Shrinks blame ‘copycat attacks’ on rising stress levels

Saturday, 22 December 2012 - 8:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
'If we see the last few incidences of attack on women, it is clear that there is a complete lack of fear. The person thinks that this is the right approach,' says senior psychiatrist Harish Shetty.

The spate of incidents of men attacking women has alarmed the city. This is a copycat syndrome, say city psychiatrists. They added that to stop this trend, there is a need for speedy justice which will act as a deterrent.

Dr Yusuf Matcheswala, senior psychiatrist, Masina Hospital, said: “These are cases of vengeance. One person is inspiring the other. It is a copycat trend. There is no fear and thought of consequence.”  Dr Matcheswala said the rising aggression, frustration and stress levels were contributing factors.

Dr Harish Shetty, senior psychiatrist, LH Hiranandani Hospital, said: “If we see the last few incidences of attack on women, it is clear that there is a complete lack of fear. The person thinks that this is the right approach.”

The last four months saw a series of incidents in Mumbai were women were targeted by men for revenge.  Jerritt John’s throwing a hazardous substance on his friend and the mistaken identity case in Dadar are some of them.

Dr Sanjay Kumavat, a senior psychiatrist, said: “The copycat syndrome of disfiguring a woman’s face to take revenge doesn’t show the masculinity of the person. It is an cowardly act. It is more to do with the personality development of the person than his psyche.”

Psychiatrists say the society needs to unite to stop this trend. Recently, Sonal Lapshia (23) was attacked outside Dadar station by a man who wanted mistook her for his wife. However, when the police tried to get an eyewitness account, they found none. “Bystanders play a crucial role in this. Active bystanders can stop this trend. We have to step down the fence instead of being a mere spectator.”

"If a known person is threatening you, immediately inform your family members and the police. There is a thin line dividing sanity and temporary insanity."
—Dr Yusuf Matcheswala, senior psychiatrist, Masina Hospital


Jump to comments