A woman suspected to be mentally ill has locked her college-going daughter and school-going son in their house in Manimajra over a month, due to ‘delusions’ about her husband conniving with neighbours to harm them, according to doctors at the Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.
Psychiatrists said that the two have been locked in the house by the ‘well-built’ and ‘violent’ 43-year-old mother due to which the daughter missed her annual Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) examinations, while the 15-year-old son could not enrol himself in the school for the new session (names of family withheld).
Her husband, an ex-serviceman, approached the crisis intervention team of the Psychiatry Department a month ago and said that his wife, who has a history of mental illness, had been refusing to open the door of their house and was getting “verbally and physically abusive”. In fact, she tried to cut the electric wire of their tenant with scissors out of aggressiveness, he said.
The father got worried about their safety and requested the team to get her treated. “Since, she was highly violent, the team approached her house with the help of the local police. However, she got angry and claimed that she is mentally fit as she can recall everything and has no symptoms of any disorder. However, assessment of her behaviour led us to believe that she is suffering from psychiatric disorder and needs treatment,” said an official of the crisis intervention team.
The psychiatrist added, “The woman had a quarrel with a neighbour a few years ago. Now, she suspects that her husband is into an extra-marital relationship with the neighbour and both of them are planning to harm her children. It is this delusion due to which she has turned extremely protective and even violent.”
The team said that although some of the residents of the area are supporting her as they believe she is behaving normally, her immediate neighbours and family members have seen her hurling bricks down the pavement and using abusive language without a provocation. “Her well-wishers are extremely concerned about her children, who are not being allowed to see the light of day. In fact, we took help from the SSP and approached the patient again recently. But a mob of residents gathered at the spot and we had to retreat,” said officials.