Thursday, 1 November 2012

Post partum depression and psychosis

 I found the account on the news of Felicia Boot who was convicted of the manslaughter of her nine week old son and fourteen month old daughter absolutely harrowing. The judge said the killing of the children  was the result of psychological forces that were "beyond her control" and that it was "an indescribably sad case.

Post natal depression is an extremely common illness but one which is often not well recognised or well treated, yet the way this illness is dealt with can mean the difference between a living or dead baby,  mother or both.  Post partum psychosis, which is an extreme and delusional form of post natal depression is one of the most severe psychiatric illnesses known and can develop very rapidly, often over the space of days rather than weeks. This account from the mental health blog, Time to Change, offers a powerful story but one with a happier ending that the tragedy described in the news yesterday.

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