Delhi family suicides is likely to be India's first case of shared psychosis

The mass suicides in Burari in Delhi is being called the rarest of rare case of shared psychosis. Experts say it could be the first of its kind in India.

Mental health experts say that the 11 members of the Chundawat family, who hanged themselves at their home lastSunday, could have been saved with timely mental health care.

They believe that some of the family members may have been mentally ill for as long as 15 years, maybe even more. They say that such a case of shared psychotic disorder on a large scale has never been heard of before in India.

In 1978, American religious cult leader Jim Jones led more than 900 people to mass suicide. This was die to an already existing belief system, unlike the Burari case, where the disorder of one person seems to have driven others to end their lives.

Police say the family followed the lead of the youngest son, Lalit. He pulled down everyone who was emotionally dependant on him.

Mental health professionals are using this to highlight the importance of timely mental health care.

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