Real Answers from Real Pilots

Obtaining Necessary Medicals

Hello. Im a 17 year old planning on becoming an airline pilot in the future. But sadly i was diagnosed with ADD when i was little, and from what ive read that can cause some issues. Ive done lots of research and have read many forums and official rules by the FAA, but many contain mixed opinions. Since i was diagnosed ive been off and on medication, obtaining my first prescription in 2nd grade. Shortly after i discontinued taking the medication due to the negative side effects that come along with it. I started taking it again my freshmen year of highschool periodically, but stopped taking medicine again about 3 quarters through the year. After that ive never taken the medicine on a day to day bases, but occasionally take the medication to work on large projects or study for big tests. By no means do I need the medication to function properly. as a matter of fact i needed to take mental testing similar to the mental tests required by the FAA to obtain a class III medical, to keep accommodations such as extended time on homework at school. The school psych testings showed that i had average scores compared to others without ADD, and almost lost my accommodations at school due to not showing sufficient signs of the disability.
On the other hand, one of my good friends aunts has been a pilot for years, and is on the board of directors at southwest. She said it shouldnt be a problem, and has flown with many first officers with ADD and taking medication for it. Even though nearly ever article ive read contradicts that.
In other words im just looking for the opinions of current airline pilots, and If you think my chances of becoming a pilot will be hammered down by this disability. As well as any other airline pilots that have overcome this challenge, and what steps you took to accomplish this.

Payne,

We are unable to dispense any medical advice on this forum. You will need to contact an FAA medical examiner and work through your issues with them directly. Best of luck.

Chris