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Mother with depression kills kids

Sept 15,2017
A 4-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl were found dead on Sunday in an apartment in Namyangju, Gyeonggi.

“I came home and saw my wife, unconscious and her wrist bleeding, and my kids dead,” said the father of the two children, who came back from a business trip on Sunday and called the authorities. The 42-year-old mother was diagnosed with depression a while ago.

Another such case appeared on June 27 at Seocho District in southern Seoul, when a depressed mother killed her child and subsequently killed herself.

In another case on Feb. 17 at an apartment in Ulsan’s Buk District, a mother suffocated her two sons, who were 11 and 7 years old, and then tried to kill herself but failed. Upon discovering the scene, the father contacted the police.

The mother was also found to be suffering from depression. She told police she murdered her two children, but has not revealed the reason.

“Some parents who are suffering from depression kill their children before they commit suicide,” said Kwak Geum-joo, professor of psychology at Seoul National University, “because they see their children as their property, something to be taken care of, so by choosing to kill them before they kill themselves, these parents mistakenly think they are doing their duty as parents.”

“In addition to counseling and medicine, the government must also provide support to women suffering from economic pressure or domestic violence,” said Lee Sue-jung, professor of criminal psychology at Kyonggi University.

Medical professionals emphasize the importance of early diagnosis of depression, followed by therapy.

“Depression can improve considerably if discovered in its early stages and treated with medicine for four to six weeks in the hospital,” said Lee Kang-joon, professor at the psychiatry department of Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital.

“Family members can help by consoling and encouraging the patient in their conversations at home.”

BY JEON ICK-JIN, KIM MIN-WOOK [bae.seunghoon@joongang.co.kr]