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Postpartum Psychosis Warning Signs

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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

We're going to discuss postpartum psychosis and you were drawn to the specialty after you yourself went through postpartum depression postpartum anxiety and postpartum. Ocd after the birth of your first child or act yeah. There's a lot of things again. Happen in the postpartum period. I'm here to talk about one of the more severe conditions in the interest of full disclosure. I'm a forty three year old male. I've never been pregnant and I do not have children. I'm really really entry level. When it comes to understanding what post-partum anything is so thank you so much for helping to educate people like myself. It really is an important topic. It's absolutely important and a lot of people have that same feeling. I don't know anything about it. It seems like this weird thing that happens to other people and chances. Are you know somebody who has suffered through some form of perinatal mental health condition? Even if they don't talk about it which is very common a lot of people. Don't talk about it because there's so much shame around kind of not feeling well or not feeling yourself even during pregnancy and postpartum. There's all these ideas out there that it's this wonderful magical time and hopefully it is but for a lot of people in and that's one of the things that came up while I was trying to do research for the show so that I could talk somewhat on this subject. I was shocked at how many times I googled. Postpartum psychosis or postpartum anything and the articles. That came up. Were M I a bad mother M I abide parent. Am I harming my child? That really Kinda spoke to me like in a visceral way. This idea that you also have the illness. And there's all this stigma and shame surrounding it. Is that what you found working as a therapist? Oh absolutely hear comments. All of the time I feel like a bad mom. I'm not good enough for my child. Feeling Shame and the blame and confusion around. Why do I even feel bad? We are just not educated on what can happen. I think it's a great disservice to everybody who goes through any kind of perinatal mental health condition. Because they're mostly blindsided by it right. You like here supposed to be having the best time of my life. This is what my body is supposed to quote unquote and here. I am feeling like a failure and just to be clear. None of this is true. You are an excellent parent. This is just sort of the illness. And societies misunderstanding of the illness. Taking hold in an unexpected way over. Sorry this is a very treatable and very temporary condition if you get the right help and if you get it as soon as you know even if you're getting a little bit later down the road you still can feel better. And there's not a huge impact throughout the life course of you or your child however again in the more severe cases are not treated. There are some long term effects and I know that might sound really scary to people so I wanted to sell the myth that if you have a condition you're going to be like messing up your kid in some way like I said this is very treatable and also when it was very very severe there can be really life threatening consequences. So let's talk about postpartum psychosis. What is the definition of postpartum psychosis typically oppose artem? Psychosis isn't very rare Wanted to out of every thousand delivery and it is not postpartum. Depression or postpartum. Means -iety the onset of these symptoms are usually in the first two weeks but certainly can show up a little bit later. There's a really rapid onset. Meaning symptoms start quickly and it is characterized by the mind is kind of going off on. Its own in part because of hormonal changes in part because of your mental health history and in part because of sleep deprivation so people who are if postpartum psychosis are having rapid mood swings they are potentially having delusion or strange beliefs about themselves or their child or people around them they may be having hallucinations feeling very very irritated. The difficulty to sleep inability to sleep sometimes paranoia And what's really hard about postpartum psychosis is that the symptoms waxed and waned. Meaning they come and go so sometimes people can sort of the feel like themselves and appear to be like our normal cells and then sometimes people around them might observe that they don't look like themselves are sound like themselves so it can come and go for quite a few people and then for some people that symptoms on the onset is. They're just continue. So I know all that probably sounds pretty scary and Syria and it actually is pretty scary. And the're Like I said before. It's very rare and people who have a history of bipolar disorder are at high risk or if there's bipolar disorder in the family. They're at higher risk. Oftentimes psychosis in the postpartum is an indictment bipolar disorder. So let's talk about that for a moment. I myself live with bipolar disorder. And I understand psychosis from a lived experience because I I have experienced. Psychosis is it. The same is postpartum psychosis and for lack of a better phrase Gabe Howard's psychosis. Is this a similar thing or is it completely different? There's certainly familiarity in terms of symptoms of psychosis are the same. What what's very different here. Is that there is a new baby involved. And sometimes they delusions or hallucinations are in relation. To the new child is new very vulnerable child and also the perinatal person also very vulnerable. They've just given birth of had massive changes in hormone both during pregnancy at delivery and then in the Postpartum. They're really really rapid and kind of swings in the in the hormone during that time and sleep deprivation. Is You know when it's sort of like just you quote unquote. You have capacity to possibly sleep. In these cases there's Abadie involved and babies cry and they wake people up And that's what they do and that's what they're supposed to do But for somebody who needs sleep and isn't getting it and can't get it a whole other layer of complexity into into the life and into the simpsons because you're in relation to a baby a while having psychosis for some time that means that. There's like a hyper vigilant around the baby. Like it's really hard to not be around them or to let anyone else support them or sometimes it's like a kind of a total disregard like people in some psychoses. They will kind of forget the baby there so it brings this whole other level of danger and complexity also then. There's additional layer. That people around them are thinking. Oh well she's kind of baby. She's not quite herself or giving some other explanation for odd behaviors or strange behaviors. And it Kinda put people in a more of a dangerous situation because symptoms are explained away because they're not understood and it's not expected that these kind of symptoms will show up. I'm kind of assuming that the way that postpartum psychosis has played out in the media as well as How motherhood is played out in the media those two things combined because like you said we want to defend new parents. We don't just want every new mom under the bus and say oh well. You have a serious mental illness. That's the problem but of course this can be dangerous because it lacks care. I suppose my specific question is how is Postpartum? Psychosis played out in popular culture. It actually in very dangerous ways so in ways that further stigmatize apparently period. So mostly what we're seeing in the media while you see on. The news is postpartum psychosis that has led to infanticide. And this is a really really hard topic for people to hear about and also. This is a very real possibility with postpartum psychosis. I know that one to two percent of people who have term psychosis four to five percent of those mothers will kill their children. They killed their baby. It's really a hard reality to hear. And what I want people to know. Is that when this happened? Women are not in their right mind at all. They are not themselves. Do not know what they're doing. They're often being told by their delusion to do something. Sometimes there are delusions that the baby is possessed. So they can't be here although this might not make any sense but most of the time it's really out of love a lot of love like the world is too harsh for the child so they have to go and misses a very severe departure from reality. The Mon- who are in the situation do not know what they have done if they come out of it and get the medication that they need. They can't even thousand. What has happened people thinking say? Oh what a horrible person. I can't believe she done this. I would never do this to my child. And the thing is is that if she were in her right mind she wouldn't either. So what we're seeing in the media is usually the mob who have done something like this and who are being handcuffed or going on trial so there's most severe. This is the most of your consequences of perinatal. Mental Health Condition Postpartum Psychosis in infanticide. Is How postpartum psychosis is viewed. Most people are postpartum psychosis are experiencing hallucinations or delusions or some kind of waxing and waning symptom. That does not reach that level. Typically they may need hospitalization and medication. But it's not always the people who go on to have their children in this way.