When mental illness leads to murder-suicide
Mental illness is at the heart of the recent back-to-back murder-suicide cases that left eight dead, including four children, in the San Diego area, according to experts.
Mental health professionals interviewed said murder-suicide is rare but draws a lot of attention because of the stories of horrific despair behind them.
“It’s mostly untreated depression,” said Dr. Rodrigo Muñoz, clinical psychiatry professor at the University of California San Diego and past president of the American Psychiatric Association. The most troubled develop what he calls “telescopic vision, where they get focused on a few things and forget the rest.”
They’re consumed by feelings of hopelessness and of living in a hostile world, he said. They become so irrational that they may feel they are saving their children from a cruel world by killing them.