Expert: Suspect’s asthma may be psychological

By Camille Bethel

The asthma attacks being experienced by the man arrested in the murder of six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch could be psychological.

Yesterday, the relatives of the man, who has been unable to attend court since being arrested for the mur­der of the child because of being hospitalised with asthma, said they never knew him to have asth­ma.

Speaking with the Express in a telephone interview on the issue yesterday, clinical psychologist Dr Krishna Maharaj explained, “Given the fact that he has had no history of asthma and the present condition is of recent onset and especially subsequent to a charge like what he is facing, it leaves one to believe it is highly suggestive of being psychological in cause.”

Maharaj said a number of things could be done to end the attacks. “One approach to it is confronting him with the truth and then using behaviour therapy approach, looking at the circumstances in terms of when and how he is being reminded of the incident and being implicated  in the incident.” 

He said in order to get him before the court, a medical approach can be used as well.

“They can probably use some medication that will allow him getting better breathing; they can use one of the ventolin inhalers or a nebuliser. I think that they must combine that with the psychological behavioural therapeutic approach,” he added. 

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