Postpartum Major Depression Postpartum major depression is a type of depression that affecting as many as eighty percent of new mothers at some point in their childs first few weeks of infancy. Scientists have categorized their findings on postpartum depression into three basic categories. These include: the conditions surrounding the birth of the child, diagonosis and treatment of the disease, and the the long term affects of postpartum depression on the mother`s child. Postpartum major depression is not to be confused with Postpartum Psychosis, which is a rare condition with some bizarre symptoms including: confusion and disorientation, hallucinations and delusions, paranoia, and attempts to harm oneself or the baby. One mother who suffered from postpartum major depression accompanied by postpartum psychosis was convinced that the world was to evil to raise children in and proceeded to drown her five children.
Postpartum Depression In 2001, Andrea Yates, a Texas mother, was accused of drowning her five children, (aged seven, five, three, two, and six months) in her bathtub. The idea of a mother drowning all of her children puzzled the nation. Her attorney argued that it was Andrea Yates' untreated postpartum depression, which evolved into postpartum psychosis that caused her horrific actions (1) . He also argued that Andrea Yates suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her fourth child, and that she attempted suicide twice for this very disorder ((1)). What is postpartum depression, and how can it cause a mother to harm her very own children, altering her behavior towards her children in a negative way?
Postpartum depression is a serious mood disorder experienced by women after giving birth. This complex disorder can shatter mothers mind, body and spirit and end their dreams of what they expected motherhood to be. Health professionals estimate that between 15 and 20 percent of women who have recently given birth will be affected by postpartum depression (Stone, 2008). 700,000 new moms each year develops postpartum depression (Veng & Mcloskey, 2007). Postpartum depression affects more than just the mom.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression in Battered Women Summary Barbai, Ben-Shakhar and Shalev (2007) conducted a research study to investigate the role that learned helplessness (LH) played in the length and severity of violence towards the female population as well as the severity of symptoms and diagnosis of major depression (MDD) and Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) on women who had been exposed to domestic violence for a long period of time. The study took place with 101 battered women who reside at different shelters in Israel. Out of the eleven shelters for battered women the researchers visited eight over the course of 18 months. 140 women were asked to participate in the study. Out of the initial approached only 102 agreed to participate, although one of them did not finish the study; leaving the sample at 101.
Postpartum depression affects 8-15% of mothers within a few days or weeks after giving birth. Some mothers experience a mild form of this disorder, while others experience a more rare and intense version. This intensified postpartum depression is known as postpartum psychosis. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, Nau, McNiel, and Binder (2012) express “Postpartum psychosis occurs in 1-2 of 1,000 births and frequently requires hospitalization to stabilize symptoms.” These symptoms include: Hallucinations, restlessness, disturbed sleep, insomnia, drastic mood or behavior change, delusional thinking, thoughts of suicide or death, and extreme depression. In The Journal of Women's Health, Sit, Rothschild, and Wisner described postpartum psychosis as “an overt presentation of bipolar disorder that is timed to coincide with tremendous hormonal shifts after delivery”.
The research of the emotional side effects is outrageous, “Studies within the first few weeks after the abortion have found that between 40 and 60 percent of women questioned report negative reactions. Within 8 weeks after their abortions, 55% expressed guilt, 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor, up to 33 percent of aborted women develop an intense longing to become pregnant again in order to "make up" for the lost pregnancy, with 18 percent succeeding within one year of the abortion. Unfortunately, many women who succeed at obtaining their "wanted" replacement pregnancies discover that the same problems which pressured them into having their first abortion still exist, and so they end up feeling "forced" into yet another abortion,” (Abortion
Along with nervous disorders, sleep issues, thoughts of regret, and suicide, aborting is also linked with alcohol and drug abuse, PTSD, and relationship problems. “Catherine Barnard, who studied 80 women who had all undergone abortions at a Baltimore clinic three to five years earlier. Using standardized measures for PTSD, Barnard found that approximately one in five women (19 percent) met all the criteria for diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Approximately half had many, but not all, of the symptoms of PTSD, and 20 to 40 percent showed moderate to high levels of stress and avoidance behavior
She claims the reason she committed the crime is because she suffers from a severe case of postpartum depression. Andrea Yates possesses many problems and no matter her state of mental health, she will be punished for the crime she committed. On June 20, 2001, Andrea Pia Yates drowned her four sons and one daughter ranging from ages six months to seven years. She drowned Noah, 7, John, 5, Paul, 3, Luke, 2, and Mary, six months, in the bathtub in their home. The children were apparently killed approximately one hour after their father, longtime NASA Johnson Space Center computer engineer, left for work.
How many suicide attempts have the had since giving birth? Have the thought nasty and harmful thing toward the child? We don’t really know till we ask and actually get to the bottom of it. ... ... middle of paper ... ...m http://abcnews.to.com/US/Depression/story?id=92935 Dawn, K. (2012, June 20). Teen mother more likely to suffer abuse and postpartum depression than older moms.
Yate’s first conviction promoted debate over whether Texas’ legal standard for mental illness was overly severe and whether the courts viewed postpartum depression with a serious viewpoint. Yate’s lawyer stated she suffered from severe postpartum psychosis and in a delusional mindset when she committed the murders. Yates drowned her children believing Satan lived inside her and believed murdering children saved them from hell. (Woman Not Guilty, 2006). Link between Postpartum Depression and Crime Thorough research of current literature shows experts are unable to find conclusive evidence on whether there is a connection between postpartum psychosis and crime.