Professor Dr. Md.Tazul Islam: As a teacher, as a psychiatrist and as a conscious citizen of nation I thoroughly read the court document to understand the background of Oyshee and factors which lead her to kill her own parents in her own hand.I fully agree with and support the honourable court’s decision to reduce death sentence of Oyshee to life long imprisonment. I also endorse the observation and recommendations of the honourable judges. In short I will explain some of my view points :
As Psychiatrist we routinely have to assess,diagnose and treat substance dependence ( drug addiction) patients,conduct disorder or personality disorder patients as well as suicide – attempted or suicide prone patients .We also have to assess,diagnose and make scientific opinions on referred patients from jail or court( as Oyshee case was also referred) .
The essential question is why our children developing ” conduct disorder “, ” personality disorder “, why they are increasingly becoming drug addicted and why our tender-aged children are taking their own lives and in some case taking lives of their beloved parents? we the professionals,society and state should investigate,research on causes and preventing factors so that we can develop effective preventive strategies attempt national level.
It is obvious from description of court’s document that Oyshee had conduct disorder from early childhood. Following signs / symptoms as described in document are sufficient enough to diagnose ” Conduct disorder ” for Oyshee-
she used to neglect her study, refused to go to school, broke family rules, stole money from father’s pocket, school performance deteriorated and consequently had to change school, was chronic liar and decietful,stayed night outside home without parental permission, fled away from home several times, tried suicides for 3 times.. etc.
Since this conduct disorder continued upto adulthood ( after age 18) and she had no guilty feelings or remorse for her ill- deeds as well as she did not take lesson from her wrong- doing,no feelings for family – we can assume she is now suffering from ” Personality disorder “( anti- social type).
Moreover she began smoking from class-1V,take alchol from father’s store at same early age.she was heavily addicted on cigarettes ( minimum 20 cigarettes per day) and alcohol. besides these she started to take ” Shisha”( volatile substance) , Yaba and cannabis.that is she was poly- drug abuser.
we know conduct disorder of childhood onset has bad prognosis. they are very likely to engage in antisocial and antimoral activities ( Oyshee used to mix with others peoples otherthen her class mates,staying night outside home without parental permission, had corrupt and addicted boy friends).
It is established fact that conduct disorder increase risk of drug addiction and drug addiction increase the intensity and severity of conduct disorder. So Oyshee was victim of two giant ” Demons”.
Why suicidal attempt and homicide of own parents?
Conduct disorder and subsequently personality disorder ( particularly anti- social type) may lead to any types of criminal activities including homicide and suicide.
similarly chronic use of substance damage ” Pre- frontal cortex” of our brain- so their impulsivity increases,taking drugs become mandatory, rational thinking and judgement is impaired,can’t take and prioritize right decision etc.on other hand Dopamine cells of ” Ventral tegmental area”(VTA) of brain become ” sensitized”- so incentive properties of drugs ( substances) is strengthened.
for this reason they have told increase dose of drugs and learns new and innovative techniques how to acquire desired drugs.
All these lead to numerous behavioral and emotional problems and constant confrontation,fights with parents,spouses and relatives. If not adequately treated, chronic drug abuser can kill their parents, relatives or others as easily as cutting ” kochu gash”. we may wonder and shocked at it, but reality is that every year large numbers of peoples are killed by drug addict persons in our country. Atleast 50% of criminal offences could be reduced in our country by only proper treatment and prevention of drug addiction.
Now I like to mention some comments and recommendations of honourable judges, because I fully not only endorse those but think something more than those should be done by family.
In my personal minor effort I wrote 3 serial books on ” Child- development “. one of which( 3rd part) is written exclusively on ” Conduct disorder “- on causes,aggravating factors,preventing factors and treatment strategies.
Honorable judges observed that father of Oyshee was a police officer, mother was working in a private business organization( destiny).so due to their busy life they couldn’t give enough time and care for their children, although they could realize it later when situation became much worse.
I partially agree with this observation, but like to add that in this modern age it is usual that both parents might be in job.but what we need is not quantity rather quality. Quality time spend may be enough for good patenting, while maintaining their own jobs.besides quality time spend , four more things need our attention.
1),if any family member is drugs/ alchol addicted, than risk to be addicted of another family member increases substantially. 2) we as parents should be ” ideal model” for our children. since early and initial model of children are their parents, 7 so if we present ourselves as ” bad model ” it will definitely hamper proper development of our children. Oyshee took cigarette and alchol from early age and this was facilitated by example of her father.3) excess and unnecessary money, either from honest income or dishonest income can make children greedy,damanding,arrogant, and of course derailed. Oyshee had ample opportunities to get surplus money from her parents. 5) Lack of adequate supervision and monitoring by guardians. Oyshee’s parents couldn’t know early that she is heavily drug addicted and developed antisocial behaviors.
lastly we don’t know what measures they took to rectify their daughter and whether she received proper and adequate treatment or not.
The honourable court recommended that parents are only teachers of their children at beginning of their early lives. parents should encourage their children to different books to prevent them from slipping into wrong path.I as psychiatrist must say these are highly commendable advices. If we wish an ” enlightened generation ” reading ” good books ” is must for our children.
They also emphasised on good social and good family environment. All these are scientifically proven factors in upbringing our children in right direction.
In conclusion one thing I like to emphasis on ” awareness on mental health ” by our general peoples . we should remember ” No health without Mental Health “.
If anyway our children become drug addicted, or develop conduct disorder or signs of depression, frustration, lonliness,signs of suicidal tendency we must take all those seriously. Early identification and early intervention by qualified mental health professionals/ hospitals might prevent such tragedy as happened in Oyshee case.
writer: Social Psychiatrist, professor and head of community and social psychiatry dept.; National Institutevof Mental Health and Hospital, dahaka