Speaking to Citi TV on the Big Issue Saturday, Dr. Ruth Owusu-Antwi said there may have been underlying issues that triggered the rather unusual act by the woman for which reason she must be supported.
Dr. Owusu Antwi who is Vice President for the Psychological Association of Ghana explained that a mental condition known as pseudocyesis where a woman believes she is pregnant and lives it till the body accepts it may have played a role. With the condition she said, the body begins to show symptoms of pregnancy after the mind accepts it for some time and it further increases the woman’s belief that she is pregnant.
Whilst maintaining that this could be a possibility, she also noted that deep-rooted psychological issues may also have triggered Josephine’s actions for which reason she must be evaluated by mental health experts before any further decisions are taken.
“For this woman in question, I am still saying that I’m not sure if this is a case f pseudocyesis or faking of pregnancy. Whichever way it is, she still will need some psychological and psychiatric assessment and get some support because if a woman can deliberately fake a pregnancy, and it is not pseudocyesis, then there is something bothering her, there must be some underlying stresses, there must be some deep-rooted issues that she needs support with.
“The police can do their bit but mental health experts must be brought on board in her case, to give her the necessary support, to go deep into her life, history, background to see why she would deliberately fake pregnancy or why she may be going through pseudocyesis. Whether it’s a real mental problem or some a criminal one, she still needs some support,” Dr. Owusu-Antwi noted.
She also explained that persons who have pseudocyesis may unintentionally rope everyone around them into believing they are pregnant, especially because they exhibit pregnancy symptoms.
“Some neurochemicals will occur to the extent that this woman will stop menstruating, and will start vomiting, having distended abdomen, enlarged breasts and tenderness, so there will be physical changes.
“So, there are some changes that occur in the woman that make everyone around see and believe that they are pregnant, the only thing that would be missing in this would be a foetus in the womb.
“Most women who experience pseudocyesis most probably are really wanting to give birth, may have had repeated miscarriages, or there is some pressure, traditional, social pressure on them to get pregnant,” she added.
Meanwhile, the police service has confirmed that Josephine has confessed to staging her pregnancy. The husband who is said to have been ignorant about Josephine's fake pregnancy has since been in shock.
Josephine Panyin Mensah, now a police suspect, is said to have denied her husband sex over the past three to four months with claims that it could cause her to lose her supposed pregnancy. A Starrfm report mentions Josephine Mensah as having told the investigators from the Ghana Police Service that she faked her pregnancy after she lost a four-month-old pregnancy.
Unable to bear the effect of the ridicule that she could be subjected to for losing her pregnancy with the alleged connivance of her mother, hatched a plot to deflect attention from the loss of the pregnancy.
As part of the plan, Josephine Mensah allegedly bought silicon belly to demonstrate to her husband and society that she was pregnant.
The concluding part of the plan was the kidnap story with the intention that by the time she is released by the supposed kidnappers, she would have lost the said baby.
Her plan however hit a snag as her initial thought of causing frenzy within her family led to a full-blown national kidnapping case. Read Full Story