Germanwings Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz gives people with mental Illness a bad rap

Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot of the ill fated Germanwings flight was no doubt an extremely troubled person. He had suicidal thoughts and impulses, but what’s more, he was homicidal. Homicidal thoughts and impulses are one of many possible symptoms in mental illness. They are also a huge factor in the stigma that mental illness as a whole has on the minds of people.

I want to draw a distinction here: homicidality/ homicidal behavior are symptoms that are distinct fromĀ  mental illness as a whole. Most people who have a mental illness do not have Homicidal Impulses or actions. Homicidality or other violent behavior most often does not accompany mental illness. We must draw the distinction as it i unfair that people who have mental illness be pigeon holed by association to this homicidal and suicidal pilot.

It can be normal in the course of one’s illness to have what we call suicidal or homicidal ideations. Many of us have violent thoughts occasionally when stressed, upset by something or someone. If you have a violent or homicidal thought, this does not put you on a course for violence. However, If you have violent or homicidal thoughts frequently, talk with a mental health professional immediately. This could be a result of stress/anxiety or symptoms of a yet undiagnosed mental illness such as PTSD, Major Depression or Bipolar disorder.

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