Both postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis start after the birth of the child. Postpartum depression is more common. According to research, one in every seven women suffer from postpartum depression after child birth.
Symptoms often vary from patient to patient but the most common ones are anger, anxiety, crying, irritation, moving away from near and dear ones, feelings of numbness, inability to take care of the baby and sometimes thoughts of even hurting the baby.
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These symptoms can have serious effects if they are not taken care of in the early stages. The symptoms can continue appearing for days or even many months. Postpartum depression does not go away on its own, but both mild and severe cases can be successfully treated with different forms of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication.
A mother's depression may affect her child's development, thus receiving treatment is essential for both the mother and the baby. Depression not only hurts the mother, but additionally affects her family. Postpartum depression affects a mother's capability to parent.
Postpartum psychosis is a severe mental condition. It is not as common as postpartum depression but can prove to be fatal for both the mother and the baby. Symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, mood swings, confusion and paranoia.
In case of postpartum psychosis, it becomes incredibly important to seek help immediately and in the proper direction to stabilize the thinking, behaviour and moods of the mother so that she does not end up hurting her baby.
Research has proved that women who have cases of bipolar disorder in their family are more at risk to suffer from postpartum psychosis. In very rare cases, postpartum psychosis has led to infanticide and suicide attempts.
Treatment will almost always need admission to a psychiatric hospital. Some hospitals have mother and infant units, which allow the infant to remain with the mother and where both the mother and the infant can be monitored by medical practitioners.
Medicine is essential for the treatment of postpartum psychosis so as to address the chemical imbalance that leads to the condition. Stabilizers and anti-psychotics are often used.