1 In 8 Pilots Fly Airplanes With Suicidal Thoughts

Posted: Dec 15 2016, 12:54pm CST | by , in Latest Science News


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1 in 8 Pilots Fly Airplanes With Suicidal Thoughts
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  • A Significant Percentage of Pilots operate Airplanes despite being Depressed

Research shows that a significant percentage of pilots of airlines operate airplanes despite being clinically depressed and suicidal. This is a very real danger and such individuals are a hazard to the lives of many innocent travelers.

Over 4000 commercial flights are whizzing around the world everyday and their pilots happen to have suicidal ideation. A monumental study on the matter came up with this shocking fact.

The airline industry needs a thorough cleanup. 4.1% of pilots had thought about ending their lives at least once in half a month. It is normal fare in this high stress and demanding job.

Over 12.6% fit the bill when it comes to major depression, according to The Guardian. They are not capable of getting out of bed much less operating an airplane with all the panel of instruments in the cockpit.

Those pilots who have such suicidal depression are obviously unfit to fly a plane. Yet they form a dark figure that is being covered up since they are a source of embarrassment for the airline industry.

Many of them keep up appearances in order to deceive the authorities and thus not lose their jobs. Yet it shows on their faces.

This study was conducted after the 2015 German wings tragedy. Its pilot was suicidally depressed and crashed his plane into the French Alps thereby killing 150 other people in the process.

There seems to be a culture of denying the obvious in the airline industry. The elephant in the room is mental illness.

Obviously such a highly stressful job, where you have to operate complex machinery and are responsible for the lives of so many others, is a burden on the minds of the pilots. They have so many expectations to meet that it becomes difficult to handle all the pressures they face.

Short of a polygraph test there is no way of knowing whether a pilot is mentally stable or not. Honesty cannot be judged from appearances alone. Many of the pilots who are depressed have taken steps to hide their symptoms well.

If any information does exist, it is kept a top secret by the head honchos of the airline industry. Male pilots are more prone to everyday thoughts of self-loathing and self-doubt than female pilots.

Yet the female pilots had depression more often than the males. Depression was also linked with the regular use of sleep medications.

Although most people who have depression do tend to get better with the passage of time, the veil of secrecy surrounding mental illness due to the harm done by the stigma attached to it, is firmly established in the airline industry.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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