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FrustratedPatient

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FrustratedPatient

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Billoxi, MS
Hello,

I have lurked here for a little bit and have read quite a few threads and my heart goes out to anyone suffering from any sort of mental health issues. My apologies if this is long however context is key in my situation.

I myself have mental diagnosis however, in my case they all originated from my PCP.

Recently I was investigating picking up flying as a hobby. I learned what it would be required for a medical certificate from the FAA and I started to look at my medical records for any gotchas.

As I was reviewing them I was floored by some "issues/diagnosis" related to mental health. I discovered my PCP had listed "Fear of Flying - Panic Attacks", "Agoraphobia with Panic Disorder", "Free Floating Anxiety", and "Situational Anxiety".

Now for the context. I suffer from motion sickness sometimes while being on a boat, flying, or even riding in the back of cars where the driver is erratic. Earlier in life (circa 1996) I started to learn to fly, and in return, I would get queasy and uneasy about it, but never suffered a panic attack. It was expressed to me by instructors that it was normal and it would pass with more exposure to the feeling of light in light aircraft. A few years went by and I was flying commercial, and experienced motion sickness, not to the point of vomiting but it was uncomfortable. I saw my PCP for it, and he prescribed Scopolomine, which was awful, it had caused so many undesirable side effects I chose to not use it after a few trials. I went in for another visit and explained the situation, and even described it to him that I would prefer to just sleep. I was prescribed Xanax to help sleep on flights which worked well, and I had refilled a very small (4-5 pill rx) to be used for flying. This continued over the past 15 years.

In 2020, I had some lower GI issues start around Feb. I was concerned based on the physical symptoms and finally saw my PCP. Based on my family history (Dad has a history of colon polyps) and I also had an uncle who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. I was concerned as he and I both shared similar symptoms prior to his diagnosis. My doctor performed a test in the office which looks for traces of blood which came back positive and he suggested I go info a colonoscopy which was delayed due to covid by about 3 months. In the mean time, I changed my diet and started taking a fiber supplement and it helped with the symptoms but I still had microscopic blood. A few weeks later I had an appointment for an annual physical, and we were discussing what the colonoscopy procedure would be like, he was compassionate and explained his run in with colon polyps. I reiterated to him that I was still nervous given my uncles dx and his prognosis (he has since passed but was in treatment at the time). He recommended that if I wanted to try, I could take an SSRI (Celexa) as it may help with my worries. I reluctantly agreed however after reading the side effects I chose not to take it, and he agreed it wasn't something I needed but simply try.

I had been seeing a licensed mental health counselor due to an infidelity issue that involved my wife since 2018. I chose to continue therapy as we used tools such as EMDR to help with intrusive thoughts due to the infidelity, and CBT for a variety of things none of which were related to the above mentioned diagnosis. In the same conversation I had with my PCP about the SSRI, I informed him that I would simply rather speak with my therapist about it and see if it will help which it did.

Fast forward to present day. For those who aren't aware, the FAA has a very firm stance on mental health and it is extremely inflexible without having to jump through numerous expensive hoops.

I was speaking with my therapist recently about the "diagnoses" and she was floored with what I listed. She explained to me that most of those would most likely take multiple sessions with a specialist and not simply a 10 or 15 minute meeting with my PCP to diagnosis and that she felt they weren't just wrong but extremely wrong.

I guess my question would be for all of you. Have you received a dx from your regular doctor who wasn't a specialist? Could a specialists overrule a general practitioner?
 
Ghost_Owl

Ghost_Owl

Well-known member
Forum Guide
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
1,211
Location
U.K
The problem has always been that a diagnosis has a tendency to stick within the notes. It can be very hard to get them removed. I can't advise anything as you are in the states. You may need to seek advice from your health care team how best to proceed. I would also like to welcome you to the forum. I hope you can find support here.
 
J

Jolly

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
581
Location
United Kingdom
Welcome. A consultant psychiatrist can diagnose and do an assessment in the uk. The price for a private consultation in the uk is around £175. He can give a diagnosis and treatment. Also they do numerous tests to find out if you are competent to carry on flying. Even though I suffer GAD and work for him he has carried out numerous tests and the client has been able to carry on with flying. Hope that helps.
 
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