While I don’t condone the Alps airplane disaster and the co-pilot Lubitz for his role in the tragedy, one clear things has started emerging from this whole saga: the role that Lubitz’s depression played in his decision to not only kill himself but 149 innocent people.
To what extent did his depression affect his life, and was it really the depression that caused him to crash the plane?
Whatever the reason for his act of evil, what now dominates airwaves and media content is the speculation about the mental illness.
I think it’s amazing that the society is starting to talk openly about how horrid depression must be to drive someone to commit an atrocity like this, but what I feel is missing from the discussion is the fact that this blaming might drive people who suffer from mental illness to further conceal their problems from their employers because they think that if someone knew, they’d be fired or treated differently because now someone depressed committed something like the plane crash.
Not all depressed people are suicidal, and even fewer are suicidal with the intent to take others down with them. Of course I don’t know the numbers, but I’m sure it’s very few, yet what might happen is that this media hype will create fear in the general population about the Depressed and the Mentally Ill.
I would not trust myself to fly a plane on a bad day, just because I know I can get to a really dark place and I’ve even had to hold the handrails at a Tube station in London to make sure I don’t drive myself to jump under a train, so I think those of us with severe mental issues should not be allowed to do certain things just to safeguard others (like carry firearms!!!!) and ourselves, and I think that if you have a severe mental illness and work in a job where you’re responsible for the safety of others, your doctors should be allowed to discuss your details with your employer. I just think this creates a safer world, but also of course on the flip side it leaves a mentally ill person vulnerable to discrimination.
We’re already discriminated against, we don’t need any more of it, thank you very much. But we do have to realize that if we choose to pursue careers like surgeon, doctor, pilot, FBI agent…we should know that our employers have the right to know what responsibility to trust us with.
This is just my opinion and I could go on about it in greater length, but what I’m trying to say here in short is that it is good that depression and it’s horrid symptoms are now on an international agenda, yet the way the media talks about it might just create more fear and discrimination instead of making life easier for the mentally ill.