Today’s headlines are packed with reports of a Jet Blue pilot who “flipped out” and went “berserk.” If he had had a heart attack during the flight, I’m sure he would have gotten some sympathy. Instead, reporters are talking about charges that may be filed against the pilot.

This just goes to show that many people in our society still refuse to admit that the brain can be ill. We can accept illness and empathize with illness in just about any other organ in the body, but when the brain gets sick, we immediately focus on the person’s words and behaviors instead of considering the underlying illness.

Why can’t we seem to accept the fact that the brain, the most complex organ in the human body, can suffer from illness, too? Why can’t we say the pilot suffered a brain attack, just as a person might suffer a heart attack?

Brain image available from Shutterstock.