Merchant mariner

Hey everyone, I was just wondering if I used to take prescribed medication for a mental illness that no longer effects me and I do not get treated for it anymore since it no longer effects me, would having a past diagnosis effect me in anyway from obtaining any credentials? Hope that makes sense, and thanks in advance.

Frankly I have been surprised in recent years the waivers that USCG-NMC allows for mental illness. If you are completely honest about your past,and you can validate your wellness the USCG will likely grant you a document. I have seen these waivers work out seamlessly well onboard and I have had it work out horribly. While your kicking the tires and trying this out as a career choice I recommend staying coastwise…It is not easy to get a relief or be landed foreign during COVID.

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It can be wearing over time to be on the wrong boat. I had a real bully of a chief once, he harassed the electrician so much that he was sneaking around in the engine room so he would not be seen.
A class mate in engineering school got saluted with a sieg heil when he came to the engine room each morning, he works on land today.
I and three more of the crew was drunk a week, then one flipped and harassed an other crew member until he got beaten. On the same boat an other crew went “mad” and had to go be replaced in next harbor.

Usually it is very nice to be a sailor. I liked all crews I sailed with, even the mad ones. (I still hate that bully) more for what I didn’t do because I was a apprentice then what he did.

What I try to say is that you are probably half as mad as me and the ones I sailed with. Just keep in mind that it’s few ships that you see the world on. There’s not much time ashore on normal ships.

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most all i sailed with were nuts!!! (joking) Henge has a point though, if you get “one of them” for a supervisor it can be a rough trip.


We need to be weeding out the crazies, especially the medication dependent crazies, not adding more of them.

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Some who are not currently medicated might be a little easier to handle if they were.

That’s true, but I have seen too many problems with some of these guys who are walking pharmacies.

Some of these drug are too powerful for people to be taking too far from medical supervision. Many people forget to take the proper quantities at the proper times. Some people take too much. Sometimes there are drug interactions. Sometimes people take their meds improperly to get high.

These are not problems that I am properly trained and equipped to deal with.

Sometimes I have to tell guys who are acting strangely “go take your pills.” A few times I had to tell people “maybe you’d better ease up on some of that stuff you are taking.”

At a larger company with HR, it can be hard to get rid of these guys because the company is worried about disability discrimination, or the guy simply has a friend in the office.

Sadly, I can relate to a mariner that was going thru a difficult divorce. A highly regarded Chief that was an academy grad, don’t remember which one. It broke him up badly, and was on a series of meds after a bit of time off. He was a walking zombie. Not the guy I knew for years. He was misusing his meds and ran out. I remember talking to his mother on a dock phone trying to get someone in bumfuck USA to prescribe more meds. Was unaware of his surroundings and almost killed while working tow wire. I feel like I did him a favor and made the heartfelt call to shoreside that he was a danger to himself and the crew. Glad shoreside listened to me. I understand he got disability and pension, for that I am glad. I think I saved his life, at least for the time being. Damn good fellow and shipmate before his divorce. Always had a soft spot for good engineers. To this day,one of the hardest calls I ever had to make on an engineer that worked well with me in the past.

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