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I believe I was misdiagnosed with ADHD when I was a small child. I now want to get my PPL, and ive been told it might be a problem. Can I get the ADHD diagnosis removed from my medical record?

I do not have any signs of ADHD, none of my family members or friends see signs of ADHD and I can fly more than 8 hour flights on a flight simulator on VATSIM without being distracted.

I am wondering if I can get it off of my record or—if I can't—can i still get my PPL?

I live in the United states and I have not talked to an AME.

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    $\begingroup$ How to get a diagnosis off your medical record is outside the scope of aviation, but I would suggest you get a statement from the specialist you mentioned in your comment and ask whatever medical facility keeps your record to expunge the questionable diagnosis. It's unlikely to be an issue if it remains, but personally I would want it gone. $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2022 at 17:28
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    $\begingroup$ Related (and no doubt useful): How does the FAA decide if a PPL applicant with ADHD can fly? $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Nov 9, 2022 at 20:08
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    $\begingroup$ I'm somewhere on the spectrum. Although you didn't ask, you can probably get an ADA accommodation document for your employment in the US if you have ADHD, or in my case it was under the general rubric of "stress". This works best if you are in a organization that is sympathetic (not all are, sadly). I realize a pilot's license (private) is not about employment, but you probably work somewhere. $\endgroup$ Nov 10, 2022 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ Where I come from, you can change your Personal MD and not allow the transfer of your medical records (data protection reasons). This will yield a blank medical record for you. Ofcourse, that can be a problem for other reasons. $\endgroup$
    – T Andersen
    Nov 11, 2022 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ @TAndersen that doesn't work for an aviation medical. Not only can the government agencies look up records even if you've not given permission to share them (they have the legal clearance to go over your head if needed) but you're required by law to give full disclosure and a prior diagnosis, even if not part of the records of your current medical team, would fall under that. Some things of course can be different by country, but that's the same AFAIK for both EASA and FAA medicals at the very least. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Nov 11, 2022 at 18:48

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There's a couple of things I want to get out of the way before I actually answer the question.

First, I actually do have ADHD, confirmed via multiple tests, including an EEG. It was never any obstacle for me to get my medical certificate or pilot's license. When my AME asked if I had any preexisting conditions, and I mentioned ADHD, he just waved his hand and didn't even note it down. (Of course, I'm in the US. The medical requirements might be different in other countries.)

Second, the fact that you can spend 8 hours on a flight sim is actually a point in favor of you having ADHD. Sure, "everybody knows" that ADDers can't focus on anything ever, but that's not actually true. When doing some task that actually interests us, we're actually more likely to slip into a state of hyperfocus on that task.

With all that being said, ADHD isn't something you can get, or something you can be cured of. It just is. So, if you can get a doctor to say that you don't have it, that's the same as them saying you've never had it. My advice to you is to ask your AME if it's even a problem in your country, and if so, find a neurological specialist to test you for it.

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    $\begingroup$ thank you i live in the us and i was formally diagnosed with ADHD but i went in to get reevaluated and the specialist is pretty amendment that i was most likely misdiagnosed when i was 8 or 9 years old $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2022 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ @silvertheflyguy If that's the case, then you're good to go. (Just FYI: you probably should have put that in the question. Having a specialist say you don't have it carries a lot more weight than saying that your friends don't see signs of it. There's a lot of misinformation about ADHD in the public consciousness, so how would your friends know specifically what to look for?) $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2022 at 16:50
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    $\begingroup$ Just be sure to answer all the questions on the medical application truthfully and completely. When you sign it, you are attesting that it is true and complete. If you leave something out, they can claim falsification and that will get you denied or a suspension if they find out later. It may take extra review, but as others have indicated you should be good. If it does look like it will be an issue, I would suggest talking to AOPA. They have a team specifically to address medical certs. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Nov 9, 2022 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ Dear all, please keep your comments on topic, which is the question and the answer above. I understand that differences in opinions on ADHD can fuel the need for a heated debate; this is not the place. Please be kind to each other, and keep the comments focused on aviation. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Nov 10, 2022 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ Coming back to point out that your experience is NOT typical of those with ADD/ADHD. The FAA's Guide for AMEs says that ADD "Requires FAA Decision," that is, the AME should not have issued your medical themselves. You were supposed to go through psychological test batteries. As it stands your answer is very misleading to other applicants with ADHD. $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Nov 12, 2022 at 12:02
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In Australia, you can probably get a license.

According the aviation medical ADHD page on the website of the Australian regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority:

Indicative outcomes

Unrestricted certification is possible if in full remission without medication

Favourable

ADHD diagnosed in childhood and treated with no persisting symptoms without medication for at least past 6 months

Adult ADHD not on any treatment for at least 6 months

If what you're stating in your post is accurate, it certainly sounds like you'd probably be able to get a license.

Of course, I'm just a random person on the Internet, rather than a doctor or one of CASA's regulators, so if you do decide to apply for a license here, I'd encourage you to reach out to them using their aviation medical enquiries contact form to get definitive advice.

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