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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    ABSTRACT: To determine socio-demographic features and criminal liability of individuals who committed filicide in Turkey. The study involved 85 cases of filicide evaluated by the 4th Specialized Board of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Istanbul in the 1995-2000 period. We assessed the characteristics of parents who committed filicide (age, sex, education level, employment status, and criminal liability) and children victims (age, sex, own or stepchild), as well as the causes of death. There were 85 parents who committed filicide (41 fathers and 44 mothers) and 96 children victims. The mean age of mothers who committed filicide (52% of filicides) was 26.5-/+7.7 years, and the mean age of fathers (48% of filicides) was 36.1-/+10.0 years (t=-5.00, p<0.001). Individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disturbances, such as schizophrenia (61%), major depression (22%), imbecility (10%), and mild mental retardation (7%), were not subject to criminal liability. Almost half of parents who committed filicide were unemployed and illiterate. Filicide in Turkey was equally committed by mothers and fathers. More than half of the parents were diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and came from disadvantageous socioeconomic environments, where unemployment and illiteracy rates are highly above the average of Turkey.
    Croatian Medical Journal 10/2003; 44(5):592-5. · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The tragedy of maternal filicide, or child murder by mothers, has occurred throughout history and throughout the world. This review of the research literature sought to identify common predictors in the general population as well as in correctional and psychiatric samples. Further research is needed to improve identification of children and mothers at risk. Infanticide laws are discussed. Suggestions for prevention are made based on the current literature and the authors' experiences.
    World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) 11/2007; 6(3):137-41. · 14.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes a series of 13 cases of parents who have killed their children. A review of the literature suggests that child murder is infrequent and committed in most instances by the parents. Most attention has been directed to the universal phenomenon of child abuse. The killing of a child in our culture is viewed much more seriously than the killing of a newborn infant, legally defined as infanticide. Only a few authors have reported on the former, and their studies tend to demonstrate that a higher proportion of these crimes are perpetrated by mothers. Homicidal behaviour in parents may also be associated with common forms of psychiatric disorders and may manifest as the extended suicide phenomenon (homicide reported with major depressive illness). Attributes of both parents and the children are also significant factors to be considered. In a retrospective study the relevant demographic and clinical data of a series of 13 cases are reviewed. The diagnostic classification using DSM-III-R is discussed in detail. A higher incidence of maternal perpetrators was found and is consistent with previous studies. Exposure to a variety of psychosocial stresses appears to have been a major factor. Similarly the suicidal history and behaviour of the subjects is significant. Affective disorder appears to be an important diagnostic category. Finally, the role of psychiatric and other social agencies is considered in relation to the murder of children. A better understanding of this phenomenon is indicated in order to help us deal with families at risk.
    Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie 05/1990; 35(3):233-8. · 2.55 Impact Factor