Hey everybody. I’m Sam, and I’m an ADHDer from Ohio. I’ve joined because I’m about to go back to school for the first time since I had to drop out of college, and I need some support. I made an attempt on my life because of issues that ultimately trace back to my poorly treated ADHD. My ADHD blocked me from pursuing my dream of being a pilot. My ADHD has caused constant stress with my family, and I just need support now. I’m about to move across the country for gemology school, and I want to have a community of friends who can help and support me through the coming months so that I can be successful, and help them find success as well. Thank you all for reading my ramblings, I hope it was worth your time. I’d really love to make friends with you all.
Hello sam, welcome here!
I hope you find the support you need with us. Getting back to school is hard, you’ll find many of us have similar experiences.
Please tell us more about gemology, how did you get interested in it?
I was originally a triple major (that itself could be a sign of my ADHD) in geology, zoo and conservation science, and piano. Geology was my greatest passion, and gems are a nice way to make a living. You buy them on happy occasions. I’ll get to travel the world buying and selling stones, and exploring the history of the earth. Plus it’s only a 6 month program. It’s a nice situation
Hey Sam. Welcome to the tribe!
How far did you get into it? I was all set to join the Royal Australian Air Force, it was all on track. Then my wheels came off in the last couple of years of high school, and that dream effectively went out the window. Both of my parents had their pilot’s licenses, so I’d grown up around planes. Dad flew us to Kathmandu one time in a Piper Commanche. A whole other story…
Many years later I was not happy with the crappy jobs I was getting, and remembered the old dream. I was on enough money to afford maybe a flying lesson a month or fortnight, so I started learning to fly.
To cut a long story short (ha ha… that never happens in ADHD world…), I got through all the training as a commercial pilot for almost $100,000 later. Further training was needed at each point of career progression. $20k here, $25k there… Much cheaper in the US.
I really enjoyed flying. Such an awesome world. And the challenges are constant, so part of it was really appealing to my ADHD brain.
But at times it could get pretty overwhelming. The study was hard. I sweated bullets for every exam. But then, I’d look back at earlier exams and think “that last exam was easy. This next one is going to be tough.”
In the end, flying is all about situational awareness and decision making. I learned plenty about both of those, but I was quite far behind the normal people.
There were times when I doubted certain aspects of my ability as a pilot. I had to consider the possibility that my duty to safeguard my passengers from dangerous situations might be a problem.
I knew a number of good pilots without ADHD who made fatal decisions, what were the odds that I might find myself in a situation made worse by ADHD? (I didn’t know I had it at the time, but I did know I had problems with certain things).
The decision was taken out of my hands when a relationship blew up with an ex-fiance because I had spent all the money on ongoing flying training that I was supposed to be saving for our wedding, and starting a family. And pay rates at the small end of aviation are really bad.
I quit flying. Wish I hadn’t had to. Now I only fly in flight sims on the PC. Lost the fiance too shortly after the argument. I miss flying more.
I truly hate to hear that. Unfortunately the FAA forbids people with an ADD diagnosis from even getting a private pilot’s license. So I’m unfortunately grounded except for perhaps ultralights and PPG’s
That’s a shame. Ultralights can be pretty good though. There are a number of those that have some really impressive performance, and much less bureaucracy and BS.
I wasn’t diagnosed until a few months ago. So it never came up, and I don’t know what the regs are for ADHD. But I do have a friend who is still flying, and has declared, medicated ADHD. I never knew he had it until he told me a few weeks ago.
He didn’t declare it in his initial medical, but on a later medical it came out. Might have been when they brought in random drug and alcohol testing. So they suspended his license for a number of years. He had to fight hard to get it back, but he did. He’s just about to start his ATPL exams.
That’s absolutely wonderful that he can still fly. I’m excited to find ways of being airborne.
That’s quite the plane. Though I’m not sure what licensing I’d need for it. Definitely not part 103 legal:joy:
I currently work in mining. We see some lovely rock formations before they get blown to smithereens and put into crushers so the world can have toasters and new cars.
Some of those specimens can be quite valuable. Best to check before you donate. Could be throwing away money
You wouldn’t even need a PPL. Not sure of the FAA regs, but Australian CASA would allow you to fly that with an ultralight license.
I might be able to have a sport license and fly it. Though those have a very strict set of limitations. No cross country, 20 mile radius from home airport restrictions, etc, etc
Experimental might be another option. Can you get a PPL?
Nope. Depression, anxiety, and ADHD are all disqualifiers for a private pilot’s license
That quite interesting I have done a little flying over the years. A couple of years ago I almost went and borrowed the money and went commercial. This is before I went down the ADHD road. When I was flying was probably the only time I felt total focus and making command decisions was easy for me. I stoped because of money and I had 3 people I knew died in a few months whilst flying.
I know quite a few people that fly for airlines and I can honestly say that none of them would do it again. They all say that if they could make decent money flying turbine aircraft out of interesting places they would give up jets tomorrow.
I had a look at the AVmed website only a month ago and Having ADHD almost excludes you from holding a class 1 medical in Australia. Lots of conditions to meet and hoops to jump through.
The advice that was given to me in relation to flying was find a job that pays the bills and fly for fun that way it’s always a passion. I will fo back flying ultralights in the next couple of years just for the pure joy of it.
I was never that interested in RPT or airliners. I was more interested in bush work. Lots of good flying and decent money in Africa. I had a mate who still does geological survey work on contracts out of places like Mongolia or the South Pacific. New Guinea has some amazing flying, but not great money…
I found that too. But in training I had a couple of brain freezes at critical points when I couldn’t remember a previous radio call, or a procedure I’d learned a while back and forgotten.
Once I’d committed the info to longer term memory and developed routines and systems that helped, I was OK. But it made me aware of my limitations.
The intensity of bringing off a challenging landing in gusting crosswind is an awesome use for hyperfocus! Great fun!
And for decision making, the greatest skill is consistently knowing when it’s time to abort, or go around.
Probably not a good idea to watch this if you have issues with flying…
Hi Sam from Ohio!
I’m so sorry I’m late getting a bear to you! I hope you’re doing well!