I'm a Canadian commercial helicopter pilot, and I've been struggling with severe depression and anxiety issues since childhood.
I'm very good at faking it, well, good enough that I've been able to lie on my medical in order to get it. Initially I had a 'good reason' to, I thought that my depression issue had something to do with not being fulfilled in life and that maybe following my dreams would sort it out. Because that was the only thing I hadn't tried yet, besides chemical treatment.
Well, it hasn't. In fact, its become abundantly clear to me that its entirely a chemical issue. Its not an issue of environment, job, friends, family, its not an issue I can talk about because there is no reason in the first place. I need actual prescription treatment.
It's entirely independent of my life, which I have no complaints about. Gradually its gotten worse. I took myself off of flying duty when the suicidal ideaton started up again, and have been unemployed since as I cant even get out of bed before 4PM most days, not fit to fly in the least.
Ever since then I've been treating it with cannabis, which has had quite satisfactory results, the daily life-is-pain levels have descended from a steady 8 to a solid 4. But as everybody knows that's not sustainable with aviation drug tests, as well as obviously illegal to continue. I've done lots of research into my options for treatment that wont end up throwing my career away, but maybe its just the depression talking, but all of them see like rather optimistic and shit gambles to me. Every non chemical option i.e, shrinks, supplements, getting outside, exercise, has fallen flat entirely. TC does say on their site that they have some program for treatment, but my interpretation of it is that the goal is to have you off the medication before returning to flight, not to have you able to stably take it during, which in my case sounds like a recipe for disaster as I feel it'll just come back.
I'm seriously considering just hanging up my helmet for good and just accepting that until the issues are sorted out fully, which may be never, that I'll have to pursue another career. I don't want to, I want to be a pilot. I don't want to be a washed up former pilot, because I don't know if I'd ever get over that. But I'm killing myself slowly doing it, so I have to do SOMETHING.
Has anybody ever faced a similar situation before, or have any ideas?
Because all I can see options wise right now is; A, throw away tens of thousands and an entire career to get treatment, and possibly never get over that. Or, B, continue lying on the medical and keep going, but effectively torturing myself.
I don't know what I'm expecting asking an anonymous forum this, but I don't have anyone else to ask aviation related questions and I despise working with shrinks.
PS: Also, don't be that guy, or any variant of that guy, who goes, "Well you shouldn't have become a pilot in the first place then!", because there's always that guy. I know. Tell me when you've got a time machine to make that piece of advice worth anything.