"The psychiatrist said Damin had no known history of hysteria, mania or ongoing panic attacks."
SSRI Stories note: The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause mania and panic attacks.http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Something+snapped+head+accused+Surrey+murderer+tells+psychiatrist/4585692/story.html
"Something snapped in my head," accused Surrey murderer tells psychiatrist
By Tom Zytaruk, Surrey Now April 8, 2011
METRO VANCOUVER – A Surrey man told a psychiatrist he couldn't go through with killing himself after stabbing his wife 126 times.
The psychiatrist who interviewed Sebastiano Damin in hospital shortly after he attacked his wife with a kitchen knife said the elderly Surrey man told her he tried to kill himself too, but abandoned the attempt.
Damin, 76, is being tried in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster for second-degree murder in the death of 69-year-old Maria Catroppa, his wife of 11 years. The killing happened in the bedroom of the couple's gated Monta Rosa townhouse in Fleetwood on Nov. 24, 2009.
Dr. Hemlata Joshi, a psychiatrist at Royal Columbian Hospital, testified Friday that Damin looked depressed but otherwise "didn't appear agitated" when she asked him about the stabbing on the day after it happened.
"His thought content didn't contain any element of psychotic material," Joshi told the court.
She said that during her hour-long conversation with Damin he looked "devasted" and was worried about what was going to happen next. He told her he and his wife had been arguing since about January that year, around the same time he began to struggle with depression.
"He didn't want to be alone," she noted. "He wanted his wife to stay at home with him all the time."
The psychiatrist said Damin told her this frustrated his wife because it impeded her independence and activities. Catroppa was very sociable, whereas he was not. "She'd get quite angry and threatened Sebastiano to move out of the house," Joshi said she was told, and the threat of their separation worried him "because he felt he couldn't cope being alone."
She said Damin told her that on the day of the stabbing they'd had an argument before Catroppa went out for the day to run some errands and go to the dentist. When she returned they had supper, Joshi said he told her, and then argued again "over the same issues of Sebastiano not wanting to be left alone and his wife wanting to have more freedom."
They watched TV then went to their separate beds. Joshi said Damin denied wanting to harm his wife, ever, or being angry with her when he went to bed that night. He told Joshi he woke up in the middle of the night, went to the kitchen for a glass of water, and "something snapped in my head."
He grabbed a knife, went to Catroppa's bedroom and stabbed her. He told her he doesn't remember what happened after the first few strikes. Joshi said Damin denied the attack was premeditated, "but rather stated it was a thought that happened at the moment."
She said he remembered then trying to stab himself in the neck and abdomen, to kill himself, but couldn't go through with it and called 911 to say he'd killed his wife and then tried killing himself but couldn't, and needed medical help. Damin then called neighbours, told them the same thing and then laid down on the carpet to wait for medics and police to arrive.
Joshi told the court Damin told her he's "extremely sorry and remorseful" for what happened. "He cannot believe he killed his wife."
She added that Damin had "adamantly denied" harbouring any homicidal thoughts toward Catroppa prior to the attack.
The court heard Damin took medication for depression but had been feeling worse during the two months prior to the stabbing and suffered from insomnia. He told Joshi he would wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious and worried, "and sometimes this would induce a panic attack."
The psychiatrist said Damin had no known history of hysteria, mania or ongoing panic attacks.
The trial continues.
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