Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious mental health condition that can develop after childbirth and typically occurs in the first two weeks after delivery.
Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious disorder that can affect new mothers. It is estimated that 1 in every 1000 women experiences postpartum psychosis after giving birth. This condition can cause mood swings, hallucinations, delusions, and other psychotic symptoms.
If left untreated, it can be very dangerous for both the mother and her child. In this blog post, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis, as well as how it is treated.
What is postpartum psychosis?
Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious mental health condition that can develop after childbirth. It typically occurs in the first two weeks after delivery, although it can sometimes occur up to six months postpartum. Symptoms of postpartum psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional immediately. Postpartum psychosis can be very dangerous for both the mother and her child if it is left untreated.
After giving birth, many women experience “baby blues” or postpartum depression. You may feel down, sad, tense, or gloomy. It happens to half or more of all new mothers and usually goes away within two weeks. The “baby blues” are different from postpartum psychosis, which is much rarer and more severe. Postpartum psychosis is considered a psychiatric emergency.
What causes postpartum psychosis?
The exact cause of postpartum psychosis is unknown, but it is thought to be related to hormonal changes that occur after childbirth. It is also more likely to occur in women who have a history of mental illness, such as bipolar disorder.
Risk factors for postpartum psychosis include:
- A personal or family history of mental illness
- Bipolar disorder
- Stressful life events
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Severe mood swings during pregnancy
- Stoppage of psychiatric medications during your pregnancy.
If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to talk to your doctor before you deliver your baby. They may want to monitor you more closely during and after pregnancy.
What are the signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis?
The signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis can vary greatly from woman to woman. Some women may experience only a few symptoms, while others may experience many.
Women who suffer from postpartum psychosis had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental disorders. However, the majority of them have never had any mental health problems before.
The most common symptoms of postpartum psychosis include:
- Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or experiencing imaginary things)
- Delusions (belief in something that’s not real)
- Paranoia, depression, anxiety, or confusion
- Irritability or agitation
- Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
- Disordered thinking
- Rapid mood swings
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
How is postpartum psychosis treated?
Treatment for postpartum psychosis typically includes medication and therapy.
You should be under the care of mental health professional. You may need to be committed to a psychiatric hospital for your safety. To stabilize your mood, you will likely need medication.
After you have been stabilized, you will need to continue to see a mental health professional on a regular basis. You will also need to take medication for several months, even after you are feeling better.
Risks of postpartum psychosis
Postpartum psychosis is a serious condition. Around one in 20 women may attempt suicide or harm their child. For at least a year following delivery, women with postpartum psychosis are at a higher risk for suicide.
If you think you may be suffering from postpartum psychosis, it is important to seek help immediately.
Prevention of postpartum psychosis
There is no sure way to prevent postpartum psychosis. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. If you have a history of mental illness, talk to your doctor about your risk factors and what you can do to reduce your risk.
If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor about your risks. Some things may help reduce your risk:
- Get regular exercise and sleep
- Eat a healthy diet
- Reduce stress
- Take breaks
- Build a support system of family and friends
If you have any signs or symptoms of postpartum psychosis, get help right away. Call your doctor, go to the emergency room, or call a mental health hotline. Postpartum psychosis is a serious disorder that can be life-threatening. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chances for recovery.