Filicide as a part of extended suicide: An experience of psychotherapy with the survivor

Indian Journal of Psychiatry 04/2014; 56(2):194-6. DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.130508
Source: PubMed


The tragedy of maternal filicide and extended suicides has occurred throughout history. Maternal filicide-suicide perpetrators most often suffer from depression, suicidality, or psychosis. Interventions in such cases are not commonly reported in the psychiatric settings, and the components of psychotherapeutic approach and its efficacy are also not known. Here we present a long-term therapy carried out with a 36-year-old married lady, with the complaints of low mood, suicidal ideation, severe guilt feelings, and depressive cognitions. There was positive family history of depression, past history of dysthymia, suicidal attempt, and severe marital discord. Therapy was carried out for a period of 9 months with follow-up for 4 years and addressed existential issues and grief with the components of existential therapy, grief therapy, narratives, religious beliefs, and interpersonal acceptance. The case highlights the need for blending of multiple approaches to meet the challenges such cases can pose.

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