New FAA guidlines for situational depression
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Below is the new criteria that AME's will utilize to determine if a medical certificate can be issued with a prior history of situational depression which is categorized further as an adjustment disorder with depressed mood or minor depression.

A. If it was a single episode, 5 or more years ago, and has completely resolved and the AME is able to determine the condition meets all of the following criteria then the AME is able to issue the medical:

1.Was precipitated by an event/stressor that would cause the average person to become depressed;
2.Fully resolved within 6 months of resolution of the stressor (with or without treatment);
3.Single episode with NO recurrence;
4.No evidence of psychosis/psychotic symptoms, no suicidal ideations or self-destructive ideations (at any time);
5.No lifetime history of any other psychiatric condition(s) including substance abuse; and the AME has no concerns.

B. For a single episode, less than 5 years ago, which has completely resolved, the AME must review a current detailed Clinical Progress Note and actual clinical record(s) from the treating provider to verify the diagnosis. If upon review of the supporting documents, the AME is able to determine the condition is as follows then they are able to issue the medical and send supporting documents to the FAA for retention:

1.Diagnosis listed on all supporting documents is Situational Depression, Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood, or Minor Depression;
2.Was precipitated by an event/stressor that would cause the average person to become depressed;
3.Fully resolved within 6 months of resolution of the stressor (with or without treatment);
4.Single episode with NO recurrence;
5.No evidence of psychosis/psychotic symptoms, no suicidal ideations or self-destructive ideations (at any time);
6.No lifetime history of any other psychiatric condition(s) including substance abuse; and the AME has no concerns.

C. For an episode longer than 6 months, or with no specific trigger, or with continued symptoms, or with more than 1 episode in a lifetime, or with additional psychiatric symptoms, or with any AME concerns, the application must be deferred to OKC for a possible special issuance. 

As always, please feel free to call into the PIC if you would like to discuss further with a member of our medical certifications team.  

Thanks for flying with AOPA! 
 

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