prescribed Cimbalta to help give me an emotional boost, but it’s only been 3 months and I’m 100% OK with it. From what it looks like, I can still qualify if I’ve only been there less than 6 months.

With all my cards on the table, what are the possibilities of being approved by an AME without the HIMS assessment and the SI course? My current game plan is to pursue my sport pilot certificate first, then after my medical is ‘cleaned up’ for a few years, apply for my 3rd class medical. Obviously I don’t want to apply if I’m going to be turned down as it will pretty much remove any possibility of flying from my future, but I also want to be able to buy and fly a four seater plane for my family later on.

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