Postpartum psychosis - a myth or harsh reality?

postpartum psychosis Postpartum psychosis - a serious and relatively rare mental disorder that develops suddenly after a few days or weeks after birth.Its symptoms are diverse and rapidly changing.Among them - depression, alternating with euphoria and excessive activity, confusion, hallucinations, inability to objectively assess the situation.

puerperal psychosis, a woman should be as soon as possible medical assistance.This disorder can occur in any woman - it often affects women, who have never suffered from any mental disorder.As for the woman and for her partner, family and friends it can be a difficult and frightening experience.However, women are usually pretty quickly recover completely and begin to live a full life.

Postpartum psychosis is much rarer than postpartum depression - it develops in approximately 0.1% of women who gave birth.


How are the symptoms of postpartum psychosis from the symptoms of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression occurs in 10-15 out of 100 women shortly after childbirth.Its symptoms are similar to symptoms of other types of depression: depression, unwillingness and inability to do everyday chores, lack of interest in anything whatsoever, including a child, and at the same time - oppressive guilt.Sometimes there are suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts are possible Suicide in terms of psychiatrist - can it be prevented? Suicide in terms of the psychiatrist - can it be prevented? .The symptoms of postpartum depression are stored in more than two weeks, and the disease should be treated by a specialist.Some women suffer from postpartum depression time, which usually starts in the third or fourth day after birth and ends at the time when the child turns ten days.During this period, the woman can be depressed and irritable, but it all takes place quickly without the help of doctors.

Women suffering from postpartum psychosis, symptoms of depression combined with symptoms typical of mania:

  • Very good, euphoric mood;
  • Oppression and tearfulness;
  • Anxiety;
  • Irritability;
  • mood swings without objective reasons;
  • Confusion;
  • anxiety, agitation;
  • «galloping» thoughts, inability to concentrate on anything;
  • unusual behavior;
  • women become more talkative, sociable than before;
  • women avoid contact with other people (this symptom may alternate with the previous);
  • difficulty falling asleep, or unwillingness to sleep;
  • paranoid thoughts, suspicion, fear;
  • variety of errors, strange thoughts and ideas that can not be true.For example, a woman may feel that she won the lottery, or that her child is possessed by the devil, or that she herself someone pursues;
  • Hallucinations.

Because these symptoms a woman may not normally care about the baby, about themselves.However, she does not understand that the ill and seek medical advice should close it.


When developing postpartum psychosis

In most cases, the symptoms of postpartum psychosis appear in the first two weeks after birth;often this happens in the first days after the birth of the child.Much less often the disease begins to manifest itself in a few weeks after the child was born.


Why is this happening?

It is not known why developing postpartum psychosis, but the exact causes are not problems in family life, the misconduct of the mother or her partner.

with this disorder associated factors such as genetic predisposition (the likelihood of developing postpartum psychosis in women whose close relatives suffer from this disorder, about 3%), hormonal changes and changes in sleep patterns after childbirth.


Who is most susceptible to postpartum psychosis

Chances of postpartum psychosis in women who have ever been diagnosed with bipolar depression or schizoaffective disorder.Schizophrenia and other mental illnesses Mental illness - ashamed to ask for help? Mental illness - ashamed to ask for help? also associated with increased risk of postpartum psychosis.

highest risk among those women who have postpartum psychosis develops after the previous birth.For at-risk groups likely to develop this disorder ranges from 25% to 50%, well above average.If you are at risk, you should consult with a psychiatrist, to evaluate the risk in your particular case.


possible to prevent the development of postpartum psychosis in women at risk

Ideally, women at risk should consult a psychiatrist before they become pregnant.However, since many pregnancies are unplanned, you need to see a doctor as soon as you know you are pregnant.Guaranteed to prevent postpartum psychosis is impossible, but some measures can reduce the likelihood of its development.Firstly, the need to implement the recommendations of a doctor;Second, at the end of pregnancy and after delivery to avoid severe stress How to beat stress?Create an oasis How to beat stress? and if possible sleep.Partner woman should know that there is a likelihood of developing postpartum psychosis, and if necessary, seek help immediately.



Most women in the postpartum psychosis requiring hospitalization.If possible, a woman hospitalized with your child in the hospital and it not only treat, but also help to care for newborns.However, not every hospital has a department, which suffers from a mental disorder can be a woman with child, so in most cases the patient is in the room alone.

to relieve the symptoms of postpartum psychosis appointed antipsychotics, mood stabilizers (mood stabilizers), or both types of drugs simultaneously.As a rule, while taking these drugs, as well as for some time after the end of treatment a woman can not breastfeed.

When the patient's condition is stabilized, for it will be very important to support the partner and family members.The following recommendations are addressed to them:

  • Be as patient and calm as you can;
  • Take time to listen to a woman;
  • temporarily take over most of the household tasks, and allow a woman to rest and sleep as much as possible;
  • Do not invite a lot of guests in the house - as long as the woman does not get better, the house should be as calm.

Complete recovery can occur only after 6-12 months after the onset of the disease, but the symptoms are most severe for 2-12 weeks.After a period of recovery can begin depression and anxiety Anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease? Anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease? ;to cope with it, put up with an event, and again to believe in themselves, women need the support of loved ones.