• Postpartum psychosis – PP.

    • This is a separate disorder from PPD/ PPA/PPOCD

Additional risk factors pertaining to postpartum psychosis:

***Healthcare provider screening and prevention is extremely relevant to postpartum psychosis.

Most significant risk factor for pp psychosis is previously (un)diagnosed cyclical mood disorder (bipolar disorder), a previous psychotic episode or if there is a family history of schizophrenia or bipolar illness.

Postpartum psychosis is considered a psychiatric emergency.

Postpartum psychosis is relatively rare. It occurs in approximately 1 in 1000 deliveries, or in .1% of deliveries. Women are most susceptible to psychosis in the first thirty days after childbirth.

Symptoms:

Not sleeping for a few nights in a row, delusions, speaking about nonsensical beings, thoughts about evil beings, death, blood, intense fear, mumblings, robotic movements, stiff, acting as if she can hear words coming from somewhere else (what is called command language in her head), staring, flat affect, deflated speech, one word answers, catatonia, staring, paranoia.

Remember:

***You cannot talk a person out of their delusions.

***Best to nod your head, listen, say, “I understand” or “Must be hard”

and GET HELP IMMEDIATELY.

Contact her husband, partner, mother, whomever is closest in proximity,

and have them call 911 or escort her to the emergency room for a psychiatric evaluation.

If a close family member is not available, you must contact 911 for her.

This person is not faking it.

This person is very ill and needs help, not ridicule or fear.

Note: I worked in a center for the severely mentally ill for three years, and seeing a psychotic state is pretty unnerving, especially if you are seeing it for the first time.

The key is to try to stay calm and get help. Don’t agitate the person by trying to talk her out of her delusion. Get help immediately.

 

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