Postpartum psychosis is a rare, severe, and dangerous form of postpartum depression. It can suddenly occur within the first 3 weeks after childbirth. If you have postpartum psychosis, you may feel detached from your baby and other people. And you may have hallucinations involving smell, touch, sight, or hearing. You may have thoughts not based in reality (delusions) and display strange behaviour. You may also have urges to harm yourself and your child or children.
Postpartum psychosis is most likely to affect people who have bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression. And you are at risk if you've had postpartum psychosis before. It's possible for close family members and friends to not notice the symptoms right away. Untreated postpartum psychosis can get worse quickly and lead to dangerous, irrational behaviour that you can't control.
Postpartum psychosis is considered a psychiatric emergency. It requires immediate hospitalization and treatment.
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Patrice Burgess MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock MD - Psychiatry