Cochrantings: The Germanwings Nightmare

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By Steve Cochran

It’s hard to imagine a worse way to die.

The people who were killed on that GERMANWINGS flight had several minutes to realize one pilot was locked out of the cockpit and the plane was going down.

What we know is limited to professional analysis of the Black Box audio and that indicates Andreas Lubitz locked Capt. Patrick Sondenheimer out…the Captain heroically tried to break the door down but the plane was intentionally crashed by Lubitz and everyone died.

Since then we have learned Lubitz was likely being treated for depression and most of the media is focused on that but let’s be very clear on one thing.

Depression didn’t kill those people.

Andreas Lubitz made the choice to fly that plane into the side of a mountain and murder men, women, children and babies. He did that.

Lubitz was sick, twisted, and selfish. He killed 149 innocent people that had nothing to do with his darkness or pain.

The danger in focusing on his depression is that it stigmatizes everyone who suffers from it every day. As of 2012 the CDC reported that 1 in 3 Americans will deal with depression in their lifetimes. Almost everyone in medicine agrees that number in reality is much, much higher.

You may be dealing with this or you may know someone in your life who is depressed right now. You have worked for or with people who are depressed. There are depressed doctors, nurses, cops, firemen, preachers and teachers too. None of them will commit murder because they are depressed. It just doesn’t work that way.

This is reminiscent of the Newtown shooter that killed 20 six and seven year olds and several adults too. There was an emphasis in the reporting that the killer was autistic which again, had no role in the horrific murders that took place and demonized those who deal with autism in their lives.

The truth is, in almost all cases, depression can be treated and a normal life can be led. It is a medical condition like high blood pressure, or migraine headaches and should be treated with the same dignity and respect.

Change this conversation. It matters. Stop the stigma. Andreas Lubitz was a murderer. That’s a fact and that’s the truth.

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