Germanwings Co-pilot put on More SSRIs Eight Days Before Crash; Researched Suicide


Eight days before crashing Germanwings flight 9525 into the French Alps, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz – who was already on the maximum dose of Mirtazepine, which is known to cause suicidal thoughts – was put on “further antidepressants,” according to the German newspaper Bild. Two days later, according to a June, 2015 article in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Lubitz began to “desperately” google ways to commit suicide. The antidepressant Citalopram, which is known to cause “severe” thoughts of suicide, was found in Lubitz’ body.

Lubitz wrote, in a desperate, final email to his psychiatrist two weeks before slamming his A320 jet into the French Alps one year ago, that the antidepressant Mirtazepine made him “restless” and was causing him to “panic.” Mirtazapine’s reported side effects include anxiety, confusion, thoughts of self-harm, “strange dreams,” and visual problems. Lubitz blamed the medication for inducing fears about losing his sight.

International Business Times →

An email sent by Andreas Lubitz, 27, to his doctor two weeks before the crash has been published by German newspaper Bild. The paper reports that Lubitz was taking the highest allowable dose of the antidepressant Mirtazapine, and that according to Lubitz’ email the medication was making him “restless” and causing him to “panic” about losing his career due to his failing vision. Mirtazepine is a generic version of the “atypical antidepressant” Remeron, which has a suicide risk warning for younger people who take it.

Lubitz had consulted 41 different doctors in the five years before the crash. Two days after the crash a psychiatrist said to the police: “Do not tell me he has flown a plane.”

A final report on the Germanwings crash will be released on March 13th.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. I have to say, I called this one as soon as I heard the details of how it went down. This is one of the clearest cases of antidepressant-induced violence I’ve every seen. I’m glad it’s getting a lot of press in Germany, but folks over here need to read this stuff, too.

    — Steve

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      • It will not be “spun,” it will be ignored or suppressed, because it doesn’t fit the narrative they want to see published. If it’s brought up, it will be downplayed as a one-off situation and those citing it will be accused of cherry picking anecdotal data to make a point. The fact that this accusation would be remarkably hypocritical will be lost on most people. But unless you live in Germany or a German-speaking country, it’s unlikely you’ll even hear about this in the mainstream press.

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  2. Interesting how different people view this. My daughter’s comments focused on stating “he was mentally ill; THAT is why he saw 41 doctors; that is why he NEEDED ‘medication'”. If I comment on the school shooters being on SSRIs or other psychiatric drugs, she gets really irritated: ” yes, they were on the drugs BECAUSE they were ‘nuts/mentally ill’; the drugs had f*** all to do with it; I am so sick of hearing these lame CONSPIRACY theories.”

    I am a loss as to what to say. I try to direct her to the books and scientific research about the dangerous nature of these drugs that cause homicidal and suicidal ideation and she gets even more upset: ” right, so one person in a hundred has a ‘bad reaction’; they list those warnings for that, because they have to; I have 3 friends on SSRIs and their lives are amazing now…”
    So, I have raised my child badly to be an uncritical thinker who connects every shooting with “mentally ill”… or Big Pharma has been very successful with its ‘spin’, advertising, PR…convincing the public these drugs are safe, efficacious, lifesaving…
    For myself, I think 150 people would not have died in that crash if the pilot had not been on these drugs. I am reminded of a previous article that connected multiple plane crashes to pilots on psychiatric drugs…

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    • My comment to anyone who says that is very simple:

      If they were taking all these drugs to help with their “mental illness,” why did they still go off the deep end and do these crazy things? At the very least, we have strong evidence that for at least some people, these drugs do not prevent them from being violent. If they were working, something like this would not occur.

      If they can’t accept that, it’s hard to think what else could be said. Unfortunately, your daughter, like all of us, has been exposed to massive propaganda and she appears to simply be spouting what she’s heard. I know it must be hard to hear one’s own child coughing up this nonsense, but it’s hard to avoid.

      The other approach is to suggest the possibility that the drugs may work for a large proportion of the population, but suggest that WHAT IF a very small proportion have a very bad reaction? It doesn’t require a “conspiracy” for this to occur – you can use Viiox as an example of a drug that helped a lot of people with pain but also killed a significant number of people. Point out there are always tradeoffs between positive and negative effects of drugs, and you’re not calling to ban them but to be honest about these rare but very serious side effects.

      As I said above, I have never seen a clearer example of a case where this could have easily been prevented if the doctor would just have listened and said, “Oh, wow, that’s NOT what these drugs are supposed to do! We’re going to take you off them, but meanwhile, you are not to fly, and I’ll be happy to write you a note so your bosses will not get you in trouble.”

      The psychiatrist is very much culpable in this scenario!

      —- Steve

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      • SEMANTICS, and the brain-washing of repeated propaganda. That’s what we’re dealing with here. What we are *NOT* dealing with here, is logical, rational, fully-informed discussion….To “truth” especially, and you, too, Steve McCrea. Your daughter, “truth” is probably going through a developmental stage known as “counter-dependence’. She will argue about ANYTHING you say, right? After *41* doctors, you’d think at least *1* of them would have spoken up, right?…. One thing that might work – is to show her the .pdf of a Federal lawsuit against any Pharma company. Or “propublicas’ “Dollars For Docs” database…. Nothing clears the lies of Pharma’s marketing PROPAGANDA better than *FACTS* from numerous lawyers, and serious investigative journalists….. Good luck with your daughter – hopefully she & her friends won’t find out “the hard way”, just how dangerous these drugs truly are, and how negligently they are prescribed, with such little oversight….. And, hey, I’m not omniscient – MAYBE her friends really ARE “helped” by the drugs they’re on….could be!….

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    • I am a prime example of someone who was drugged for mild depression and anxiety, and after years of same, experienced such a mental deterioration that I too obsessed with suicide and the means to do it. I also engaged in irrational, dangerous, and impulsive behaviors, right up until I was hospitalized for a suicide attempt. Something inside me at that point spurred me to action. I fired my psychiatrist and the rest is, as they say, history.

      When the drugs were tapered off and discontinued, the behavior and the impulsive thinking behind it stopped, almost immediately. I was not crazy before the drugs, and I was not crazy after the drugs. Must have been the drugs!

      Incidentally, one of those drugs was one of the ones mentioned in the article. Citalopram. Sold as Celexa in the US. Celexa is known for suicidal ideation and impulsive, self-destructive behavior, and can increase the urge to drink alcohol, which brings its own problems.

      Show your daughter the website and let her read one case after another.

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      • Yes, “engineer”, your story is similar to mine. There are many PHYSICAL conditions that can lead to “depression”, and “anxiety”, and psych drugs will be at most of limited help. And, there are many causes of depression and anxiety which are largely non-physical. Again, *SOME* psych drugs may be of *SOME* benefit, if used for *some* shorter length of time. But, the marketing lies of the pseudoscience of psychiatry say to push as many DRUGS as possible, hopefully for LIFE. That’s NOT “medicine”, NO, that’s a DRUG RACKET…. Glad you’re doing better, “engineer”….

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  3. “Ask your doctor” why this story is not all over the TV news where they play nothing buy ask your doctor advertisements for pharmaceutical drugs. If I plane skids off a runway or a drunk passenger makes a bomb joke its on the news for weeks but a dude loaded up on ask your doctor pills crashes one on purpose and its down the memory hole already. What a scam.

    No other industry gets the free passes psychiatry does.

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    • The_Cat
      “…If I plane skids off a runway or a drunk passenger makes a bomb joke its on the news for weeks ….”
      This is something I also find difficult to believe especially when it’s ‘normal’ people that take these medications.

      These are homicide “free passes”.

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  4. I just heard a news item here in Oz that there is now a push in Germany to decrease medical confidentiality protections for people with “mental illnesses”. Unsure whether this push is limited just to pilots or certain other subsets, or would apply to all “mentally ill” people.

    No mention at all about the drugs he was prescribed or the conduct of his psychiatrist, just the need for the public to be protected from the “mentally ill”.

    What about protecting the public from PSYCHIATRISTS and their appallingly dangerous, mind altering DRUGS?

    On the upside, if nothing else, people might think twice, three times or more about seeking medical (mis) “treatment” for their emotional and/or psycho-social difficulties, which would be a good thing.

    On the downside, many people who have already been “diagnosed” could be stripped of their privacy, and face losing everything because they are potentially “dangerous”.

    …while the drugs and psychiatrists go unchallenged.

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    • Thank-you, “kim”, I’m glad you wrote…. It’s WORSE than you know, at least for some people, myself included. A couple years ago, I was falsely arrested on trumped-up charges, and the bogus “prosecutor” wanted me hauled off to the loony bin in handcuffs and shackles. That actually DID happen to a very close friend of mine. In both our cases, LIES were told by others, about our supposed “dangerousness”. What you fear, IS HAPPENING ALREADY…. In my case, a crooked lawyer was caught stealing, and TRIED to cover it up by alleging that I am “dangerous”….

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  5. Steve McCrea>>> Plz also remember to point out that this guy, Andreas Lubitz, was a pilot. Trained by Lufthansa. (Probably top10 atleast as when it comes to serious commercial airlines in the world, 1000’s of applicants) He made the cut. Even if bad apples are everywhere, a pilot is still “screened” pretty thoroghly (here in Europe at least). He had a history without major mishap. Stabile relationships (OK, so he had a mistress, he is a pilot, don’t make a man ill) He was ambitious, intelligent, physically active and came across as “stabile” enough to be a pilot. Friends of his “cannot believe he did this on purpose”. From what I know he was close to his parents/ had just left home/ no major crisis in family.

    So: among us, here on MIA and elsewhere where we critisize pharmaceuticals, let there be no doubt this was a decent guy. We all have our flaws, but if anyone wants to call this guy “mentally ill” and blame it there, then they really have to work hard on getting their story to fit.

    147 lives lost, countless more bereaved. And I still want to meet Lubitz’s parents and tell them their son was not to blame. Because I honestly do not think he was, and the clues about the guy says I’m more right than most.
    //Ove, Sweden, 17 years of Paxil.

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    • Thank-you, “Ove”, for your comments. I won’t deny your truth. For me at least, I think we all need to get beyond “blame”, and “fault”, to get to a better, and fuller understanding. That’s what I see you trying to do here, too. And, I’m not an “absolutest” – I still say sometimes, some people do DO BETTER on some drugs. But, as you know, there are many dangers. That’s all.
      Thank-you again, and HELLO, SWEDEN!….

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