Mental Illness Is Not The News Story Here

The headlines today are diabolical.

They make my heart sink.

It is being reported that the Germanwings co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had a history of depression.

But I think we’re missing the point.

In fact, we’re entirely missing the point.

Depression does not define a person.

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People are not the be-all and end-all of their illness.

The media are super quick to match any history of mental illness to horrific events. As though the history of mental illness explains everything.

We don’t celebrate the victories of those with depression.

Or

Depressed Churchill’s Uncontested Status as ‘Great Man’

Or

Space Selfie taken by Depressed Buzz Aldrin among hundreds of Nasa mission photos for sale

The real news story here is that many people have lost their lives in this tragic event. That a pilot, for reasons yet undiscovered, deliberately crashed killing all 150 people on board.

The way the media is reporting on the events is irresponsible, dangerous, frightening and quite frankly, abhorrent.

We do not yet know the full story about what happened.

Blaming mental illness only serves to fuel the stigma surrounding mental illness, to create a culture of fear and prevents those who do need help, from reaching out for the very help and support they so need and deserve.