No, ‘Suicidal Tendencies’ Are Not an Indication of Violence

“Several years ago, before receiving his pilot’s license, the co-pilot was in psychological treatment for a longer period for observable suicidal tendencies,” Dusseldorf prosecutors, who are leading the German investigation, said Monday. “Thereafter and until the end, medical consultations and periods of sick leave occurred, without suicidal tendencies or aggression toward others being certified.” …

“It is possible that Mr. Lubitz assumed that such a condition would be incompatible with his career as a commercial pilot,” Jagerman said. “I have known of highly motivated pilots or candidates who were mentally devastated by such news, and I can envision how someone prone to, for example, severe depression might take drastic action.”

I’m sorry, but what does an ophthalmologist know about depression or suicide?  This is just irresponsible reporting by Bloomberg.

Any revelations about his medical history may help shed light on Lubitz’s state of mind and whether he may have cracked under the realization that his failing health was jeopardizing his ambitions. Lubitz tore up doctors’ notes that declared him unfit to work, including on the day of the crash, suggesting he sought to hide his diagnosis from his employer and colleagues...

I’d like to think I know a thing or two about suicide, having almost done it myself.  And although I don’t suffer from depression, I hope I’ve learned enough about it to speak knowledgeably about this issue (unlike Dr. Jagerman).

And I’d just like to say that you can suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts while also suffering from other mental conditions.  I don’t know what the pilot’s aggression was all about, but depressed and suicidal people are usually not aggressive, especially toward others.

No one will be able to determine exactly why the German pilot decided to kill himself along with everyone else on the plane.  And I’m not a doctor, but if I had to guess, I would say that the poor man was delusional.  I think he had delusions of grandeur, which is something we’ve seen from other murderers who have killed themselves after killing others.  In these kinds of instances, the suicide was not about killing themselves, but about escaping the consequences of committing murder.

The pilot was out to prove something, maybe prove that he had courage… prove that he was a man.   I don’t know that much about delusions, but I do know that this tragedy has nothing to do with suicide. Just like the different articles I’ve posted about incidents of murder/suicide have nothing to do with suicide — suicide is about you, not anyone else.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255) or

American Pharmacists Association Discourages Members From Providing Lethal Injection Drugs

“The American Pharmacists Association discourages pharmacist participation in executions on the basis that such activities are fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as providers of health care.”

Missouri prescription drug database earns initial approval

Missouri is the only state without such a program. Lawmakers have questioned the security of a government database tracking prescription pill use.

Compromises such as cutting the time that data is saved helped move the bill forward. Originally at two years, senators cut that down to 180 days.

Voices of pain patients (in Texas)

Jason Abney
Yesterday at 2:05pm
Well, I’ve scoured the internet and made several phone calls without getting an answer to this question, so I hope you guys can help. I am a resident of Texas and I’ve suffered from completely debilitating migraines for almost 30 years. The pain no longer stops, only varies in degree. No migraine-specific drug or combination has made the slightest difference, so for years now, I’ve been taking pain medications in doses that cancer patients usually die before needing. I can no longer tolerate the side effects, and I have no faith that Texas is going to get a decent MMJ law passed any time soon. New Mexico is a bit closer than Colorado to all the family I’d need to leave behind, (plus I can’t handle snow) but what I need to learn is whether or not it’s possible to get a MMJ card in NM if you’re a migraine patient. I believe migraines as a specific qualifying condition have been shot down at least twice, but I am treated as a chronic pain patient. Does anyone know if I’d qualify as a chronic intractable pain patient, or should I give up on New Mexico? Any knowledgeable response would be greatly appreciated. I already know MMJ can help me, since I did manage a short trip to Colorado a year ago. Nice place, but I don’t want to be there in the winter. On the other hand, I can’t stay here and do this very much longer.

Dear Mr. Abney (and any other pain patients in Texas who need help):

Yes, I believe you can qualify for New Mexico’s program under “severe chronic pain.”  The severity of the pain for your condition would qualify you, but also the fact that you’ve tried all the other treatments and have done so for the past 30 years.

The only problem I see is that there is a rumor that the medical records and tests for pain patients can’t be over 5 years old.  Which is one of the reasons I wasn’t able to renew after one year in the program, as my records span a 25-year medical history and my MRIs and x-rays are over 5 years old.

And New Mexico isn’t that different from Texas — just a lot less humidity, thank goodness.  I think the level of humidity in Houston, where I’m from, was exacerbating my pain levels, especially in my joints.  Yes, it’s very dry here in New Mexico, which isn’t that great for your skin — but it appears to be pretty good weather for your joints.

I would be happy to help you, but I don’t know how to contact you.  So, if you see this post, feel free to email me at

Va. woman who killed abuser can’t escape clutches of her felony past

In the past few years, perhaps because of the nation’s abiding fear of crime, its litigiousness, or the Internet’s ease at churning up background information that may not have surfaced before, Thomas has been rejected or terminated from several high-paying jobs.

She had been making $150,000 six years ago. Now she is on food stamps. Sheetz, Wal-Mart and other retailers have turned her down for jobs. She could lose her Cecil County, Md., home…

More than 600,000 former inmates return to their communities each year. About half of them wind up back in prison. Their convictions, even minor ones, often prevent them from finding jobs, in many cases resulting in their return to crime…

To break the cycle, the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and other organizations have been pushing “Ban the Box” legislation that would prohibit employers, during preliminary screening, from disqualifying job seekers on the basis of a criminal record…

This kind of legislation was looked at in New Mexico this session, but didn’t pass.

Thomas said that her mother’s live-in boyfriend began molesting her when she was 12. The abuse continued for five years, she said, even after Thomas alerted adults.

After dropping out of school, Thomas married and had three children. But the abuse haunted her. It transformed her into a “mannequin” who seemed normal outside but empty inside, she said.

After three suicide attempts, Thomas, then 26, decided to confront her abuser. Armed with a gun, she demanded to know why he had done it. When he told her she must have liked the sex or else she would have stopped it, Thomas said, she shot him. She turned herself in the following day…

In recent years, the Internet has eased the ability of people to run background checks with firms such as Intelius, PeopleSmart and PeopleFinders, and large corporations often run their own extensive checks…

What Would Being In A Bunker For 15 Years Really Do To Your Head?

There are few types of torture more effective than deprivation…

The Hebb experiments’ most dramatic outcomes were the visual and auditory hallucinations. People heard choirs and saw spaceships. Some parts of their brains were kicked into overdrive by the lack of stimulus.

Less well-known, but scarier, is the fact that other parts of their brains were dissolving. The subjects lost the ability to think with clarity and precision about anything. They couldn’t keep their thoughts on track. If the mind doesn’t have something to do, it will make tasks for itself, but the brain alone simply can’t provide the kind of stimulation necessary to keep itself going…

Brains physically can’t develop without stimulation. The brain also needs stimulation to maintain itself. Organizations like NASA and the military regularly study groups of adults and find that cognitive abilities decline fast when people don’t have enough to respond to. Wintering scientists in Antarctica and submariners and simple experimental volunteers all mentally decline – at least going by their scores on cognitive tests – when confined to a small space with a small group of people. The mind can’t keep working without plenty of things to occupy it…

The group suffered periods of excruciating insomnia and resulting lethargy.  Soviet scientists, studying long-term space flight, dubbed this sort of thing an “asthenic reaction.” Exercise and rest can only do so much. Confined and isolated, people will undergo periods of debilitating weakness. The Mars 500 crew was able to fight the effects, in part because they volunteered to do important research for a cause that they believed in, but they couldn’t avoid the physical consequences….

The common factor for nearly every group was depression and weakness, but some people had more acute effects. Submarine crews and, to some extent, early Antarctic crews, experienced intense panic and anxiety. Their lives depended on equipment, and equipment could fail. As people ran out of distractions, smaller anxieties were blown out of proportion. The combination of lack of distraction and helplessness gave people intense panic attacks, or constant grinding anxiety… Things are different for people who don’t know if their term of confinement will ever be over…

Tension is fine when people can walk away for a while, but in these situations that isn’t possible either physically or psychologically…

Worker Loses Job for Talking to Press About Minimum Wage Raise

Shanna Tippen was another hourly worker at the bottom of the nation’s economy, looking forward to a 25-cent bump in the Arkansas minimum wage that would make it easier for her to buy diapers for her grandson. When I wrote about her in The Post last month, she said the minimum wage hike would bring her a bit of financial relief, but it wouldn’t lift her above the poverty line…

Hawaii children part of nationwide survey showing poverty’s profound impact

In the report, brain scans of children and adolescents here and on the mainland show that in poorer families, children’s brains are less developed than those of children from wealthier families. The less-developed areas include those important for language, reading, and spatial skills…