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Common Symptoms of Postpartum Psychosis

What is postpartum psychosis: A Synopsis

Common Symptoms of Postpartum Psychosis Postpartum psychosis is a disease very rare but incredibly dangerous not only to the new mother but also to people around her. It’s a temporary and sensitive mental disorder that allows new mothers to loose sense about the real world followed by delusional thinking with other strange behaviors. Postpartum psychosis is a set of mental disorders with a strike rate of 2 among every 1000 cases. The disease’s onset is quick and sudden, usually within the first month after child birth. Sometimes the time frame expands to 3 months. 80% cases show that the disease develops after 3 to 14 days without showing any symptoms. Once the symptoms start showing, emergency treatment procedures is a must.

Although, a few postpartum psychosis symptoms are similar to the occasional baby blues and postpartum depression symptoms and other common mental disorders, but this disease isn’t the same. Postpartum psychosis comes with severe agitation, hallucinations, confusion, delusions, insomnia, mania, over excitement, harmful thoughts regarding others and suicidal thoughts. In most cases, women due to a sense of shame they feel frightened to come forward with their problems. Although most cases end without any harm or causality, still prompt treatment is absolutely necessary.

Causes behind postpartum psychosis

Scientists still haven’t been able to pin point any actual reason for postpartum psychosis. Although mental health specialists state a variety of reasons such as- not having enough emotional support and social support, low self esteem, thought of not being fit to be a mother, financial problems, aloneness, between jobs etc. are causes responsible for postpartum psychosis.

The Risk Factors

Women with medical history or family medical history containing schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are the ones facing most danger. And developed postpartum schizophrenia sometimes causes irrational behaviors and acts by the new mothers. Mothers sometimes do or say things, which in normal life they never would have. They hurt their loved ones without any knowledge of what’s happening. Again, women experiencing postpartum psychosis once are likely to face the same condition during future pregnancy. Also, postpartum psychosis carries a suicide rate of 5% and 4% infanticide rate. There are previous records of infant killing and suicides due to postpartum psychosis. So, it is of utmost importance that mothers do not ignore the signs and contact their physicians to initiate postpartum psychosis treatment process.

Symptoms of postpartum psychosis

The symptoms of postpartum psychosis cover quite a few postpartum depression symptoms. That’s why; often postpartum psychosis is misdiagnosed and treated with only postpartum depression treatment measures. Even doctors sometimes get confused with postpartum psychosis and bipolar disorder. Although postpartum psychosis treatment procedures consists of some of the postpartum depression treatment techniques, but still it is a disease very different and needs to be treated in specific ways.

Generally, the symptoms starts showing up on the early days or weeks after the child birth. Majority of the cases show a time frame of 3 to 4 weeks. The symptoms give a sudden appearance and the disease develops fast.

Below is the list of the most common postpartum psychosis symptoms:

  • Hallucinating;
  • Delusional thinking;
  • Illogical Thoughts;
  • Paranoia and suspiciousness;
  • Feeling very irritated;
  • Rapid mood swings;
  • Hyperactivity;
  • Irrational behavior;
  • Inability to sleep;
  • Mania;
  • Refusing to eat;
  • Periods of delirium;
  • Confusion;
  • Depressive mood;
  • Over excitement;
  • Anxiety and agitation;
  • Occasional inability to communicate properly;
  • Suicidal thoughts;
  • Homicidal thoughts.

Usually, mothers fail to detect these signs since they are still in the recovery process from the birthing trauma and also busy taking care of the new born. It is the duty of the loved ones around her to be aware of these symptoms and step in if they occur. 20% of women who detect these signs just ignore the risks. Most of these mothers pass the course without any harm done. But taking safety measures is really important for the sake of the mother and the child.

Postpartum psychosis treatment options

Postpartum psychosis is a temporary mental health disorder that requires quick treatment. In this case the family and friends play a vital role. Aside from medications and professional help, the support from the partner and loved ones matters the most and eventually gets the mother through all these.

Because of covering so many postpartum depression symptoms, in some stages postpartum depression treatment are put in use.

  • The most fruitful way to stay safe is to know about the disease earlier. This allows the time to take both mental and materialistic preparations to fight the disease.
  • Postpartum psychosis is usually treated with medicines. Typically antipsychotic drugs are used. In some cases, antianxiety drugs and antidepressants are also useful.
  • Mental support from family and friends, especially from the partner is essential.
  • Regular contact and check ups will have to be maintained.