Loneliness, acute depression and severe malnutrition aside, the two middle-aged siblings who were rescued from their self-imposed captivity in Noida on Tuesday suffer from what psychologists broadly term as 'an affliction of the affluent'.
The tremendous pressure of living in an urban environment, consequently spiralling stress levels and the depression of having lost the objects of their affection steadily and one after the other, psychologists say, drove Anuradha and Sonali Bahal irretrievably over the edge.
"Though one can't gauge their psychological condition without a psychiatric evaluation, the sisters clearly suffer from a mental illness - most probably schizophrenia," said Dr Nimesh Desai, Director of the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IBHAS).
"This is certainly an urban phenomenon. Busy schedules and hectic lifestyles are forcing us inside cocoons, pushing us towards self-compartmentalization. Socialization is gradually becoming a lost art instead of a necessity," said Dr. Rajesh Sagar, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the AIIMS.
Former IPS officer Amod Kanth said, "My experience brings to mind several such instances. Most of them involve those from more affluent part of society."