Germanwings Crash Raises More Questions About Drug Treatments For Depression
The side effects of antidepressants are now widely known. At best, the side effects can cause added depression during the withdrawal stage. The problem cannot be solved with medication alone, as these drugs are no better than placebos. The crash of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 in the French Alps on March 24, killing 150 people, has raised critical questions about the mental and physical fitness of commercial pilots, disease treatments
Although this is quickly being changed, at the time, European flights did not require 2 personnel to be in the cockpit at all times. The pilot left the cockpit, presumably for a washroom break. When the pilot tried to re-enter the cockpit, it was locked from the inside. Though the blackbox recording reveals the pilot was banging on the door and asking to be let in, his co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, ignored him, and proceeded to fly the plane into the French Alps.
In 2009, he had sought treatment for serious depression. Lubitz was also experiencing relationship difficulties with his girlfriend. Since the incident, more information about Lubitz's mental state has come to light. Lufthansa Airlines admitted they knew six years ago that Andreas Lubtiz suffered from a 'serious depressive episode'. He notified Lufthansa flight school in Bremen that he had suffered a "serious depressive episode," which had since subsided. Lubitz had been seen by doctors for depression on at least three occasions since February. Lufthansa said it had set aside 300 million US dollars to deal with possible costs and class action lawsuits from the March 24 crash. Other reports have revealed that while searching Lubitz's home, German prosecutors found "'medical documents that suggest an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment', including 'torn-up and current sick leave notes, among them one covering the day of the crash.'” Lubitz should not have been flying that day. However, as PsychCentral speculates, doctor-patient confidentiality would have prevented Lubitz's doctor from relaying such concerns to his employer.
Once new employees have passed the initial psychological screening, they are responsible for monitoring their own psychological well-being. Physical tests continue to be administered on a regular basis, but mental screenings drop off. The problem with this is that the CDC estimates in the U.S. alone, only 17% of the adult population is considered to be in optimal mental health.
Some speculations have also been circulating that side effects of the depression medication Lubitz was taking may have influenced his lethal decision.
How can we as the public be ensured of our safety, and not become paranoid each time we place our lives in the hands of others, especially considering that only 17% of the US population is in optimal health?
Drugs treat the symptoms and do so with side effects; alternatively, Kava Kava (pure) from Life Choice has been clinically proven by Duke Medical University to be equally as effective as SSRI medication, but without the side effects.