In follow up to my previous article, “Depression is everybody’s problem”, this article will point out the danger of depression when gone unchecked.
The 2015 crash of the Germanwings Airbus A320 flight 4U9525 on March 24, 2015 which killed all one hundred fifty persons on board is a stark reminder of the need for closer scrutiny of those who are put in charge of the lives of others.
In the crash of the Germanwings Airbus A320 flight 4U9525, the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had
apparently been struggling with mental
illness and depression for some time. He even received a letter
declaring him unfit for work (at some point)which somehow officials are only
finding out about now as a result of Lubitz hiding the letter.
depressed and psychologically distressed people, Lubitz apparently was able to
hide his illness all too well; many who knew him, found him, normal, capable and even
Even when he
was originally hired by Lufthansa
in 2008, the company said Lubitz was psychologically sound and completely fit
As of today
however, after the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Bild (a German Newspaper) citing
unnamed sources claiming that Lubitz had suffered severe mental illness, Lufthansa
has now admitted they learned in 2009 that Lubitz had suffered a “previous episode of severe
Although Lufthansa, the parent company of
Germanwings, knew of Lubitz’s battle with depression, they allowed him to
continue training and ultimately put him in the cockpit.
contends however, that because “Lubitz had a valid medical certificate, had
passed all his examinations and “held all the licenses required”; there
was no reason not to let him fly.
This is a staunch reminder of the
need by every one of us to take a proverbial pinch of our mental capacity to
see if we’re really ok. We all need to maintain good mental and emotional
health but unfortunately not everyone is willing to check their mental and
If you doubt your mental stability
for even a minute, for goodness sakes talk to somebody professionally. Don’t be
so proud that you endanger yourself or those around you.
On another level of mental health,
too often like the recent German Air crash, someone with less than competent
mental capacity gains control of people and either limits or ends their lives.
The potential for anyone with power
over people to take such control to the extreme is just too fragile to allow
incompetency to be put in control.
Having worn so many professional hats
over the years as a pastor, theologian, psychologist and insurance adjuster,
this writer has seen far too much incompetence among those in charge of others.
The old saying of “Absolute power
corrupts absolutely” is so true.
This writer has seen good men and
women totally collapse under the obligation of power and control.
I’ve seen pastor’s attempt suicide
after major catastrophes like hurricanes which wiped out their churches and homes,
theologians who couldn’t handle a flaw in a theological truth they once held
firm, attorneys who lost major cases, athletes who lost the big game, parents
who lost children and on and on.
In short, everyone is vulnerable to
mental illness and associated depression at some point in their life.
When life becomes more than we can
handle on our own, that’s when we need to talk to someone professionally.
But what about the professionals who
think they’re above talking to someone?
Does this not support the need for a
required mental assessment of every major professional?
Certainly all pilots, bus drivers,
train operators, ship captains and personnel, doctors and hospital staff, law
enforcement, attorneys, prosecutors and certainly all politicians should be
required to have an extensive mental health screening; not just a criminal background check but an intensive
mental health checkup.
Most of all both the Democratic and
Republican Parties should include in their Presidential Candidate vetting
process a mental health checkup made public to all.
Good mental health is very important
and should never be taken for granted because the mind can indeed be a
Please, if you are having strange or
unusual thoughts, feeling depressed or lonely, call someone today at 1-800-950-NAMI
(6264) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also call your political party
requesting that a mental health checkup be required in all political candidate
vetting processes; especially of those running for the office of president.
© 2019 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III