Lion of the Blogosphere

Did Andreas Lubitz have photopsia?

This is reported today:

The co-pilot suspected of crashing a passenger jet in the Alps may have been suffering from a detached retina but investigators are unsure whether his vision problems had physical or psychological causes, a German newspaper said on Sunday.

My guess here is that Andreas Lubitz was experiencing photopsia, which is a symptom of retinal detachment, but a Google search shows that it can also be a symptom of schizophrenia. Thus he probably had a retinal examination, which didn’t find anything physically wrong with his retina.

It has also occurred to me that Lubitz’ “depression” in 2008, when he was 20 years old, could have actually been his first psychotic episode caused by schizophrenia. The peak age of onset of schizophrenia in men is between the ages of 20 and 24. But this was labeled as “depression” in order to avoid stigmatizing him with a scary-sounding illness.

It appears to me that, just as the mainstream media has a conspiracy to never report anything that would cause people to be prejudiced against blacks or other minorities (but especially blacks), the mental health profession has a conspiracy to never admit anything that would stigmatize people with mental illnesses, thus the wall of silence about what sort of mental problems Lubitz was really having.

Allegedly, investigators found “antidepressants” in Lubitz’ home, but the exact drugs have not been made public. Antidepressants may be used to treat the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, or perhaps incompetent doctors misdiagnosed Lubitz, or the unnamed source that tipped off the newspapers mixed up antidepressants with antipsychotics.

It has been reported by CNN (citing a French newspaper) that “in 2010, Lubitz received injections of antipsychotic medication,” which could indicate a treatment for a psychotic episode caused by his schizophrenia.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 29, 2015 at 11:04 AM

Posted in News, Religion

47 Responses

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    • Psych professionals are quite fond of diagnosing Schizophrenia or Manic/Depression. These are pharmaceutical cash cows.

      Even if your problem is that you’re just an immature, unhinged 20-something little boy, there’s a place in the DSM for you, and hence, a nice little pricey neuroleptic with your name on it! The movement away the “schizophrenia” moniker is simply people eschewing the popularly propagated perception of it as being “multiple personality disorder” toward the more palatable “psychosis” label. You don’t hear people fighting the “bipolar” label much. It’s just that schizophrenia and schizoid, the latter being a personality disorder, are such ugly words with such ignorant connotations.

      Lubitz was just an unhinged, unhappy, weak boy who couldn’t balance an increasingly complex life of job, family, mistresses and manhood. He was 21st Century man, crumbling in the face of a harsh world. Except most of us just drink or retreat into a life of quiet desperation. Or blog 😉

      Socially Extinct

      March 29, 2015 at 1:44 PM

      • He had a career and a long-term relationship with his girlfriend. That doesn’t sound like a “little boy.”

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 29, 2015 at 1:51 PM

      • A girlfriend and career are not necessarily mutually inclusive of “manhood.”

        In fact, I’m shocked at how often they aren’t. It’s discouraging, actually. Lots of manchildren out there masquerading as masters of the universe.

        Socially Extinct

        March 29, 2015 at 2:02 PM

      • You are trying to force this incident into your own pet theories about social problems, rather than just looking at the facts. There’s nothing about Lubitz that indicates an abnormally low level of maturity.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 29, 2015 at 2:10 PM

      • “There’s nothing about Lubitz that indicates an abnormally low level of maturity.” ———————-

        People will know my name = immature.


        March 29, 2015 at 2:20 PM

      • When you’ve flown a plane into the ground with 150 souls, and left a pregnant girlfriend behind, and all she can remember as a memorial to your memory is that you cared a lot about what you ate on your pizza, I think it’s safe to say, you were a manchild…

        Socially Extinct

        March 29, 2015 at 5:59 PM

      • It has been reported by CNN (citing a French newspaper) that “in 2010, Lubitz received injections of antipsychotic medication,” which could indicate a treatment for a psychotic episode caused by his schizophrenia.

        It’s almost as if he shouldn’t have been allowed to fly.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        March 29, 2015 at 6:20 PM

      • It’s discouraging, actually. Lots of manchildren out there masquerading as masters of the universe.

        Blame it on the baby boomers. They themselves are child-adults, whose spawn (the millenials) have followed their path of perpetual kids’ play. It’s both tragic and unfortunate that most boomers will not be retiring anytime soon. They’re set to keep the younger generations at bay, who will never see their career path fully blossomed into leadership positions, all because of these upcoming, old farts who’ve destroyed, squandered and paved way to a road of destruction.


        March 29, 2015 at 11:41 PM

      • It seems like Andres is an perfect example ripped off from a successful Manosphere book. Rare for European men with such behaviors, but with the increasing Murky-Nazification of Europe, it could become a new filthy trend.

        He realizes LT relationships are for beta males. Has a controlling behavior towards women, which is defined as alpha, later pumps and dumps his GF, and then cheats on her by getting an affair with a Germanwings Stewardess.


        March 30, 2015 at 10:08 AM

  1. Injections? Wow, that really elevates the defcon level. And the Germans allowed this dude to fly? WTF has happened to the efficient, disciplined and by-the-book nation of yore? If he really was schizo heads need to roll in a serious way.


    March 29, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    • Injections seem serious and mean one of two things. Either someone is acting so crazy that you can’t wait a few days for oral meds to work, or they are being physically resistant and must be medicated against their will.


      March 29, 2015 at 3:26 PM

      • There’s a third option: it’s becoming more common to take injected (often called “depo” for “deposited”) antipsychotics for schizophrenia, because the “deposit” lasts a fair period of time and so a person doesn’t have to take a pill every day. (Just like some women opt for “depo”-Provera to avoid having to take a pill every day.)

        Samson J.

        March 29, 2015 at 5:03 PM

  2. I think it’s fairly common for people to be misdiagnosed for mental illness. People don’t always know what’s wrong with them. They just know something is wrong. Most psychologists just guess at what’s wrong with someone. Depression is an easy label to tag someone with. Give them a prescription of happy pills (prozac, zoloft, or some other ssri) and their patients don’t care any more. If the patient is so drugged they don’t care any more then the problem is “solved”. Right?


    March 29, 2015 at 12:28 PM

    • just guess? not exactly. that is, it’s not as if there is actually a correct diagnosis. there are no tests for any psychiatric diagnoses. so it’s never possible to say it’s this or that. and it doesn’t even matter.

      the reality is that people, including 20% of middle aged American women, go to their PCP or get a referral to a psychiatrist and ask for drugs to make them feel better or get better grades or help them sleep. the PCP or psychiatrist obliges.

      the only reason for diagnoses is that insurance won’t pay without one.

      Robert Gabriel Mugabe

      March 29, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    • so basically psychiatrists are drug dealers.

      the difference is that the drugs they deal are supposedly less addictive and less harmful than meth and cocaine etc.

      and 90% of the time the problem would be cured by diet, exercise, and a less demanding lifestyle.

      Robert Gabriel Mugabe

      March 29, 2015 at 4:45 PM

  3. He was not schizophrenic, not even intrinsically psychotic. Just several things on top of each other pushed him over the edge: huge loan to learn how to fly, eye problem potentially leading to loss of income, non-supportive histerical girlfriend at the beginning of pregnancy. If he were not a pilot, he would be the only or one of few casualties. Because he was the pilot, he took more lives. I think the only solution is for the government to actually take better care of the people with much responsibility. Otherwise, you will see more pilots doing this. And then his kid will eventually grow up too.


    March 29, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    • That doesn’t fit the facts of the case. People who commit murder because they are pissed off at their girlfriends, they murder their girlfriend and not a bunch of innocent people. His “eye problems” were reported to be psychological and not physical. The lack of motive is a sure sign of schizophrenia, because schizoids have delusions they cannot distinguish from reality but that the rest of us cannot comprehend in any logical manner.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2015 at 1:42 PM

      • A detached retina, if verified with Lubitz’s medical records, is a completely physical disorder. Photopsia is conjectural, at this point, having not been asserted anywhere else.

        A detached retina is not caused by schizophenia.

        Photopsia, arguably a “symptom” of schizophrenia, can also be a symptom of a detached retina. Or erectile dysfunction.

        I’m trying to tie the data here and coming up with an incomplete circle!

        Socially Extinct

        March 29, 2015 at 1:55 PM

      • The implication from the news reports is that he had diagnostic tests for a vision problem, but they couldn’t find anything physically wrong. The obvious conclusion is that he had vision abnormalities caused by schizophrenia, given all the other evidence of schizophrenia, such as:

        1. Crashing a plane for no reason
        2. Receiving injections of antipsychotic medicine
        3. Nightmares
        4. Having a serious mental problem which required him to take a sabbatical from his education at the age of 20, which coincides with the peak onset age range (20-24) for schizophrenia in men.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 29, 2015 at 2:00 PM

      • :”The lack of motive is a sure sign of schizophrenia…”

        Nothing you’ve mentioned is a *sure* sign of anything, IMHO. You seem sure that schizophrenia is the answer, and your insistence seems odd to me. I’m a big fan of yours—your posts are a treat and this site is a must-read for me, daily—but you’re taking it way too far with this diagnosis. You stated early on that this pilot was schizophrenic; each day since, you’ve taken the latest news and shoehorned it to fit your theory. It makes you look less-than-objective, and it’s not the way to get to the truth. Lubitz was evil and definitely an ass— I’m not yet convinced about any other labels.

        Hallie Scott Kline

        March 29, 2015 at 2:26 PM

      • I was able to make an early diagnosis because of my brilliant insights into mass murders, having studied cases like James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Elliot Rodger, etc.

        And all the new evidence since my original diagnosis confirms it, especially that he received injections of antipsychotic meds.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 29, 2015 at 3:34 PM

      • and yet those who ACTUALLY have studied spree killers DISAGREE with lion.

        spree killers are impossible to stop, because whatever “issues” they have are never even close to sufficient reason for their spree killing, and most of them have no “issues” at all.

        Robert Gabriel Mugabe

        March 29, 2015 at 4:33 PM

  4. If I had a relative on that plane, I would blame that pilot’s selfish girfriend for this.


    March 29, 2015 at 2:12 PM

  5. Can you really hide schizophrenia that well? I find it hard to believe a schizophrenic person would be able to function for years at his job and socially so well that nobody noticed, and that’s assuming he was taking his medication regularly.

    March 29, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    • 1 % of people have schizophrenia, and many have relatively normal lives despite their illness.

      His girlfriends noticed weird stuff about his behavior that made it hard to stay in a relationship with him. But yes, he hid is problems from his co-workers.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    • you’re right steve. lion is just made up his answer.

      it couldn’t have gone unnoticed, and his girlfriend did not recount ANY schizo like behavior.

      Robert Gabriel Mugabe

      March 29, 2015 at 4:30 PM

    • Can you really hide schizophrenia that well?

      Sure you can, if you’re treated, especially if it was mild in the first place.

      Samson J.

      March 29, 2015 at 5:06 PM

  6. What, you’re not buying that neoliberalism killed the people on that flight?


    March 29, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    • this is just how a pilot goes postal.

      there is a precedent. lion has been proven wrong.

      Robert Gabriel Mugabe

      March 29, 2015 at 4:29 PM

    • incroyable! Leftism is truly a mental illness.


      March 29, 2015 at 4:31 PM

    • One thing I like about Ames is that at least he entertains ideas about motivation on the part of white guys that doesn’t involve some kind of latent fascist white privilege bullshit, like you saw with commentary on Holmes or Rodgers. Plus he’s always picking on libertarians, which I think I like partly for masochistic reasons.


      March 29, 2015 at 7:41 PM

  7. Self flying planes would have eliminated problems like this. The controlled nature of airspace would be easier for an AI pilot to handle than the hectic free for all of a dense urban street for self driving cars. Such a system could be introduced, at first at least, as an emergency backup to seize control in cases such as this and land safely at the nearest airport. A self flying aircraft is also safer than remote control schemes that could be hacked into.


    March 29, 2015 at 3:07 PM

  8. it’s much more likely that if the report is correct it has been mis-reported. that is, the author doesn’t know the difference between antpsychotics and any other psychiatric medication.

    but antipsychotics were once called “major tranquilizers”. they can be used merely for sedation. valium is a “minor tranquilizer”.

    Robert Gabriel Mugabe

    March 29, 2015 at 4:24 PM

  9. OT: Carly Fiorina says she’s more than 90% sure she will run for President. How does this fit into the Lion calculus? Something for a future post maybe.


    March 29, 2015 at 5:56 PM

    • She has zero chance.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2015 at 6:06 PM

      • But she brought synergy to HP.

        ocean swimmer

        March 29, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    • I am not ready for transgender president yet.


      March 29, 2015 at 6:59 PM

  10. According to French media he was on an anti-psychotic drug (Olanzapine) and an antidepressive SSRI (agomelatine) to help for insomnia.

    “Olanzapine (sold under the brand names Zyprexa, Zypadhera and Lanzek or in combination with fluoxetine, Symbyax) is an atypical antipsychotic. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.”

    “While olanzapine is used therapeutically to treat serious mental illness, occasionally it can have the opposite effect and provoke serious paradoxical reactions in a small subgroup of people, with the drug causing unusual changes in personality, thoughts or behavior; hallucinations and suicidal ideation have also been linked to olanzapine use.”


    March 29, 2015 at 6:09 PM

  11. Perhaps the real story of the crash of the Lufthansa plane will turn out to be that a pilot known to be under the treatment of doctors for a serious mental disorder, on powerful antipsychotic drugs for it, and with few hours of experience in the air was allowed by the airline to fly commercial airliners full of passengers.

    Jonathan Silber

    March 29, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    • Yes, I was thinking the same thing; this will be the real story. I’m already amazed that all of this transpired, and I actually have a special interest in this area, speaking as a physician qualified in Canada to assess aircrew.

      Samson J.

      March 29, 2015 at 9:32 PM

      • I know little about German law or culture, but I’d not be surprised to learn the law there prohibits so-called discrimination against people with mental disorders, even severe mental disorders like this pilot appears to have had, and so allows them to work in jobs at risk to the life and limb of others.

        More dangerous to society than crazies like the German crash pilot are the people who, from their positions of authority in business and government, believe in PC ideology, and act on those beliefs.

        Jonathan Silber

        March 30, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    • Looks like I might be right: German law does indeed prohibit a doctor from releasing medical information about a patient to his employer:

      “Strict medical privacy laws mean the companies [including Lufthansa] were oblivious to the potential dangers lurking in Lubitz’s mind…Confidentiality regulations, designed to protect medical data and encourage people to consult doctors without fear of repercussion, put the onus on patients to disclose potentially hazardous diagnoses to authorities and their employers.”

      When pilot Lubitz seated himself at the controls of the airliner he would crash into the side of a mountain, he was, according to this account, ignoring the instructions of his doctor, who had certified him unfit to fly on that day.

      Jonathan Silber

      April 1, 2015 at 5:17 PM

  12. I had photopsia for several months after being hit by a car (while on a bicycle) and being thrown into the air, landing on the hood of the car. I would see flashes of light zipping around my field of vision in a circular or oval pattern. I don’t *think* I was schizophrenic or psychologically damaged in any other way, though I did avoid bicycling at anything but slow speeds until the flashes subsided.

    No medication was offered; the doctor said it would subside in a few weeks, and it did. My visual acuity dropped, though, and has never come back.


    March 30, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    • Lubitz had a car accident too at the end of December and started after that to have vision problems (that’s what is reported).


      April 24, 2015 at 4:28 PM

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