Pilots And Bipolar Disorder
Don?t Fly or Deal With the Consequences
Mental disorders are becoming a more recognized ailment in society today. Psychological stressors and genetic backgrounds are two of the main factors triggering these disorders. It is estimated that more than 17 million Americans meet the criteria for mental disorders. This means that there are undoubtedly a small percentage of these Americans that, at one time in their life, will apply for an aviation medical certificate. This is where the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gets involved. According to FAA regulations a medical examiner is required to deny certification to individuals who show signs of certain mental disorders. Bipolar disorder is one of these disorders in which denial of an aviation medical certificate will be sought.
Bipolar disorder is a one of several types of mood disorders, but has different characteristics that set it apart from the rest. Also called manic-depression, it is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person?s mood, energy, and ability to function. It is distinguished by behavior that fluctuates from extreme highs to serious lows interspersed with periods of normal mood. Typically everyone does go through normal ups and downs. However, symptoms of
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