Postpartum Psychosis: For The Mom In You
Posted on 24 April 2020
The moment you conceive or give birth to a baby, you usually spread the word beginning with - Good news! Not only parents but relatives are also happy and welcome their new member to the family with great fanfare. Despite the discomfort, the new mom is also on cloud nine. With so much of a celebration surrounding the new mom, it is far from your imagination that postpartum psychosis could set in within two weeks of the arrival of the new baby. So, are you familiar with the term postpartum psychosis? Well, we all have heard of baby blues where the new mom has mood swings. It looks like no big deal to have a postpartum effect of having a baby since most moms undergo this phase. However, psychosis depression is different. It is a major depressive disorder and a severe mental health illness that you find in new mothers. Another name of postpartum psychosis is puerperal psychosis or postnatal psychosis.
Usually, postnatal depression disappears after a few days, but postpartum psychosis may appear suddenly and could begin to develop several weeks after your baby is born. You should not take it lightly. You should treat it as a medical emergency, and contact your doctor immediately. There is, however, no need to panic because it is a rare case of mental depression. You should not consider every postpartum depression as postpartum psychosis. Now, you must be confused and must be wondering how you would identify postpartum psychosis. Here are some clues that will help you recognize the symptoms.
Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms Of Postpartum Psychosis
You or your partner can very easily spot if something is wrong if you have these following symptoms of postpartum psychosis. Keep a close watch because these symptoms may kick in within the first or the second week after delivery of a baby. Medical intervention is needed on an urgent basis if you find that the symptoms persist over a long duration, and you continue to get consistent violent thoughts.
- Hallucinations – Apart from the common signs and symptoms of depression in women, you could begin to have figments of the imagination. You may hear, smell, see, and even have strange thoughts that may not exist. For instance, you may see horses galloping instead of cars racing on the road. You may start believing that someone is poisoning your food. Even worse, you may begin to have a suicidal tendency, or you think of harming the newborn. Before any mishap occurs, you must rush into an emergency for major depressive disorder treatments.
- Rapid Mood Swings – This is also called manic mood. One moment you could be feeling that you are on the top of the world, and the next minute you could be feeling down or tearful. The sudden burst of abrupt changes in mood could become difficult for you to understand yourself. You may not behave as your original self, and this could overwhelm you with confusion.
- Inability To Sleep – It is quite apparent that after having a baby, you may have to toss out the theory of getting a good night's sleep. Your little bundle of joy would demand your bundle of attention. From changing a diaper to breastfeeding, you may not sleep a wink throughout the night. Your baby will keep you on guard 24 x 7. Even a healthy person is paranoid and irritated due to lack of sleep. In the case of postpartum psychosis, the patient cannot get a bit of shut-eye even when given a chance to sleep. Sleep disorders such as insomnia could lead to major depressive disorder.
- Problem Communicating – Mothers who have postpartum psychosis may speak as if they are drunk. The signs and symptoms of depression are hidden in the way you communicate with others. Psychosis depression could pose difficulty in interacting with your family members. The sentence formation could be jumbled. Furthermore, you may find it challenging to communicate your thoughts and arrange the words in an orderly fashion to make it meaningful.
Causes Of Postpartum Psychosis
Now you must be wondering if postpartum psychosis could happen to you. Since this is a rare and major depressive disorder, it occurs one out of every thousand new mothers. So who would be at risk of postpartum psychosis? Well, you need to worry about this only if you have been suffering from unipolar depression earlier as well. Remember, not all deep depression after giving birth is postpartum psychosis. Listed below are some of the main reasons that increase the risk of postpartum psychosis.
- You need to be concerned if you have had a family history of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. If someone in your family is mentally disabled, then you could be at risk of having psychotic depression.
- In most cases, mothers who had postpartum psychosis after their first pregnancy may have to deal with it again in their second or third pregnancy.
- Sometimes, traumatic pregnancy could be one of the causes of major depressive disorder.
How To Get Rid Of Anxiety Disorder Or Postpartum Psychosis
Once you identify the signs and symptoms of depression and the causes of psychotic depression, you need to ask yourself how you should be dealing with anxiety post-pregnancy. Calm down! Postpartum psychosis can be cured. For starters, you can reach out for help, and share your problem with your partner, family member, or friends. Here are some depressive disorder treatments.
- Home Remedies For Anxiety – Your hormones undergo upheaval during the entire course of having a baby. It has a tremendous effect on your mental and physical well being. To nip the evil in the bud, you can take some preventive measures or try out some home remedies to reduce postpartum anxiety.
- Herbal Therapy – Do you prefer to drink hot beverages? Then, you can try herbal tea or formula, which includes ashwagandha, blue vervain, oat straw, chamomile. Drinking herbal tea has a calming effect and can ease postpartum anxiety. Do not worry; these herbs are safe if you are a breastfeeding mother.
- Aroma Therapy – Sweet fragrance can relax the tense nerves. Natural oil, such as jasmine, orange, tea tree, etc. help in healing. The aroma of natural plant extracts enhances mental and emotional health. Rest assured that the non-chemical based fragrance is one of the natural cures for depression, and will not harm the baby.
- Healthy Eating – Eating a balanced diet should never be a choice. It would be best if you ensure that you get your daily dosage of omega 3, vitamin B12 through natural sources such as avocados, chia seeds, fish, etc. Such food is essential for the healthy functioning of your brain.
- Walking - Add a little sunshine into your life and watch how much better you will begin to feel. Take some time out for yourself, and go out for a walk in the open air. When you soak up the sun and feel the breeze in your hair, you will connect yourself with nature.
- Counseling Therapy For Depression – A visit to a therapist near you could be one of the most natural cures for depression after the delivery of your baby. The first step towards your well being is to contact a therapist to diagnose the problem. Sometimes, talking about your problem can help you relieve you from psychotic depression. Your psychologist can navigate you towards positive thinking and lead you to live a healthy life. Online therapists are also available in case you cannot go out for medical assistance for psychosis depression. You can treat a mild postpartum psychosis through online help for depression. However, for more major depressive disorder, it is advisable to visit the clinic.
- Medication - Some medicines stop hallucinations, reduce depression, stabilize rapid mood swings, and prevent violent thoughts. Some drugs like antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers are helpful. Examples include Lithium, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Lithobid, Lamictal, etc. which provide instant anxiety relief. The degree of effectiveness may vary from person to person. However, you should not breastfeed your baby if you are under medication because they pass into the child through breast milk.
- Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy (ECT) – Doctors use ECT only when they fail to provide relief to the psychosis patient via medication and counseling therapy for depression. You could avoid electroconvulsive therapy, but it is a proven treatment for major depressive disorder. When natural cure for depression do not work, you may have to undergo ECT.
Having a baby is blissful. Do not allow anxiety and depression to steal the beautiful moments between you and your baby. You should try to avoid any emotional and mental frustration by using preventive measures. If that does not work, then you should always try natural cures for depression first. Undoubtedly, the baby needs all the pampering. However, you won’t disagree with the fact that every new mother should pamper herself as well so that she is in excellent mental, emotional, and physical condition to care for her baby. Your health can have a significant impact on your newborn. So act wisely and never hesitate to contact a therapist near you to discuss your problem. Shouldn’t you act wisely before things turn ugly, and out of control?