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BMJ Case Reports 2016; doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-215527
  • CASE REPORT

Paired suicide in a young refugee couple on the Thai-Myanmar border

Open AccessEditor's ChoicePress Release
  1. Rose McGready2,3
  1. 1Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Mae Sot, Thailand
  3. 3Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gracia Fellmeth, gracia.fellmeth{at}dph.ox.ac.uk
  • Accepted 1 August 2016
  • Published 15 September 2016

Summary

A young refugee woman attended antenatal clinic on the Thai-Myanmar border at 9 weeks' gestation. As part of an ongoing study of perinatal mental health, she underwent a structured psychiatric interview during which she described occasional depressed mood, anhedonia and passive suicidal ideation. Her husband was a young refugee known to use alcohol and drugs. 2 days later, the couple committed suicide together by herbicide ingestion. Refugee populations are at risk of developing mental disorders as a result of their marginalised status, socioeconomic disadvantage and exposures to trauma. Pregnancy may have exacerbated feelings of hopelessness in this couple. The prevalence of mental disorders such as depression is increased in the perinatal period and suicide is the second leading cause of death in young women globally. Prevention programmes and early recognition of mental disorders may improve detection and lead to better support for vulnerable individuals.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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