"What is Postpartum Psychosis?"


Postpartum Psychosis, although extremely rare, is a medical emergency.

It is similar to a Bipolar event and is sometimes called Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, Mania, or Schizoaffective Disorder.

Symptoms of postpartum psychosis include

· Severe hallucinations

· Agitation and restlessness

· Hyperactivity

· Trouble concentrating

· Mood swings

· Aggression

· Suicidal threats/attempts

· Threats/attempts to harm the baby


With postpartum psychosis the woman is detached from reality and unaware that her thoughts are not normal or rational, she may behave in bizarre and scary ways toward her baby. For this reason, it is vital to get medical help immediately.

Initially the woman with PPP exhibits restlessness, hyperactivity, and insomnia.

Rapid mood swings from very high to very low (and vice-versa) follow, which lead to full blown psychosis.

In severe cases, the mother may have delusional beliefs about her baby, hear voices, and is unaware of her own actions/thoughts.

When the mother can’t distinguish between reality and hallucinations, she is at serious risk for harming herself and her family.

It is very important to get help right away!

Risk factors include

· history of postpartum psychosis

· history of Bipolar Disorder (I or II) or currently in treatment for Bipolar Disorder

· family history of Bipolar Disorder or other mood disorders

· history of depression, anxiety, or OCD

· Current stressors, including lack of resources, lack of support, family conflict



IF YOU (OR A LOVED ONE) THINK YOU MIGHT HARM YOURSELF OR YOUR BABY, PLEASE DIAL 911!

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