Therapist: Accused mom could have suffered psychotic breakdown - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Therapist: Accused mom could have suffered psychotic breakdown

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Christine Allen (Source: LVMPD) Christine Allen (Source: LVMPD)

Christine Allen is accused of drowning her 3-year-old son in the bathtub Saturday. According to the arrest report, she told police she heard voices, and it was like a demon took over.

She also told them she suffers depression.

Therapist Dan Ficalora with the HeadsUp Guidance and Wellness Center said it's possible she does suffer from depression, but it would be an extreme case.

"Not your run-of-the-mill depression which is, you know, I'm down, I don't want to hang out with people, I'm having trouble sleeping. But as we go down the spectrum and get to really severe depression, that's when we see these psychotic type symptoms," Ficalora said.

Documents show Allen told police her son would be better off with God and better off dead than being part of a split family.

She also told detectives she was getting evicted, is divorced and not getting help from her ex.

Ficalora said all those stressors can add up for anyone, and with untreated depression, it's possible for someone to spiral, suffer delusions and lose their mind.

"There are numerous examples over the last couple of years, with people with depression and other mental disorders that choose the violent path and react in a way most of us wouldn't," Ficalora said.

FOX5 Legal Analyst Bob Massi said it's likely Allen will plead not guilty due to insanity to the murder charge in court.

"You would hope, if there is such a thing in this case, that someone would have to be crazy to do this to their child or children," Massi said.

Something he said could hurt Allen's defense is that 911 dispatchers told police she would not try life-saving measures on her son Noah Allen. But ultimately, this kind of case comes down to the expert testimony.

"You could have the prosecution have an expert that did an evaluation saying, 'No, she was not insane at the time.' You have the defense come up with their psychiatric evaluation, and it becomes a battle of the experts as to what ultimately did the woman understand at the time of the loss of this child," Massi said.

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