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Fathers – Postpartum Psychosis

As you may know I am looking at all areas of Fatherhood and Mental Health. I have thought about this for about two years and as you know we are only now talking about postnatal depression dads more in the media.

As we know father have undiagnosed Bi-polar and schizoaffective disorder. There are many other reasons why mums suffer this horrible postpartum psychosis. Are we looking at Dads? We also know the importance of sleep is for parents and how that can impact on their mental health.

So what is Postpartum Psychosis and how can it impact on the Fathers Mental Health?

1.Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious mental health illness that can affect a woman soon after she has a baby. Many women will experience mild mood changes after having a baby, known as the “baby blues”. This is normal and usually only lasts for a few days. But postpartum psychosis is very different from the “baby blues”. It’s a serious mental illness and should be treated as a medical emergency. It’s sometimes called puerperal psychosis or postnatal psychosis.

1.Symptoms usually start suddenly within the first two weeks after giving birth. More rarely, they can develop several weeks after the baby is born. Symptoms can include: hallucinations delusions – thoughts or beliefs that are unlikely to be true  a manic mood – talking and thinking too much or too quickly, feeling “high” or “on top of the world”  a low mood – showing signs of depression, being withdrawn or tearful, lacking energy, having a loss of appetite, anxiety or trouble sleeping  loss of inhibitions  feeling suspicious or fearful  restlessness  feeling very confused  behaving in a way that’s out of character 1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/post-partum-psychosis/


I would like you to look at this recent research and only research I have found on dads https://casereports.bmj.com/content/2012/bcr.11.2011.5176

Postpartum psychosis is a rare, however severe mood disorder in the perinatal period. It is most commonly associated with postpartum bipolar disorder. The author reports a case where a male patient with psychosis was admitted to the psychiatric unit 5 days after his wife gave birth to their male child. The patient was very concerned about the well being of his child and was afraid that something bad would happen to his child. The patient was diagnosed with an acute manic episode with psychotic symptoms and treated with olanzapine and lithium. The patient has been continued on therapeutic dose of lithium without any relapse of the symptoms, 3 months after the initial episode. The role of psychological stress in precipitating such a severe mood or psychotic disorder needs to be highlighted.

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