Essay On Postpartum Depression

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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”. Approximately 72%-88% of mothers who experience postpartum psychosis (PP) have bipolar illness, schizo-affective disorder or a family history of either which is why PP is classified as a psychotic disorder by the APAA.
Many women who are affected by postpartum psychosis are too afraid or embarrassed to come forward and claim the disorder. This is dangerous for both mother and child(ren) as the disorder has a 5% suicide rate and a 4% infanticide rate. Even if there is no physical harm done to the child there may be emotional harm. The behaviors that are exhibited by the mother to the child may “interfere with the children's emerging cognitive skills...”(Sohr-Preston & Scaramella, 2006). It has been theorized both before and after birth the mothers' health, physical and emotional, may affect the child's cognitive skills later in li...

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...omeone do this to their child?”. There have been many similar cases where the mother was found not guilty, so why was Yates found guilty? The answer may come from the website Andrea Yates: Ill or Evil? “In America, there are no clear standards in court for dealing with mentally ill mothers—not even in the same city.” This is a sad, but true statement. People tend to use their own morals and experiences as how they perceive things. Of course what Andrea Yates did was wrong, but she was also seriously ill.
Postpartum psychosis is an extremely scary and dangerous disorder. PP is treatable, however there are no guidelines for treatment at this time. Most patients have been treated using a combination of pharmaceuticals and psychotherapy. Even though treatment options are still being evaluated, the sooner any treatment starts the better off mother and child are.
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