You might have heard of postpartum depression, but what about postpartum psychosis?
It’s a condition that affects 1 in 500 new mothers within the first two weeks of delivery, and symptoms include paranoia, hallucinations and delusions.
Great to see ABC News raising awareness of postpartum psychosis in the Australia community! This short clip has been viewed over 45K, which is incredible!
Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au
My story of postpartum psychosis has been published in The Guardian today alongside some great new research! I am so proud of the mother I have become and proud to be a PANDA Community Champion raising awareness of postpartum psychosis in our community.
“People can mistakenly describe what women like me go through as ‘baby blues’ or ‘depression’, but I was definitely not depressed,” West says.
West received treatment after a friend told her she was not behaving like her usual self and called the National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Helpline [Panda]. They advised that West should be taken to hospital immediately for psychiatric care, and West is now a strong advocate for the helpline.
“I have to speak up because I don’t like the thought of other families going through what we did. This has to change and to do that we need better recognition of the condition.”
Source: Postpartum psychosis: research reveals full recovery possible within weeks | Life and style | The Guardian
Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au
The mother of a baby girl who drowned in a bathtub has pleaded not guilty to murder, on the grounds she was suffering a mental illness at the time, but guilty to manslaughter.
Source: Mother of baby girl who drowned in bathtub pleads guilty to manslaughter
Additional source: Mum ‘intentionally’ drowns baby over mistaken fears she had dwarfism
Another mother who did not receive the support she needed, though the article does not specifically refer to the mental illness as postpartum psychosis. It highlights the importance of having support around you as a new mum, with no mention of a husband or family only friends who were ‘fed up’ with her obsessions.
Soon after the girl was born in April 2010, the mother had begun worrying obsessively that her daughter had genetic abnormalities.
This mum was in North Strathfield, only about 10 minutes away from NSW’s only Mother Baby Unit, though it’s private. It highlights the lack of support in the NSW health system yet in the same week Queensland Health announce the first public Mother Baby Unit and the week before Bendigo, Victoria announced its new public Mother Baby Unit. How many other mothers have to reach this stage and how many more deaths have to occur before the NSW government recognises perinatal mental health and the importance of early intervention. #ActNowNSWPublicMBU
“This is an important step forward because we know that intervention during the perinatal period is critical to improving the health of mothers and their ability to care for their baby.
– Queensland Health
Every year, PANDA helps thousands of Australian families affected by perinatal anxiety and depression. We believe it’s a journey no one should go through alone. Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au
It looked just like her baby. And yet the mother became convinced her daughter had been replaced.
Source: ‘Not my baby’: Delusion led to fatal throat slitting by mother
I recall hearing about this scenario last year in the media and I instantly thought that mental health was a huge part of the story. Reading this article fired me up to hear of an Australian mum receiving anti-depressants to then spiral into postpartum psychosis, just like I did however without the devastating outcome. It is a reminder that many only know to look out for symptoms of postpartum depression.
The father sought out anti-depressants the next day, gave her some and found her much happier.
SMH did a great job conveying the facts in this article. We need to educate the medical professionals as well as the community about postpartum psychosis to prevent these cases from happening in our community.
This article also has given me the opportunity to talk a bit with my parents about their recollections with my experience, interesting yet tough conversations.
I couldn’t believe child birth could trigger such a devastating mental illness. All anyone ever talks about is post-natal depression. I literally couldn’t believe this strange condition I’d never heard of could happen to ME!
Source: ABC OPEN: Losing my mind || From Project: Speak Your Mind
October 2014, National Mental Health Week and I was reading these words with tears streaming down my face. It was the first time I had come across postpartum psychosis in mainstream. Not on a mummy blog. Not somewhere on the internet that I had to go digging for. Mainstream Australian Media.
Another mother who was like me, who had not know about this complication of pregnancy and birth, did not even know it existed until it happened to herself.
What happened to me is extremely rare. About one or two women in every 1,000 births suffer post-natal psychosis. I didn’t know it existed until it happened to me. I didn’t know women with a history of mental illness were at risk. I didn’t know birth could trigger mental illness.
I had not heard of postpartum psychosis before it happened to me. Even though I have studied psychology and neuroscience at uni. Even with reading everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy and birth. Even with attending two antenatal classes, one in the hospital and one transition to parenthood course. Never heard of it!
Keryn’s open post on Speak Your Mind inspired me to create a platform to share my story of what I have experienced with postpartum psychosis and what resources I find that can support other mothers going through a similar journey.
October 2016, National Mental Health Week. I’ve just made a mental health promise to myself as part of World Mental Health Day. You can make your own promise here https://1010.org.au/promise/add and be part of a world-wide movement to improve mental wellbeing in our community. #WMHD2015
I am ready to share more of my story…
“Burnout is not a sign that you are failing. Rather, it’s generally a sign that you are caring too much – for everybody except yourself! It is also a warning sign that things need to change.”
Source: Breastfeeding and Mummy Burnout » Beautiful Breastfeeding
In my life and work I have come across many people who have gone or are going through what can expediently be defined as a “life crisis”. The word carries a lot of negative connotations of course, since it is associated with very difficult life passages often brought about by circumstances beyond the volition or ‘control’…
“Reboot your System: By breaking illusions and overcoming fears you are going through a complete system reboot. Crisis in fact can be a very thorough cleansing process.”
Rebooting after my short circuit, my life crisis Postpartum Psychosis, has been such a positive change in my life. Love this post!
Source: Why Going Through A Life Crisis Is A Positive Thing | Spirit Science
Via: The Mind Unleashed
Those don’t define you just like dealing with anxiety doesn’t define me.Those things are part of the journey. Part of our stories. Do you know what I realized? Until I just deal with something and give myself to have moments where I stumble – well I cannot be free to fill that space with joy and happy. For you see – our happiness is not ever defined by having a perfect house, perfect meals, perfect health, a perfect body, perfect children, and so on. It is not defined by another person telling you that you are awesome or any of that. It is you.
“Because at the core we all are moving forward trying to do our best and oftentimes doing our best means stumbling, catching our breath and starting again. ”
Source: sometimes we have to talk about anxiety – Finding Joy
Having experienced postpartum psychosis and antenatal psychosis, here are three things I’ve learned about navigating pregnancy with bipolar disorder.
Great reflections on preparing for a newborn whilst managing your own mental health.
Source: Navigating pregnancy with bipolar disorder – Bipolar Mom Life
Q: I’m a wife, mother, and bank manager and these days I feel like I am failing at all of it. I meditate each morning and do yoga, but I’m still tired, stressed, and cranky and I drop more balls than I catch. Why am I so lousy at having it all?
“Instead of buying into the popular but ludicrous idea that a woman should have it all, choose to have less. Do some soul searching and decide what really matters to you.”
Source: Don’t Get Addicted to Busyness | Mindful
Via: The Connection Documentary