Germanwings Co-Pilot Shines Light On Opaqueness Of Mental Illness

March 31, 2015 8:34 PM

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The emerging story of Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot, is a reminder of how opaque the psyche is to casual observers and sometimes to rigorous observers, too. If a man harbors, say, suicidal thoughts, how many people around him are likely to be aware of that - neighbors, colleagues, family members? When an apparently harmless soul commits an act of suicide-homicide, we often hear expressions of both alarm and surprise from such people. Dr. Michael Miller is a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. And I'd like to ask you, do you think someone who's as troubled as we're now led to believe this Mr. Lubitz was can carry that burden without it being evident to other people around him?

MICHAEL MILLER: Yes. It's actually quite common. We learn to keep many of our thoughts to ourselves, and when we are struggling with painful, emotional thoughts, experiences, feelings, we tend to not share them with many people. And some people are in a circumstance where they don't share them much ...

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