Sunday, September 18, 2011

Let's just talk for a moment about postpartum psychosis

I'm not a doctor and I am not diagnosing anything here - but I'm going from fact.

I learned last week that Dr. Phil (Can't stand the guy so this is second hand knowledge - I didn't see the show) interviewed Casey Anthoney's mom, who stated that she thought her daughter had suffered some form of Postpartum Psychosis. This made me so angry I couldn't speak clearly. Below is FACT, which you can find on the Postpartum Support International website. The link is now provided on the left hand side of the screen for easy access :)

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 4 weeks postpartum. (Important because her daughter was 2. 2 YEARS old.)
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
I had to get this one off my chest because there is already so much misinformation out there. The moms who really do have Postpartum Psychosis and make the news or the moms who DON'T have it and the news people decide they did for a good story, well that just makes it that much more difficult for Non-Postpartum Psychosis moms to speak up when they are having scary thoughts (THOUGHTS, not INTENT - very different!) or feel that they have a big problem on their hands with Postpartum Depression, etc.

Some moms take months to reach out for help in fear that people will judge them and think they are going to hurt their baby or that they want to hurt their baby. Some won't even tell friends what is happening in fear the friend will no longer allow them around their children. Very sad indeed :(

In my non-medical opinion, Casey Anthony has many issues. No one knows what happened with her story but her. However, to blame any of what took place on Postpartum Mood Disorders that she wasn't diagnosed with or showed any symptoms of is just wrong. This type of story, on a show that people watch for INFORMATION (I assume that's why they watch - it's not like Phil is amazing to look at...), makes me sad. It's misleading and now we have thousands of people saying "oh, that's what Postpartum Mood Disorder looks like" when in reality, as stated above, Postpartum Psychosis happens in .1% of births. Just remember that. Please.

There is a reason I don't watch Dr. Phil.

The End.

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