Fatal fall from office roof – Police suspect suicide, family of woman hints at depression — (The Telegraph – Kolkata/Calcutta)

SSRI Ed note: Woman takes antidepressant, depression worsens, she kills herself by jumping off building.

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The Telegraph – Kolkata (Calcutta)


Wednesday , February 18 , 2009

A 43-year-old working woman, suffering from depression because she felt she was not giving enough time to her family, died on Tuesday after falling from the roof of her eight-storey office building in Salt Lake. Police are treating it as a case of suicide.

Papiya Karmakar, an employee of the National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation, fell from the terrace of the Central Government Office Complex around 1.30pm. She was declared dead on arrival at Bidhannagar Sub-divisional Hospital. “She had fractured the back of her head, left leg and hip bone,” said hospital superintendent Somenath Bhattacharya.

Family members said Papiya, a resident of Jadavpur, went into depression eight months ago when she started feeling that she was not being able to devote enough time and attention to her husband and two daughters, aged eight and four years.

“She was under medication,” said husband Pijush, the finance director of an IT firm in Sector V.

Papiya’s feet were bare when she was found lying in front of gate No. 1 of the building, soaked in blood. A pair of slippers was found on the terrace, leading the cops to believe that she had jumped from the roof.

“But the cause of the death can be known only after we go through the post-mortem report,” said Sujay Chanda, the additional superintendent of police, Bidhannagar.

Papiya’s elder brother, Abhijit Roy, said she had been “behaving strangely” of late. “She looked disturbed and drained and was consumed by a sense of inadequacy for not giving enough time to her family.”

Relatives, however, never felt that Papiya was lacking in her role as a wife and a mother. “In fact, she was balancing her family and professional lives quite well,” they observed.

Psychologist Moharmala Chatterjee said the fact that Papiya was looking drained suggests she had been suffering from depression. “Depressed people suffer from a sense of inadequacy about everything. While she felt that she was negligent towards her family but the reality might have been the opposite.”

Papiya’s colleagues were shocked at the turn of events. Ranjan Saha, a colleague, said he had known the Karmakars for the past four years but never got any hint that Papiya was contemplating suicide.

Some of Papiya’s friends think she would not have died had the terrace gates been closed. An official said the gates had been opened for a while as masons were using the terrace for renovation work.