Understanding Postpartum Psychosis


Knowing the Signs of Postpartum Psychosis | This Morning

Video taken from the channel: This Morning


Living With Postpartum Psychosis

Video taken from the channel: Channel 4 Documentary


Postnatal Psychosis: The stigma of mothers with mental illness

Video taken from the channel: The Feed SBS


Postpartum Psychosis Katy’s Story

Video taken from the channel: NHS England and NHS Improvement


What is postpartum psychosis? Teresa Twomey at TEDxBushnellPark

Video taken from the channel: TEDx Talks


Understanding Postpartum Psychosis | Rachael Watters | TEDxHieronymusPark

Video taken from the channel: TEDx Talks


Postpartum psychosis: A mother’s story | BBC Tomorrow’s World

Video taken from the channel: Wellcome Trust

Offering an understanding of postpartum psychosis, this riveting book explains what happens and why during this temporary and dangerous disorder that develops for some women rapidly after childbirth. Most of us are familiar with the baby blues, a passing sadness that strikes 50 to 75 percent of new mothers after delivery. Postpartum psychosis is a very serious illness.

About one in 20 women may try to harm herself or her baby. Your risk for suicide can rise greatly for. Offering an understanding of postpartum psychosis, this riveting book explains what happens and why during this temporary and dangerous disorder that develops for some women rapidly after childbirth. Most of us are familiar with the baby blues, a passing sadness that strikes 50 to 75 percent of new mothers after delivery.

Offering an understanding of postpartum psychosis, this riveting book explains what happens and why during this temporary and dangerous disorder that develops for some women rapidly after childbirth. Most of us are familiar with the baby blues, a passing sadness that strikes 50 to 75 percent of new mothers after delivery. Understanding Postpartum Psychosis. Postpartum psychosis is a rare and very serious type of depression that can occur after pregnancy.

It mainly affects women who have a personal or family history of bipolar disorder, or who had a past psychotic disorder. Postpartum psychosis is a medical emergency. Dr.

Lee S. Cohen. Postpartum psychosis is relatively rare, with an incidence of 1 in 1,000 births, but it is one of the most serious complications of modern obstetrics. Clinically, women can experience rapid mood changes, most often with the presentation that is consistent with a manic-like psychosis, with associated symptoms of delusional thinking, hallucinations, paranoia. Postpartum psychosis is a group of severe mental illness that affects a new mom during her postpartum period.

Though it is a very severe condition, it rarely happens, like, one or two among thousand new mothers. The beginning of the symptoms happens generally within three days after giving birth to the baby. Postpartum psychosis is a rare illness, it is not postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is an agitated over-worrying state where the mother or father clings to the baby and has a difficult time trusting others to care for the baby. Postpartum psychosis leads to homicide or and suicide. Early in the history of medicine it was recognized that severe mental illness sometimes started abruptly in the days after childbirth. This became known as puerperal or postpartum psychosis.

Gradually it became clear that this was not a single and unique entity, but a group of at least twenty distinct disorders. In extremely rare cases less than 1 percent of new mothers women may develop something called postpartum psychosis. It usually occurs within the first few weeks after delivery. Symptoms may include refusing to eat, frantic energy, sleep disturbance, paranoia and irrational thoughts.

Women with postpartum psychosis usually need to be hospitalised.

List of related literature:

Postpartum psychosis is characterized by serious mood instabilities that peak from 48 hours to 2 weeks postpartum.

“Foundations of Maternal-Newborn and Women's Health Nursing E-Book” by Sharon Smith Murray, Emily Slone McKinney
from Foundations of Maternal-Newborn and Women’s Health Nursing E-Book
by Sharon Smith Murray, Emily Slone McKinney
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2017

There is no such thing as “transient postpartum psychosis,” nor is any postpartum psychosis considered benign or physiologic.

“Swanson's Family Medicine Review E-Book” by Alfred F. Tallia, Joseph E. Scherger, Nancy Dickey
from Swanson’s Family Medicine Review E-Book
by Alfred F. Tallia, Joseph E. Scherger, Nancy Dickey
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012

Postpartum psychosis is associated with rapid onset (within 2 weeks of delivery) and has a clinical presentation similar to a delirium or a manic episode/mixed state with psychotic features (i.e., agitation, confusion, rapidly shifting mood, insomnia, delusions).

“Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders Across the Lifespan” by Stephanie M. Woo, Carolyn Keatinge
from Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders Across the Lifespan
by Stephanie M. Woo, Carolyn Keatinge
Wiley, 2016

Symptoms of postpartum psychosis include depression, anxiety, irritation, tiredness, and sleep disturbances as well as behavior that tends to change throughout the day from clear consciousness to total loss of reality.

“New Dimensions In Women's Health” by Linda Alexander, Judith LaRosa, Helaine Bader, Susan Garfield
from New Dimensions In Women’s Health
by Linda Alexander, Judith LaRosa, et. al.
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2009

Major depression and brief psychotic disorder with postpartum onset (postpartum psychosis) are more serious reactions than postpartum blues and are treated with antidepressant and antipsychotic medications (Table 1-3) (and see Chapters 11 and 12).

“Behavioral Science” by Barbara Fadem
from Behavioral Science
by Barbara Fadem
Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009

Postpartum psychosis tends to show onset within 2 weeks postpartum; however, it can present later in the course of the illness as a depression (Sadocket al., 2009).

“Maternity and Women's Health Care E-Book” by Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, Shannon E. Perry, Mary Catherine Cashion, Kathryn Rhodes Alden
from Maternity and Women’s Health Care E-Book
by Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, Shannon E. Perry, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014

Postpartum psychosis refers to an acute onset of overt psychotic symptoms in the first 6 weeks postpartum.

“Textbook of Therapeutics: Drug and Disease Management” by Richard A. Helms, David J. Quan
from Textbook of Therapeutics: Drug and Disease Management
by Richard A. Helms, David J. Quan
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006

The rare and severe postpartum experience of postpartum psychosis is when a woman experiences hallucinations or delusions with other symptoms.

“Therapist's Guide to Clinical Intervention: The 1-2-3's of Treatment Planning” by Sharon L. Johnson
from Therapist’s Guide to Clinical Intervention: The 1-2-3’s of Treatment Planning
by Sharon L. Johnson
Elsevier Science, 2003

Although postpartum psychosis is, by definition, severe and may persist for a considerable period, it is usually diagnosed as, for example, manic episode, depressive episode, or brief psychotic episode.

“Postpartum Depression and Child Development” by Lynne Murray, Peter J. Cooper
from Postpartum Depression and Child Development
by Lynne Murray, Peter J. Cooper
Guilford Publications, 1999

Instead, postpartum onset can be specified for any mood disorder either without psychotic features (i.e., PPD) or with psychotic features (i.e., postpartum psychosis) if the onset occurs within 4 weeks of childbirth (APA, 2000).

“Maternal Child Nursing Care” by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, David Wilson
from Maternal Child Nursing Care
by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, et. al.
Elsevier, 2013

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Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

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  • I had severe postpartum depression with my second child who is almost 14. Now I’m pregnant with my third, very unplanned and unexpected and I’m scared to death. I have bipolar, BPD, anxiety disorder, bulimia and I’ve had to come off all of my meds.

  • Thank you so much for sharing. You truly are such a beautiful soul. I felt your pain i cried with you hun! The female mind is so powerful its truly unfair what we have to go through mentally










  • I had serious ppd after the birth of my second baby. She was a 32 weeker and our physical separation negatively impacted our bond. She had difficulty and so did I. Never in my life have I ever violent intrusive thoughts before. I don’t want to even describe the videos that played in my mind. There’s no way I would’ve gone through with it, I would’ve killed myself before hurting her. I kept it a secret from my husband and everyone for months (but he revealed he knew it all along). CPS was investigating me over a report which didn’t help me at all. I paid $500 for a psych eval and was sent on my way.

  • Can this happen to someone about losing the child, rather than it being replaced? I just had my son 2 1/2 weeks ago and i really feel not okay. I cry over everything, sometimes i feel like someone is just going to walk up and hurt my baby, or take him and run but no replacement.

  • God Bless you!! I’m so sorry that you went through this trauma. Thank you for talking about it publicly. I’m so glad you are okay ������

  • “relaxing mama prenatal” by secretsoftea.com a natural cure to get over postpartum depression, this an herbal tea for moms struggling with postpartum depression. Having a cup before the meal is the trick to overcome the symptoms.

  • Can anyone tell me what a father is suppose to do during a time like this? I know women with PPD are more likely to kill their children so I’m just trying to find ways to keep my child safe. I fear for their safety. It just sucks to know there’s no support for husbands with wives who have PPD.

  • Never thought I’d get it but I did. I was so miserable I didn’t want to be a mom anymore. I didn’t care about school, I was irritated all the time, anxious about everything, bitter towards everybody at work and hated that it happened to me. There was even moments where I cried while driving convincing myself I’ll never be happy again. Those were the days I truly felt alone. Took me a year to get over it

  • I belive this happens when you have a traumatic childhood. When you have your own baby all those very scary things start to come to surface.

  • I’m getting help.. I’ve always had depression and been on meds but after my 5 month old was born..I got sick again…the impact thus has had on my relationship with her dad is horrible..I’m a horrible person

  • Wow people making having children seem like the pinnacle of womanhood. These videos are making really re-think that notion society has fed me until my current age of 25.

  • Some of these comments are horrendous.. why are so many people getting their knickers in a twist over a mental illness that has nothing to do with them?

  • I was SAVED from postpartum Psychosis thanks to a story like this one that I red in a blog. I red about it during pregnancy. 3 days after delivery, I stopped sleeping completely. Day 5 I was convinced that I was going to die immediately of starvation and called emergency the first time, but wasn’t able to get help. Day 6 I started hallucinating. In a moment of clarity I realised I was sliding into psychosis and called emergency again. This time the ambulance came and I was admitted to hospital. I got specialised help so fast that it did not become worse and the hallucinations stopped immediatly. Doctors told me that I did everything wright and it was a matter of hours before I would have been “beyond reality” and then they would have no other choice but keep me for 6-8 weeks.

    I bless every woman who has the courage to speak about this in public, you are saving lives and mother-baby relationships <3

  • This is just superb, I been tryin to find out about “best way to beat depression and anxiety” for a while now, and I think this has helped. Ever heard of Hanincoln Nanlivia Framework (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now )? Ive heard some extraordinary things about it and my neighbour got excellent success with it.

  • Thank you so much for your courage to increase awareness. My wife suffered from postpartum psychosis and it has been devastating. My hope is to also increase awareness, particularly to help men understand and support their wives.

  • Used in PPD as well. To learn about the use of electroshock/ECT see videos under youtube heading of ectjustice and that will pull up several from testing following ECT to medical malpractice claims we are working to bring in addition to product liability suit. This is used for a variety of mental health issues and involves 5 billion annually in US alone. Contact the DK law group in CA if you have had ECT. Once you have learned the truth of this procedure I hope you will speak out on public social media so others are also aware. Given Covid many will be offered this to deal with mental health issues and need the truth. Often used and promoted in suicidal patients, but there is an actual an increase in suicide following.

  • I myself married and my wife suffered thru this we had to keep her protected and also our baby. Thank God to family! Woman going thru this need alot of suppport. My heart also grieves for those who keep quiet and don’t ask for help.

  • Thank you so much Teresa Twomey. I am so sorry for what you have been through. Thanks for talking about Postpartum Psychosis (PPP) is a very rare, serious mental health condition that need emergency help and this illness doesn’t choose who you are. We need to prepare. I like that you mentioned that women need to seek help and need to be educated, also the spouses friends and family need to be educated also the professional health providers as well so they know how to treat the women/ moms when they seek for help. And the help will be available. Thanks for sharing your story and the famous story of Andrea Yates that opened my eyes that PPP has hallucinations and delusions and moms could harm themselves and their babies even it is very rare but it was happening when Andrea Yates killed all her 5 children by drowning then in her bathtub at her home. This was such a horrible and such a tragic events. It could be prevented if the women/ moms recognise the signs and symptoms. This tragic could be prevented if moms and her spouses, family and friends have a broad education and training what to do and to prepare if they have postpartum psychosis and seek the help immediately, get the right treatments May be seek help with psychiatrist, professional medical doctors, psychotherapy and the rights medication will help to speed up the recovery and prevent for another episodes to come. Thank God that you are completely healed. There is hope and healing for postpartum psychosis. It is treatable and preventable. Most important, get help immediately the moment moms/ women see the signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis. What a great lesson from this TED talk. Once again thank you so much,Theresa Townes for sharing your story and helping other moms and to let them know that they are not alone. Friends and family and support group can help them through. I am so happy that you wrote a book “ Understanding Postpartum Psychosis: A Temporary Madness Book. I would recommend your books to anyone. It is very helpful. I am using your book as one of my sources for my Exploring Mental Health Psychology class at DMACC with my Prof.Anthony Stevens. I just finished writing my research paper with the title “ why educating moms on postpartum psychosis is so important “ right now. Thanks for the you tube video and for writing the book. I will share your TED Talk on my Facebook. Hope everyone can learn and can help other moms who have signs and symptoms of postpartum of postpartum psychosis. May God bless you abundantly,❤️��

  • What courage!  I love that you address the issue that many women with PPP don’t harm their child but are truly traumatized by the psychotic episode and experience ongoing anxiety that it could happen again.  Thanks.

  • Thank you so much for creating awareness re: PPP!! I also survived this condition. Unfortunately, 12 years when I went thru PPP, there was not much info on the subject and it terrfying thinking of the possibility of remaining this way!

  • This woman is so brave sharing her story, you could tell it was a struggle to tell her heavy truth. My heart breaks for the pain her mind put her through. I’m pregnant with my first and am so thankful to have the knowledge this exists in case I’m one of the sad few who go through this. And will make sure to check in with every mother in my life in the future. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • My partner doesn’t have post partum psychosis but something is seriously wrong. I can’t have a normal conversation without it becoming a crazy argument. I ma trying but at this stage i want to headbutt a fucking icepick.

  • What she is saying is true. Women must have people around them to recognize the symptoms. Unlike Andrea Yates husband. And we can’t be ashamed for seeking help

  • My daughter is serving a prison sentence of 13 years, we didn’t know the symptoms of this killer. We need laws to protect moms when they find themselves in this situation.

  • I had postpartum depression really bad when I had my baby. It started about a few days after I came home with my baby. I had horrible thoughts of hurting them and would break down when my family mentioned my loss of independence. When my baby was 14 days old I made an appointment and saw a midwife, told her how I felt and what was going on and I was put on medication that was safe for me and my baby (breast feeding at the time), and started therapy.

    What hurt was I told my husband and my mom and both denied what I was going through. My husband said get over it and my mom was a little supportive but she didn’t understand.

    It was later my mom sat down with me and said that she went through postpartum depression but they didn’t have the support they do now. Her friends and family came in to help her during that time. I’m thankful that I sought out help and I’m a big advocate of new moms seeking help when they notice the signs.

  • My wife was cured of postpartum depression. My wife Maya was a 32-year-old fit, vibrant lawyer. we been married for more than five years and was expecting our first child, a baby boy. She had a history of depression and generalised anxiety disorder. She was doing well with a combination of medication and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for many years. Maya had decided in the months leading up to getting pregnant that she wanted to be off medication and worked with her psychiatrist to carefully get off medication. She continued weekly therapy. She was mostly active, upbeat and cheerful during her pregnancy. She gave birth to a healthy 7.3-pound baby boy. After the delivery, she started to feel sad, overwhelmed and consistently tearful. She frequently felt irritable and on edge. This feeling persisted for the first 10 weeks after the baby was born. My wife felt utterly incapable of soothing our baby and get frustrated and tearful. She was so afraid of what she had learned about sudden infant death (SIDS), that she would barely allow herself to sleep. She felt that it was a constant race against the clock—with nursing, pumping and changing. She was always cleaning bottles and diapers. She felt horrified with how she looked. She had expected to wear pre-pregnancy clothes immediately after childbirth. She hadn’t had a meal in peace or gotten her hair or nails done and couldn’t even think about having sex. My wife’s psychiatrist said she could’t control Maya’s mental state. They talked about a variety of tools, including CBT, incorporating 15-20 minutes of daily relaxation, mindfulness skills, hiring help, getting her Mom to stay with her for a few weeks and other support. I understood the urgency of the situation and offered to take time off work and to do some of the overnight feedings. Nor of this could work as she get more worried. She always feel tearful and felt she was a “failure as a Mom.” our baby cry incessantly and she could barely get sleep. Our baby also had high level of bilirubin and had a bit of neonatal jaundice and she blamed herself for it. After being monitored in the NICU, he was sent home. postpartum depression got my wife frustrated until we got to do some search is there could be a permanent way to cure it and found a testimony of a lady cured by Dr odia, After being monitored in the NICU, We decide to contact the Herbalist for a cure. All our pains and sorrows turn to joy and history from the day we came in contact with Dr Odia, Who really help with his herbal herbs, I WAS TOLD HE IS A HERBALS AND HE CAN BE OF HELP, We gave him a try and it really worked for my wife, if anyone having same issue you can reach him via: ( Dr Odia Herbalist Home) on Facebook or via( [email protected]) He will help get your heart desire granted.

  • Having a small child is a miracle, women don’t enough credit for taking care and giving birth to children what a gynormous event…women need much more care and safety following a birth. and when a woman has more than one child they need help caring for those children and they need to have time for themselves and excercise. Her body is deprived of nutritents she needs a fullfilling diet but also mental health care, not all women have mommy freinds or even single freinds who can come over to care for the child with them just to talk. Having a talk with freinds that have baby is so vital. Giving birth to a child and caring for one aftewards is probably one of the most stressful things you can do in life. As amazing as it can be its so full of anxiety and is super draining. For mothers who feel trapped or coerced to have a baby from a partner or spouse, its a recipe for disaster. Also if she is not excercsing and has a healthy diet, it could be so so depressing. Excercise brings your spirit up and raises your conciousness. It seems that this woman on stage didn’t want to have so many kids and many women who are passive find it hard to communicate those feelings they get swept up in the mans idea of what life he wants and he forgets to check in with her to see how shes feeling, he was running with his wife getting her to excercise he knew what having so many children back to back would do to her he knew.

  • Although I have responded to comments here, this is NOT the best way to reach me or to reach help.  And if you or someone you know may be suffering, local emergency services may be the best immediate action.

  • I wished I would’ve found my wife help sooner. I’m taking care of our two children now while she is involuntarily being held on Florida’s Baker Act. 72 hours and she still isn’t home. The state is recommending a state hospital. I hope she gets better before this happens! Please pray for me, my family, and my wife!

  • Thank you for sharing. I experienced postpartum psychosis just 5 months ago. Luckily, I had a support system that recognized I wasn’t myself, and I received the treatment I needed.

  • My wife going through ppp and having loranzapine with sideeffects.any idea how long does it take to get over with,also if there is anything better than that “medicine”?

  • Amazing talk….my Mom had this…I had postpartum depression..46yrs ago…FINALLY, with your speech, I understand my mother and what happened, also myself…this was VERY healing to me, even at this stage of my life…God bless you…KEEP SPEAKING for all women…a must know…thank you so very much..xo

  • I am currently suffering from PPP. Its been 6 months since the onset when my daughter was a week old. I thought it was just an anxiety attack since I suffered from them and depression for 15 years. After about 3 days of no improving symptoms and only 2 hours total sleep, I made myself believe that it was Postpartum depression. I told myself that I was tough enough to cure myself and so I believed that I just had cured myself. I can remember every detail of every single hallucintion, most times they would last 12 hr’s and I’d slowly creep back to reality before the next one hit. No sleep, no nourishment, often went a full 24 hours without a sip of water. My husband has filed for divorce and i don’t know what to do. I showed him this video and he says that they will take my daughter from me if I even mention psychosis. I’m scared to seek help now

  • you are so awesome! thanks for sharing your story, this illness is so underreported. I had more of the PPD during pregnancy and some OCD after delivery. I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during my first pregnancy and voluntarily hospitalized myself in psychiatric hospital because my family and ob/GYN were clueless to the imbalance I was suffering. God bless you for your work to increase awareness to this very real condition.

  • I got this almost a year until now..they already 12 years but I always in counter D’s, wat should I do somebody can help me her…? I don’t know wat to do I’m single mother of a twin..

  • I sometimes think my children or family isn’t real or that the baby is a demon child and I just wait and check that there aren’t two children in the crib so I’m not picking up the demon. But then I am self aware that it’s just my irrational side that’s thinking that and they’re real and not demons. I’m currently on anti depressants and I’m really scared to tell my doctors what is really going on in case they think I’m unsuitable to be a mother and take my children away. I’ve been battling depression since my first born who’s turning 5 this year and I have two more younger. I thought at the beginning of my treatment that it’ll be only up to a year maximum but I think it’s just a life time long treatment plan at this point. Sorry about the long post but I don’t feel comfortable talking to people I know including my husband as to what extent it’s bad.

  • I’m a bit worried about this… I have these thoughts all the time about my family, I’m paranoid about my family being in car accidents, I think of my nephew sometimes falling off or I just imagine bad things and it terrifies me. I’m pregnant and having my baby soon and I don’t know how I will react now that I know this actually happens…

  • I appreciate what your saying
    But y cant men feel like this in a slite way. I’m old school but yet I felt like this n I felt less of a person because of this. I wudnt change n e thing for the world cuz my son is the going to b the best thing that happen to me n is going to change this world for the better in anything that he wants to. U can ignore my comment n I really don’t mind but your son or daughter will prove u wrong n I will b glad of it when they give me the life saving treatment. Weather it b mentally or physically. This day n age we need to understand that pressures can affect us all coz so much is affects us from judgement n prejudice no matter how ppl perceive us. We have our own styles but ultimately it’s what we do for our kids that define us.

  • So proud of you, Teresa! I agree with you completely about the need for better awareness and education surrounding women’s mental health issues, specifically postpartum psychosis. I applaud you for bravely sharing your story to help others. I write about my experience for the same reasons. If we help just one family then it is most certainly worth it. Thank you.

  • I’m still sometimes dealing with my psychosis. Luckily I asked for help with it before it got “bad” and I was able to keep it from getting actually bad.

    This lady is strong! I would have bit, hit kicked, punched, everything I could if they took me away from my kids.

  • Stress, trauma, lack of sleep, physical pain, isolation ALL factors that can cause a psychotic episode and ALL experienced by new moms.
    Psychotic episodes can happen to anyone you don’t need to be depressed or bipolar or anything first.

  • Very courageous of you to share your story. I’m a mother of 3 and have never suffered from postpartum or baby blues but telling your story will certainly help those that do! Kudos to you!!

  • I work in mental health and I never dreamed that my own post partum journey would have included depression with psychotic features. I remember crying hysterically on the floor as I held my week old son believing I was a terrible mother but I couldn’t sleep because FACS would remove my baby. It was terrible but I got through it by the skin of my teeth. We need to do more for mothers with PNP. We need more awareness, more mother and baby units / beds, more attachment based interventions. We have to support our Baby Daddys for the extra roles many take. We have a long way to go but we are at least having the conversation. This video brought forth a wrath of forgotten emotions but a commonality in that together our voice becomes a roar…

  • I am currently recovering from this. It is really hard. I’d like someone to release a video talking about their recovery journey to give me hope in mine. I’m 7 months in and some days I just feel like I can’t do it anymore.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story! There is so much stigma around people with mental health, especially people with psychosis. I am a 17 with schizophrenia, I have struggled for years with it. I have been in and out of doctors and hospitals since I was a kid. I have just got on track after years of not being able to function as a normal kid.