Postpartum Psychosis is a rare illness compared to the rates of postpartum depression or anxiety. It occurs in approximately 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 deliveries, or approximately .1% of births. The onset is usually sudden, most often within the first 2 weeks postpartum.


In an Emergency

Call the emergency hotline 1-800-273-8255.  Emergency Hotlines are available all the time. It is very important that you reach out right now and find the support and information you need to be safe. Call for yourself or someone you care about; available 24/7.


Symptoms

Symptoms of postpartum psychosis can include:

  • Delusions or strange beliefs
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
  • Feeling very irritated
  • Hyperactivity
  • Decreased need for or inability to sleep
  • Paranoia and suspiciousness
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Difficulty communicating at times

The most significant risk factors for postpartum psychosis are a personal or family history of bipolar disorder, or a previous psychotic episode.

It is also important to know that many survivors of postpartum psychosis never had delusions containing violent commands. Delusions take many forms, and not all of them are destructive. Most women who experience postpartum psychosis do not harm themselves or anyone else. However, there is always the risk of danger because psychosis includes delusional thinking and irrational judgment, and this is why women with this illness must be quickly assessed, treated, and carefully monitored by a trained healthcare perinatal mental health professional.

Postpartum psychosis is temporary and treatable with professional help, but it is an emergency and it is essential that you receive immediate help. If you feel you or someone you know may be suffering from this illness, know that it is not your fault and you are not to blame. Call your doctor or an emergency crisis hotline right away so that you can get the help you need.

PSI also has two Postpartum Psychosis Coordinators to provide additional assistance to women and families who are not in an emergency situation.

Michele Davidson
703-298-3247 | michelerdavidson@gmail.com

Felice Reddy
919-213-0537 | felicereddyphd@gmail.com


Online Support Group

PSI has created an online peer-to-peer support group for PPP survivors. This group is intended for those who are in recovery (no longer experiencing psychosis). Whether your PPP experience was relatively recent or years ago, you are welcome to attend our free, online peer-to-peer support group.

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