The possibility of 13 deaths and one survivor, with a pregnant woman labelled “Am the Cyanide” as the suspect, has shocked Thai society all week.
One of the most frequently asked issues in this case is how a woman could commit such horrific crimes. Psychology difficulties have also been considered.
Dr. Amporn Benjaponpitak, the Director-General of the Department of Mental Health, told reporters regarding the issue of continuous homicide, the “Am The Cyanide” case, which has been reported that the suspect had received treatment at the Galayani Vadhana Institute of Mental Health, a psychiatric diagnostic and treatment centre.
Doctor Amporn stated that there is currently no confirmed information regarding the patient’s identity, but it is not necessary for patients at the institute to have a serious mental illness.
Many patients come in for treatment for minor mental health issues, such as insomnia, and more than 50 per cent of patients have minor mental health symptoms similar to having a fever. Therefore, it is necessary to examine personal information in more depth.
“When a wrong is done, the offender must be punished according to the rules of justice. The court will weigh the appropriate punishment, but that does not mean that the offender will be treated with leniency just because the offender is mentally ill.”
Asked whether Am The Cyanide’s actions were characteristic of a psychopath or not, Dr. Amporn said doctors cannot look at someone and diagnose them with a mental illness. It is against medical ethics to diagnose someone without a proper history and examination, and psychiatrists would not disclose this information to the public.
“If we look at the behaviour that is reported in the media, when it comes to drug use or the pursuit of wealth without regard for the lives of others, in psychiatry that would be called a personality trait, not necessarily a disorder. But it has the characteristics of a person known as a psychopath or sociopath.
Today, however, the term antisocial personality disorder is used to refer to a person who lacks ethics and morals, does not care about the feelings of others and puts their own desires first. For example, they get angry and destroy things to make others sad to vent their anger, or they want material possessions or sexual relations and are capable of destroying other people’s lives to fulfil their own desires,” Dr. Amphon said.
According to Dr. Amphon, although an antisocial personality is not a mental illness, it can contribute to the development of certain mental illnesses because it is difficult to change abnormal personality traits. This can further reinforce the problematic behaviour and lead to the manifestation of certain mental illnesses.
To determine whether it is a mental illness or simply a behaviour, one must consider whether the person’s emotional instability prevents them from performing everyday tasks or leading a normal life, such as working with others or having relationships. This can lead to unlawful behaviour, moral misconduct or substance abuse.
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