Went to my primary care physician who referred me to the psychologist. Went in for two evaluations. The only thing that had been written on my medical record was anxiety, no medications of any sort had been prescribed and the psychologist asked that I enrolled in anxiety classes in college (this was during my freshman year) I am a sophomore now.

Was wondering if this diagnosis of anxiety could prevent me from obtaining a third class medical, although it is not listed as anything that requires an FAA decision especially if no medication has been taken or prescribed.

  • $\begingroup$ Psychiatric conditions can't be diagnosed by objective means (such a blood analysis or a radiograph). Any pilot confessing such a condition, specially before an aviation medical examiner, risks losing his license. $\endgroup$ – xxavier Feb 6 '19 at 10:39
  • $\begingroup$ Real question is "should you be.... " Imagine yourself in a bad situation during a flight, would you be able to keep calm and act rationally or you'd have a panic attack? If in your country free practicing doctors are bound to secret you should try to understand this with the help of one for your safety. $\endgroup$ – Caterpillaraoz Jul 6 '19 at 13:12

The first thing is to determine if you were evaluated for anxiety, or diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Your primary physician's office can answer that because it will be in their records.

Often (not necessarily applicable in your case) symptoms which do not require ongoing therapy or medication may not have hard diagnosis.

Avoid assuming that you have a disqualifying condition. Contact your physician and ask if you have that diagnosis. It might help to explain why you are asking, specifically that you would like to fly and get an FAA Medical, so that they know the context of the question.

You might also want to read this FAA writeup on Item 47:


As a final note, as an instructor I have had several students over the years who had serious, diagnosed psychiatric issues. Most of them got effective help. A few became ineligible for a FAA medical. One refused to seek treatment as they were concerned about losing their medical. (I discontinued providing instruction, which aggravated the problem.) However, I know of no pilot or pilot wanna-be who had to take a class on anxiety or anger management, or personal relations, or similar to be denied an FAA medical on that basis alone.

In your case, the anxiety may have been situational, and developmental (as an adolescent) and clarifying whether you have a diagnosis (as opposed to just an evaluation) before you spend the big bucks for an AME exam would be appropriate.


The authoritative answer to your question can only come from an Aviation Medical Examiner - an AME, or "flight doc". An internet message board is the wrong place to consider all the specifics of your history, and as far as I know we don't have any AME's who participate here.

My expectation is that the answer you'll get will be in the category of, "yes, provided that you accomplish the following..." What tests, evaluations, observations, or whatever else that entails may range from very minor, to very lengthy & costly. From what you've written, I doubt it would be horribly difficult, but my opinion is from one non-MD guy on the internet, and it's worth slightly less than what you're paying for it.

If flying is something important to you, then you really owe it to yourself to get the authoritative answer from the only source whose opinion counts: make an appointment to talk to an AME.

  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm... telling somebody with a medical question that his best answer will come from an AME, gets down-voted? Okaaaay... $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Mar 8 '19 at 15:09

I am not am AME, but in section 18m of the application for the medical you will be required to disclose if you have been diagnosed with this condition. That is a significant flag to AME's under the guidelines for evaluating psychiatric conditions. The examiner will only have two options at that point: to deny your medical application, or defer it to FAA Aeromedical. If it is deferred you will get a letter from Aeromedical telling you what evidence you have to submit for evaluation.

Note that the application does not ask if you are taking medication for the condition, only if you have ever been medically diagnosed to have it.

The bottom line is that you should discuss this with whatever AME you have selected to work with before you submit the application.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That is not correct. Anxiety with no history of requiring medication-- the AME can Issue and that's before we even get to talking about whether this is a diagnosis or not. Not every YES answer to 18(m) means a denial/deferral. Talk about giving someone anxiety. $\endgroup$ – Dave-CFII Feb 6 '19 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ You are not correct and your evidence does not support your argument. I quote from the Aeromedical guidelines: "Any affirmative answers to Item 18.m., Mental disorders of any sort; depression, anxiety, etc., or Item 18.p., Suicide attempt, are significant." Notice there is no mention of medication. The link you posted doesn't even reference the issue of anxiety disorder. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Feb 7 '19 at 10:44

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