Lives Of Quiet Desperation

After reading about Susan Smith's murder of her two children, hundreds of readers wrote to express their concern ((Cover Stories, Nov. 14)). Particularly moving was the letter we received from one woman in Virginia, describing her own troubled situation:

A few months ago, I went to my family doctor complaining of depression and somehow managed to confess to him that my real concern was an overwhelming urge to kill my three young children and myself. Fortunately, he did not show any revulsion but rather great compassion. I was quickly placed on medication and given the kind of daily support I needed....

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