- Understanding Postpartum Psychosis -

By Sharon Moore republished on September 13, 2017

Having a child is truly a wonderful gift a woman can ever have. It’s a blessing, a source of joy and happiness. But while most mums in the world are excited and happy about it, some women are going through an extremely difficult situation – hating their life and their babies.

Postpartum psychosis is a very serious condition that is rarely talked about, probably because of the stigma on mental illness. This happens when a woman who has recently given birth loses her grip on the reality. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, mood swings, severe irritability, depression, aggressive acts, and so on.

Being a very uncommon condition, postpartum psychosis is often confused with post natal depression. This is because both of them may happen on a woman who has just given birth. However, the symptoms of postpartum psychosis are more severe and terrifying than post natal depression. It can literally make a woman lose her mind. A woman with this condition can have suicidal thoughts. It can lead to the mother killer herself or her child.

In UK, there are 1,000 women who suffer from this condition. While the figure is small, postpartum psychosis is an issue that needs to be properly addresses as it can lead to life-threatening consequences. In connection with this, a project designed to help women with postpartum psychosis was initiated by Joan, a British artist whose work is focused on themes about family, time, and memory. The project is called ‘Unravelling Eve’. It is composed of workshops and group sharing activities between the mothers who have gone through postpartum psychosis.

More on Postpartum Psychosis

According to Dr Ian Jones, a perinatal psychiatrist from the University of Cardiff, post partum psychosis is composed of episodes of mental illness. He added that women going through this medical condition often see, hear, and feel things that aren’t real at all. They may also suffer from delirium or mania, insomnia, and may have illogical thoughts.

There are a very few studies related to postpartum psychosis and its real cause or causes haven’t been identified yet. It appears that this condition can happen to any woman who doesn’t have any record of mental illness in the past. But according to Dr Jones, if the mom-to-be has a bipolar disorder, she has a greater risk of getting postpartum psychosis. In addition, women who have family history of schizophrenia and psychosis are also prone to postpartum psychosis.

Fortunately, postpartum psychosis can be treated. Usually, it takes 8 to 12 weeks for a woman to regain herself from this debilitating condition. But the real challenge lies on determining whether the mother is suffering from this condition. This is where the support of her family and friends come in. Experts encourage the involvement of the spouses and family of the patient for a speedy recovery.

More information about Postpartum Psychosis can be found on Radio 4.

If you or someone you know is suffering from postpartum psychosis or any related condition and you like to find out how counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy, and other therapies could help you, please visit our homepage and use the search tool to find a therapist near you. Alternatively, if you can’t find the right therapist, just fill out this confidential enquiry form and we’ are glad to help.

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