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A Mental Health Advocacy Manifesto

Posted on May 29, 2015 in Authoritarianism Caretakers Hospitals and Prisons Psycho-bunk Stigma

Recovery over mere maintenance, patient self-determination over caretaking is the foundation of these reforms.

Helicopter Caretaking

Posted on April 27, 2015 in Anxiety Caretakers Suicide

We patients are told not to think of ourselves as the disease, but helicopter caretakers get no such warning.

Another Hockey Mask: Andreas Lubitz

Posted on March 27, 2015 in Depression Stigma Suicide

*TRIGGER WARNING*

square855I must tell the truth here: I do not understand what Andreas Lubitz did. In my suicidal fugues, I thought of many ways that I might kill myself that involved others such as throwing myself in front of a truck or crashing my car into a tree or driving it off a cliff, but the idea of taking others with me — that wasn’t the self-annihilation that I planned. When I came close,I found a secluded place where someone would eventually find me. That was the maximum involvement of another that I planned. Though I thought capital punishment might work for me — and send a message to those who loved me — I did not want to assassinate others.

Rumor has it that Lubitz was going through some catastrophic issues with his girlfriend. He knew that he was ill and he was seeking treatment for it. The day of the crash, his psychiatrist issued a sick leave note. Andreas did not use it, however, and his doctor could not call the airline to tell them that he was at risk. But Lubitz did not stop at ending his own life:

Andreas Lubitz was breathing, steady and calm, in the final moments of Germanwings Flight 9525. It was the only sound from within the cockpit that the voice recorder detected as Mr. Lubitz, the co-pilot, sent the plane into its descent.

The sounds coming from outside the cockpit door on Tuesday were something else altogether: knocking and pleading from the commanding pilot that he be let in, then violent pounding on the door and finally passengers’ screams moments before the plane, carrying 150 people, slammed into a mountainside in the French Alps.

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