What if your symptoms are really out of control? This is termed "postpartum
psychosis". This is a rare complication of PPD that affects one to two out
of every 1000 postpartum women. It may actually be related to bipolar affective
disorder (also called "manic depressive illness"); some women with this complication
may also be schizophrenic or have an underlying, undiagnosed medical disorder.
These symptoms generally begin within two weeks of delivery. Women affected
may appear manic, severely depressed or schizophrenic. In addition to all the
symptoms listed for PPD, women may have delusions or hallucinations about the
baby, including beliefs or fears about the baby being dead. Many women with
the manic form of postpartum psychosis may actually feel elated and require
little or not sleep; they have tremendous energy and may have delusions about
having special powers or a super baby. Women with postpartum psychosis must
be promptly referred for psychiatric evaluation and admission.
There is no consistent association between PPD and age, number of children,
socioeconomic status or any biologic factors. Risk for PPD is increased by:
Debunking the Myths, Misconceptions, and Misinformation About PPD:
- personal or family history of depression
- unmarried status at the time of birth
- lack of social support
- occurrence of negative life events during the pregnancy and/or delivery
- personal history of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- PPD is a real medical disorder; it doesn't mean the woman wasn't cut out
to be a mom or that she didn't want her baby.
- PPD is treatable; moms who are
treated for PPD are just as likely to become "good mothers" as those who were
not affected by PPD.
- If you are given an anti-depressant-or referred for counseling-it doesn't
mean you are crazy. On the contrary, it means you are being responsible and
taking care of a potentially serious medical illness.
- If you have PPD once you may have it again (50% chance), but not
necessarily. If you have it again, it may vary in severity.
Alternative therapies are techniques and modalities which have yet to be proven to work in people in general by scientifically controlled clinical research trials, but which many people have testified work for them.