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Family tragedy: no to psych help

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Family tragedy: no to psych help

By David Braithwaite

July 9, 2007 - 3:00PM

The parents of a woman accused of murdering her father and sister apparently declined psychiatric treatment for her last year because of their Scientology beliefs, a report tendered in court states.

The psychiatric report on the 25-year-old woman, who is also charged with committing grievous bodily harm on her mother at Revesby in Sydney's west last Thursday, was done at Liverpool Hospital by Mark Cross, consultant psychiatrist and clinical director of the Liverpool and Fairfield Mental Health Services.

Dr Cross stated that the woman was diagnosed with a psychiatric illness late last year but follow-up from the mental health team at Bankstown Hospital was apparently declined by her parents due to their alleged Scientology beliefs.

The woman subsequently saw a private psychiatrist and was prescribed anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs.

She took those drugs until January this year when she felt better and wanted to work things through on her own, the report stated.

She had moved back home with her parents following a relationship breakdown and other stresses, including changing to an evangelical church.

She had been working with her father for a year in his electronics business.

Dr Cross reported that the woman said her symptoms re-emerged in January this year, including panic, anxiety, depression and anger, as well as feeling paranoid and unsafe at home.

The woman stated that her parents did not want her to take the medication she had been prescribed and apparently started her on medication they obtained from America, which was not psychiatric in nature.

The woman said her symptoms had got worse over the past three weeks, culminating in her parents apparently allowing her to restart her anti-psychotic medication as it helped her sleep.

She said that on the Thursday when the incident occurred she had an argument with her mother while they were out together and she was still angry and upset when they got home.

Dr Cross's analysis of the woman's mental state yesterday was that she showed evidence of psychosis, auditory hallucinations and delusions, including the belief that people on the television and radio had been talking about her.

The doctor said his analysis was that the woman was mentally unwell and was mentally ill at the time of the incident.

About 20 family members and their supporters today filled Burwood Local Court before magistrate Anthony Spence, who reviewed the police version of events.

He said the psychiatric report "depicts a very distressing set of circumstances".

"There seems to be very profound mental health issues involved with this case, to say the least," he said, adding that he strongly recommended that the woman receive psychiatric and mental health treatment while in custody.

Reading from the psychiatric report, Mr Spence said a doctor had recommended that the woman be admitted to a Corrective Services psychiatric facility and that she required immediate psychiatric treatment and was at a high risk to herself.

The woman's legal aid solicitor, Wade Bloomfield, told the court he was unable to receive instructions from his client because of her condition.

A family spokesman said outside court: "We all want the best for our family member and are satisfied that has happened today."

She was remanded to appear at Burwood Local Court on July 11.

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Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Scientology? Like, really... ugh...

There are many questions that arise from this incident... this unfortunate incident. The parents should not have tried to press their Scientologist beliefs onto their daughter to get her to not take her meds. If someone has a mental illness that requires medication it is wrong to deprive them of the proper treatment. They know nothing about psychology (even though Tom Cruise would have you think otherwise). Just like people need medication and treatments for physical ailments, the same goes for mental illness...

damn it...

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