Yeah, I've had a history with social anxiety although it's all sorted now because I got therapy. I was wondering if it's important that I disclose this to employers or just lie if asked? Would they be able to find out? And yeah, if I did disclose this would it harm the chances of me achieving my dream of being a commercial pilot?

I ask this as I know people with a history of depression aren't meant to be commercial pilots.

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    $\begingroup$ Related: Will having a history of depression prevent me from flying? The answer is probably the same: talk to an AME. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Aug 10, 2017 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ Leaving aside the moral aspects, the truth is that most pilots make only 'limited disclosures' when filling up their medical questionnaires, since they all wish to continue flying, either as professionals or for pleasure. People are prisoners of what they say, and masters of what they hide... $\endgroup$
    – xxavier
    Aug 10, 2017 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


I don't know about the question in your title, but I can answer the question in the body:

I was wondering if it's important that I disclose this to employers or just lie if asked?

No, you should not lie about your medical history. If you knowingly lie about your medical history, and it subsequently comes out, it could cost you your career - including the tens of thousands of pounds (or euros or dollars) you spent on getting your CPL or ATPL. Even if you have insurance against losing your medical certificate, they almost certainly won't pay out in this case, leaving you with a debt bigger than a student loan and no job to pay it off. It'll also make it much harder to get a medical certificate in future and return to flying status.

Worse yet, if the reason this comes out is because of an accident, you may face a criminal investigation because you flew knowing that your medical certificate was not valid, regardless of whether you think your condition could have contributed. You can't expect your employer (ex-employer) to stand up for you in this case.

Although I have a class 2 medical in the UK, I'm no expert in the medical requirements. It would surprise me if a past mental health condition which doesn't really affect your ability to fly, and which was successfully treated without medication, would stop you getting even a class 1 medical. It would probably just mean more uncomfortable questions in the medical exam, and probably having to get a written opinion from the psychiatrist who treated you. That might cost you some time and cash in the short term, but it's worth it to know it won't come back to haunt you later.

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    $\begingroup$ more uncomfortable questions - level of effect of the therapy the OP mentions may be very well subjectively judged by how much or how little the corresponding questions evoke. $\endgroup$
    – Pavel
    Aug 11, 2017 at 7:05

@Dan Hulme provides a solid answer and I'll expand a bit for the US.

As mentioned in @fooot's comment, you really need to talk to an AME about this. Only an AME can give you an answer to this and no one on a forum can legally decide this for you. There are some other things you should be aware of:

While you may only need a Class II medical to fly commercially in the States, you may or may not be free to use whatever AME you like. The airline may have its own doctors it uses to check you out above your standard medical check. Remember, the legal certifications only allow you to have the job; they do not guarantee it. Keep in mind, you can go to any AME to get your medical for the license itself, as legally you only need an AME to approve you.

You should of course never lie on a job application - especially in this case considering what you want to do. However you should be aware of what employees can access and what they can not in terms of medical records. You should make yourself aware so you are not unfairly disqualified (not so you can maliciously skirt the rules).

In the States you can't necessarily get fired if such information comes to light unless is violates the company's policies (and you lied to get in) or it was deliberately suppressed.

You can read the full guide for AMEs if you are interested.

The FAA also has a short FAQ about Pilot Medical Certification.


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