I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was about 10 years old, and I took ritalin for about 2 years after that. I went off the medicine around age 12 or 13, and I’ve been doing fine ever since. Straight A’s, a university student in sophomore year now. I believe I was misdiagnosed, as I have no trouble paying attention or keeping up with school, and the diagnosis has not affected my life in any way whatsoever. (I’m 20, now, and I haven’t taken any pills at all for nearly ten years) I definitely feel I was misdiagnosed, and I’ll be going to my doctor soon to get it in writing.
However, I am considering applying for a job in the Merchant Marines after I graduate, and I’ve noticed that ADHD could be a possible disqualifier. I haven’t had any “symptoms” for almost ten years now (never really had any in the first place, just helicopter parents), and I take no medications at all.
This has led me to be really nervous that a misdiagnosed condition in my early life could really screw over my future aspirations. I’m afraid this could screw up my chances of getting my MMC. I’ll be doing my best to get it off my record soon with a couple visits to childhood and current doctors. Anyway, is this likely to disqualify me for a job at sea? Thanks
no, should be a non-issue. I speak from experience. You really can’t get it off your record so don’t bother. Worse possible case is that you would have to see a doctor yo determine if it is current,y an issue or not.
Also at the clinic I go to they ask me to verify my medical records for accuracy. For some reason sleep apnea was put on there, never had a sleep study and the wife says the only time I snore is when I’m congested and a breath right takes care of that.
So when it came time to verify my stuff I had that taken out. No miss no fuss.
The USCG 719k asks for a lifetime lookback at health issues, so it’s entirely up to you what you decide to disclose. It’s you signing off on the form, not any one of us. It’s a personal decision only you can make. There are penalties for withholding information. Mull it over.
The regs do allow you to omit a medication you haven’t been on for 90 days or more, so if you haven’t been on ADHD meds for a decade or so, why put it down when you don’t have to?
There is an entire generation of kids that will soon mature into the workforce with these kinds of diagnoses. I don’t think the USCG will get overly excited about an adult who had a bout of ADHD in childhood that he matured out of and no longer takes meds for but again, the choice is up to you whether to disclose or not. Read the paperwork carefully. As they say, “Your mileage may vary!”
I once asked an inside source I trust about this. something like 4 in 10 US mariners have some add related diagnosis in their past and 3 in 10 are medicated for add.
If you have the the most rudimentary of medical training and observation skills then do the math that means that roughly 6 in 10 mariners are under medicated and are currently sailing while distracted.
Ok, so the numbers are a joke but only partially. They are my best guess because I do have some medical training, have discussed this topic at length with several academic pshycologists and have come to the very real conclusion that there are only two types of people working at sea:
The smaller group (1 in 10 ) is not ADD but IS a clinically INSANE masochist
The remaining 9/10ths (myself included) are ADD and feel seasick when we get strapped to a desk ashore.
Seriously; don’t worry, if the USCG started banning those of us mariners who are self aware enough to seek help for the condition we share with 90% of our coworkers… then you sure as hell don’t want to be out there navigating congested water with the others in charge
P.S. Most USCG officers are also undiagnosed and unmedicated ADD sufferes… as are most police officers, firemen, military and so forth. Conversely, accountants are most certainly NOT add… so a surefire way to find a genuine masochist is to find a mariner with a CPA license
PS2. This is also why Britian ruled the seas so for many centuries… while ever other country was happy sending add men out to sea, British Boarding schools assured that all the country’s best students became masocists
I know Academy Unlimited Mates, including my roommate, with diagnosis and prescriptions. The medical review didn’t give them any issue about it, despite a big reluctance to disclose. Unless they’ve changed it in the short couple of years since I’ve graduated. I don’t see why they’d treat an Unlimited Master any differently, it’s the same medical review.
I never said they would treat anyone differently, I said the new medical review process has different requirements. I also never claimed they would deny a medical card but I know they hit on it and want extra information from a specialist at a minimum. They also don’t like you taking the meds, though I don’t know exactly which of the meds, if any, they’d refuse to let you take.
In my opinion, there is no need to tell them about being diagnosed with ADHD. i am sure they will have their own test for you so wait for them, and this will be an issue for you, stay positive. They always look forward to counseling in case of aNY sort of problem according to their job nature.
Stay tight, Best of luck.