Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Loving mother who didn't understand what she was doing ?

Another bizarre account.

Lynn Gibbs - a practicing psychiatrist - admitted to drowning her 16-year-old daughter Ciara, in the bath after becoming convinced she was suffering from anorexia, and that there was no hope for her girl. Her husband, Gerald - also a psychiatrist - as well as many of her professional co-workers seemed unaware that she was suffering from depression. Certainly they made no apparent attempt to advise others or treat her.

Lynn Gibbs plea was "Not guilty by reason of insanity", marking only the second time such a charge has been proven in Ireland.

Locals say Ciara was a brilliant, hard-working student who got 13 As in her Junior Certificate exams. But she was not allowed to take the bus to her school in Loreto in Kilkenny and she was not allowed to use her mobile phone to call friends in the evening. They also called Lynn a "loving mother who put her children before anything else". Mental instability seemed to be a family trait as Lynn's mother, Iris Hutchinson, killed herself in 1983 when she drank weedkiller.

Once the idea of her teen daughter's anorexia took over Lynn's mind she seemed to fall deeper into depression. Psychotherapist Leslie Shoemaker offered that sometimes, but not always, anorexia can be caused by growing up in a "perfectionist" environment.
"You do get a pattern of anorexia sufferers who are children of controlling parents, a mother or a father who is a perfectionist. This pressure to be perfect is a trait in anorexics. Also, if the parent is isolating the child from others, this will also be a factor."

These are also common traits of alienating parents in cases of child who are subject to Parental Alienation Syndrome - high achieving children attempting to make their parent "happy", controlling behaviours (all round), social isolation etc.

A sad case with a sound ending. The terrible irony being how all the professionals in the world couldn't recognize depression right in front of them.

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