Physical old history of ADD

Hi there new to the forum and first post. I am currently in the process of applying for the MMC Entry Level O/S, Wiper, Food Handler. In going over form cg_719k and NVIC 04-08 I noticed ADD and ADHD are listed as active conditions. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 9 and took Ritalin for 3 years when my parents took me off the medication. Since then I have not taken medications for it or received psychiatric help for it. I’m 32 now and placed high honors when I went back to school for welding. Is this still a potentially disqualifying condition? Should I even report it to the NMC even though it was over 20 years ago. Any and all advice is much appreciated.

Hard to say if it matters or not. Since its an entry level rating you will be applying for I would hope it wouldn’t matter. Have you tried calling the nmc or a rec anonymously and asking?

Probably not. I believe you only have to report medications if taken within the past 3 (6?) months … Not sure about diagnoses, but I can’t believe a childhood diagnosis two decades ago would be an issue.

If you mention it, the USCG medical review will probably require that you get your old childhood medical records, and see a specialist again now for reevaluation. This will probably delay approval of your application for a year.

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Don’t say anything about it.

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Thank you everyone for the replies. As of tomorrow I will be calling the NMC to see what they say. For childhood records I think I’m up $@&! creek with out the paddle. Parents lost them. My old doctors office I long gone. Colorado only requires the practice to hold them for 7 years. And from what I could gather from the Colorado school system websites looks doubtful. But I will be calling anyways.

I may also go for a reevaluation just to cover my butt.

What part of “don’t mention it” didn’t you understand.


My concern with omitting it, are the chances of it coming back to bite my rear end. If any? Can you shed some light please?

Who knows. The irony is considering how many mariners out there have problems that are undiagnosed, having documents issued…
I do know the requirements for watchstanders and officers are more strict than entry level. I would hope the medical reviewers wouldn’t give the same critique to you as they give someone who’s been diagnosed diabetic, bi-polar or grotesquely overweight…but as we know they aren’t always logical.

I don’t have an application in front of me. Does it specifically ask about your past condition?

719k asks to the best of your knowledge have you ever had, required treatment for, or presently have any of the following conditions. On line 24 attention deficit disorder with or with out hyper activity. I thought I read some where 719k is required for bst for stcw. And 719ke can be used if not pursuing stcw.

They only know what you tell them. And even if they go looking they’re not going to find that you were diagnosed 20 years ago.

you will definately want stcw.

I’ll tell you this much. whenever I have had to fill out paperwork/applications throughout my career, there are two questions I ALWAYS answer the same way. I have never done drugs and I am an occasional drinker (3-5 drinks a week.)

i understand you wanting to be preventitive with this, so my suggestion would be to anonymously inquire about it with the nmc, rec center of your choice, or spend the dough on a license consultant.

The USCG NMC is a very screwed up and understaffed operation. I find it hard to believe they would try to look for anything without being prompted to do so. If your doctor and records are gone, there is nothing for them to find.

A 9 year old child cannot be expected to understand or remember his diagnosis or treatment 20 years ago. Now 20 years later, you don’t know what your diagnosis was, what your treatment was, or what the result was, except you are here today. You don’t know whether the doctor was a pill-pushing quack who didn’t know what he was doing. Apparently your parents thought so. You may think you know, but you don’t. You were a child. It was a long time ago. Your mind is playing tricks on you, you think you now know something from your childhood 20 years ago, but you don’t know.

What we know today is that ADD is a poorly understood and grossly overdiagnosed malady. We know today that Ritalin was, and is, grossly over prescribed.

Your childhood memories of a possible diagnosis and treatment for which there are no records, and that you may, or may not , have had 20 years ago is unrealiable. You don’t know. Don’t speculate. Don’t say anything.


Listen to Tugsailor.



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Tugsailor thank you for your your advice. Gives me a different point of view. Have you or anyone else had any experience with this?

Ctony thank you for your advice as well. Looked into it. Have not made the call. Hard to be anonymous when they ask for your social.

I know several people who have gone through hell with the USCG medical review because they mentioned “restless leg syndrome”, varicose veins, arthritis, slight hearing loss, or some other trivial condition that just about everyone their age has. It was often self-diagnosed. They had to spend thousands of dollars on specialists and tests to get past it. It delayed their renewals for a year.

if your medical specialist has not recently diagnosed a real medical problem after appropriate medical tests, don’t mention a word about it.

If you’re only going for Entry Level ratings, why are you using the CG719k? Try CG719ke, the one designed for Entry Level. Doesn’t look like its got any place for ADD/ADHD anything.

And when you do upgrade and need the CG719k, unless you have the same doctor from 20 years ago and you tell him, they won’t know about a childhood diagnosis anyway. If you’re having a crisis of conscience over leaving it off, just make the doc write in that it was “early childhood” and “didn’t persist”. We got a chief engineer with childhood asthma and that’s what he says was in his physical.

I read an interesting study that well over 90% of professional mariners (and in other difficult and high risk jobs like firefighter, military, logging, etc) are ADD but only a small percentage of them are properly diagnosed as such and a smaller percentage are “properly medicated” (the study’s words, not mine). If we weren’t ADD then you (and I) would not have a problem sitting at a desk all day making money the easy/safe way.

So if the coast guard started pulling the MMD’s of people who are diagnosed ADD (and, yes, it is something they have considered doing!) then they would only succeed in removing the small percentage of mariners who have enough self awareness to seek help.

P.S. I’m not advocating medication or listening to professional psychiatric advice but I do think diagnosis and self-awreness leads to better understanding of our personal limitations and makes us better watch-standers.

P.S.2. If the coast guard does start pulling MMD’s of mariners with ADD they should also prepare for a barrage of highly-critical and well researched gCaptain editorials on the subject.