Anxiety medications


I hold a high level (ocean unlimited master + first class pilot) license.

I have been told, by someone who should know, that I should discuss anxiety medications with my doctor. Of course, given the Uscg NMC medical review process, I am quite apprehensive about the prospect of taking anxiety meds. I have reviewed NVIC 04-08 and find it not useful.

Looking for first hand experience from other mariners with upper level licenses who have been through the Uscg medical renewals while taking anti-anxiety medications. How did it go for you? Was it no big deal? Or is this something to avoid at all costs? Thanks


Hi Sam19,

I can’t really answer your question at this time. But I wanted to Welcome you to the gCaptain forum. Thanks for joining. How long have you held your (ocean unlimited master + first class pilot) license? Congrats. Why do you think you may need to discuss anxiety medications with your Dr? Just wondering do you smoke, or drink a lot of coffee? Do you have any chronic diseases like diabetes? How is your health in general on a scale of 1-10? with 1 being in poor health and 10 being in excellent health. Do you have a regular exercise routine? I was wondering how did you hear about the gCaptain forum?



are you a medical doctor or do you just play one on tv?


are you a real medical doctor or do you just play one on tv?


[QUOTE=newman;191245]are you a real medical doctor or do you just play one on tv?[/QUOTE]

I believe he is DeepSeaDiver’s evil twin


By “anxiety medications” do you mean the benzodiazepines? Like Ativan, Xanax, Clonazepam, etc?

Proceed with EXTREME caution- those are all big red flag meds wrt licensing

And if you have to ask here…you ain’t dun yer homework. If you have to report use on the 719k…you are going to have a problem.

—from someone with a “not so upper level license”

PS- have you considered yoga? Meditation? An occasional glass of wine?


There is plenty of info on the USCG website about prescription medications and licensing. I don’t think they discriminate between upper level and lower level licenses.

More importantly, maybe you should look in the mirror and do a cold hard self assessment. Why are you asking us about gaming the system, when you really need to be asking yourself if you are fit for duty.



OP needs to take a long vacation from sailing and work on his or her self for a while, if they haven’t already. Then, reconsider posting stuff like this to a public forum for professional mariners that is often cited as reliable source by news outlets.


The read I got from the OP that someone, not his doctor, told him it would be a good idea to discuss anxiety meds with his doctor. His post is not about gaming the system, but what type of drama that would ensue if he elected to take them and if anyone had experience with this situation. That is what this forum is for.

Put yourself in his shoes. He probably has a mortgage, kids in or approaching college and may now be wondering how he will keep his family in the green if the USCG deep sixes his career via medical.

Not an enviable position.


While I am sorry that the OP is having a hard time of it, I still stand by my statement that he needs to do a cold, hard self assessment.
If he isn’t fit for duty he should stay home. Nothing worse than laying on your bunk off watch wondering if the guy on tower is going to mess up and kill you.


It appears that that is precisely what he is doing.


I’m not here asking about gaming the system. I’m asking if anyone has experience with the USCG medical process after properly disclosing that they are taking mild non-benzo anxiety meds.

I’m also not asking for personal counseling or implying that I might be in any way unfit for duty. I’ll leave this thread up through the weekend to see if anyone has information along those lines to contribute.


my origional post almost 24 hrs ago was directed to DSD, not sam19. now it appears DSD’s post is gone. something is screwy.if not,mr sam19,i owe you an apology.i cant help not a real doctor.just one one tv.serves me right for even replying to DSD.ive wasted our time here on this great forum.


FWIW I did meet a MSC sailor a month or two ago who did had a waiver for Xanax that they were taking daily. This person was a rate and not an officer. Best of luck to you.


Toot Toot. Ring knocker in the room y’all!

Seriously guy? “High level license.” Are you one of those that holds a Master’s license, has never sailed on it, but considers themselves a Captain? You can be proud of your accomplishment of gaining the license, but you don’t need to quantify the grade of your ticket. If the topic of jobs comes up in conversation and the other person is knowledgeable, just drop the tonnage of your vessel and the level of your license will be well known.

Other than that, go hit the punching bag. Just about every ship I’ve ever sailed on has one and for very good reasons.


[QUOTE=DamnYankee;191272]Toot Toot. Ring knocker in the room y’all!

Seriously guy? “High level license.” Are you one of those that holds a Master’s license, has never sailed on it, but considers themselves a Captain?.[/QUOTE]

No, I’m not one of those guys. I’m not familiar with how things normally work on this forum and included that information in case it was relevant to the discussion. If this is the quality of the information and feedback I can expect from this forum I will be quite disappointed and find a more serious group to discuss topics with.

I consider it likely that NMC would evaluate my renewal differently than someone with a 6-pack license who runs a charter fishing boat. Thus, I considered it relevant. Maybe I was wrong. Sorry if the wording offended your sensibilities.


Here’s the link you want. Without the specific med, it’d be hard for any of us to say what the answer would be. However, I would venture that it’s probably on the restricted, or the “More trouble then it’s worth,” side of things. You might be better off learning non-pharmaceutical coping methods; meditation, exercise, whatever. I know that sounds lame but, it is what it is.

As for the group of members here, you’ll find we’re pretty diverse in professional level. Everything from wannabe-deckhands, salty ABs limited licenses, unlimited licenses, harbor pilots, and a few trolls. Obviously you will have a diversity in the quality of responses. If a question is better off being googled, expect to get your fair amount of flak. I have yet to find a better maritime industry community online, if you do good luck. Hopefully you can participate and contribute here, we also have a decent amount of people that bounce out of here after asking a question and getting their answer.


There is something much worse: a mariner afraid to go to a doctor out of fear of loosing his or her career. Reminds me of a shipmate who wouldn’t get treatment for high blood pressure out of fear of not being able to keep shipping. He had a massive stroke at sea and died not long after. Thankfully my shipmate wasn’t alone in the wheelhouse or operating heavy machinery when he slumped over.

Would anyone prefer a ticking time bomb of a shipmate with an untreated ailment instead of a stable shipmate under proper treatment?


Hi Sam19

Welcome! Without telling us some more about your situation the forum members won’t be able to help you much more on this subject. If you’re looking for the oh yes it’s NO problem answer that won’t happen. Best of luck and feel better.

Here is a thread that was originally posted 8 days ago and sounds very similar to your situation? You may be able to obtain some additional unofficial info at this link?


Blame the Coast Guard for this new culture of fear.