While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood - it's a serious illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health.
Research suggests that continuing difficulties - long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness, prolonged exposure to stress at work - are more likely to cause depression than recent life stresses. However, recent events (such as losing a job) or a combination of events can ‘trigger' depression in people who are already at risk because of past bad experiences or personal factors
Depression affects how people feel about themselves. They may lose interest in work, hobbies and doing things they normally enjoy. They may lack energy, have difficulty sleeping or sleep more than usual. Some people feel irritable and some find it hard to concentrate. Depression makes life more difficult to manage from day to day.
On average, one in six people - one in five women and one in eight men - will experience depression at some stage of their lives. There are different types of depression. Symptoms can range from minor (but still disabling) through to very severe.
The following guidance is relevant for applicants treated for a major depressive disorder, adjustment disorder with depressed mood, or dysthymia (a mild but chronic form of depression.
Some conditions associated with Aviation can exacerbate the symptoms of people suffering from, or with a history of, depression and/or anxiety. These include:
Depressive episodes during Aviation can lead to either overt or subtle incapacitation. They include:
Some medications used to treat depression and anxiety can impair aviation by causing the following symptoms:
You are more likely to be certified or recertified if:
You are less likely to be certified or recertified if you have:
Every case of depression is different. CASA makes aeromedical decisions on a case by case basis. A particular assessment decision is based on the individual circumstances of the applicant under consideration.
For further information see: