At least four murder-suicide cases have been reported in the last three months in Southwest Georgia. With this number increasing, what motivates a person to commit such an act? These days, the poor economy is being blamed.
"We're living in times where people are experiencing a great deal of stress and you just wonder what moves them from hopeful to hopeless," says Counselor Elaine Gurley.
"A lot of times when people are in a situation where they might be a little bit more focused on finances or something that's causing them a lot of distress, they're more likely to react in an inappropriate or over-the-top way because they're fearful of what kind of results are going to happen," says Psychologist Dr. Cheryl Kaiser from Insight.
Moving from depression to suicide occurs in a triad: From feeling hopeless, to helpless, to worthless.
"When people are feeling that they're hopeless in a situation where nothing is ever going to get better, they're helpless. They don't have the power to change it and they're worthless. They don't feel like they have any value to themselves at all," says Kaiser.
The recent murder-suicide cases have been linked to financial reasons as the possible cause; even then, some counselors and psychologists still wonder why this happens.
"I've wondered was there a pact, an agreement?" says Gurley.
One reason can't be pinned down for why a person commits a murder-suicide. Psychologists say it depends on each individual. What can be pinned down: Family members left behind feel the effects for a lifetime.
"Not only have they lost, but there were close to the one who perpetrated the violence. Actually, their bereavement often becomes more complicated," says Gurley.
Counselors say it's important to inform family members about depression because their guilt could be overwhelming, but cases like murder-suicide are nothing they could have prevented.
Psychologists and counselors say if you feel suicidal, do not walk it off. It's important to seek help from a mental professional.