WESTERN RUSSIA – Tragedy out of Russia this week as a mother suffering from what officials are saying was postnatal depression leapt from her high-rise apartment building clutching her two unfortunate children in her arms, with all three horrifically plunging to their deaths on the ground below.
Olga Zharkova and her two sons – one aged three years and the other just one month old – fell 190 feet after the mother jumped from their 19th floor flat in Moscow, reports say.
Zharkova, who was married to an officer in the Russian military, was going through severe postnatal depression – a mood disorder associated with childbirth – and had reportedly written a note saying that she didn’t want to leave her two children in this “hard, gloomy world.”
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Russian law enforcement stated that Zharkova had confided in friends that she was dealing with crippling depression following her recent childbirth, and that “she felt lonely and tired.”
When her husband arrived on the scene and discovered what had happened, officials noted that he needed to be treated for shock.
A murder probe has been opened in connection with the deaths of the two boys by the Russian Investigative Committee, and a “postmortem psychiatric analysis” will be conducted on the mother, reports say.
Postnatal depression – also known as Postpartum depression, or PPD – affects roughly 15 percent of women after childbirth. Postpartum psychosis, a more severe form of postpartum mood disorder, occurs in about 1 to 2 per 1,000 women following childbirth, and is one of the leading causes of murder in children less than one year of age; it is currently unknown if Zharkova was suffering from this at the time of her death.