Why We Must Not Fear Depression in the Wake of the Germanwings Tragedy

April 1, 2015 3:46 PM

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In the wake of the Germanwings crash, questions abound about what happened, what was going through the mind of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, what his motivation was, and how to prevent another such tragedy. It's normal to hypothesize why this happened. Doing so is an effort to provide certainty in the midst of uncertainty. It's an attempt to calm our fears and explain an unthinkable tragedy. Laypeople and experts have weighed in. I myself appeared on CNN this past week talking about it. I stressed several points that are important for people to bear in mind as they try to process this tragedy and look at circumstances that may have led to it. I purposely withheld sharing my theories though about what may have happened because I felt that would have been premature and irresponsible.

We must not jump to conclusions. We do not know what happened and we certainly don't know what was going through the mind of Andreas Lubitz. A psychological autopsy will be conducted in an attempt to understand his mindset prior to the incident. His personal affects, electronic communication records...

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