International Journal of Midwifery and Nursing Practice
2022, Vol. 5, Issue 1, Part A
Puerperal psychosis: An overview
Vidya Garad and Ajit More
Psychosis is a condition that affects the way your brain processes information. It causes you to lose touch with reality. You might see, hear, or believe things that aren’t real. Psychosis is a symptom, not an illness. It can be triggered by a mental illness, a physical injury or illness, substance abuse, or extreme stress or trauma .
Postpartum Psychosis is a severe mental health condition following childbirth, with a psychosis and associated mood disturbance. Research to date has primarily focused on mothers’ experiences, and on identifying risk factors, aetiology, and intervention efficacy .
Postpartum psychosis (PPP) is a rare and serious psychiatric disorder occurring in the early postnatal period. Some consider PPP a distinct clinical entity with characteristic symptoms, such as mood lability, decreased sleep, delusions, disorganized and erratic behaviour, and perplexity/confusion. Others consider PPP to encompass any psychotic illness occurring in the postpartum period, such as postpartum depression or an exacerbation of schizophrenia. A personal history of bipolar disorder, as well as a prior episode of PPP, significantly increases the risk of developing PPP. With a high suicide (4%) and infanticide rate (4%), it is a psychiatric emergency and needs prompt evaluation in a monitored setting .