Understanding Postpartum Psychosis: A Temporary Madness

Understanding Postpartum Psychosis: A Temporary Madness

by Teresa M. Twomey


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Understanding Postpartum Psychosis: A Temporary Madness by Teresa M. Twomey

Offering an understanding of postpartum psychosis, this riveting book explains what happens and why during this temporary and dangerous disorder that develops for some women rapidly after childbirth. Most of us are familiar with the baby blues, a passing sadness that strikes 50 to 75 percent of new mothers after delivery. And most of us understand postpartum depression, a sadness post-delivery that lingers for weeks or months for an estimated one in every 10 new mothers. But a more serious form of disorder that strikes up to one in every 500 is postpartum psychosis - triggering severe agitation, confusion, insomnia, hallucinations, delusions, mania, and possible thoughts of suicide or murder. Every year, women in the United States and around the world kill their babies, children, and themselves as a result of this mental illness. Here, author Twomey, an official with Postpartum Support International, gives us insight into the psychological, personal, medical, legal, and historical perspectives on this little-understood mental illness, which is both preventable and treatable.

While most women who suffer postpartum psychosis eventually recover without harming anyone, they most often do so in silence. Paranoia is a common symptom, explains Twomey, and that moves women to hide their symptoms from everyone around them. The woman can hence appear normal, but be putting both herself and her baby at risk. We can prevent and treat this, but we need to recognize it by better screening of women postpartum, says Twomey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313353468
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/30/2009
Pages: 173
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Teresa M. Twomey, JD is Co-Coordinator for Postpartum Support International in Connecticut. She served earlier as Coordinator for Postpartum Support International in Virginia, and as a Public Reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health. Twomey, who has been a faculty member at Longwood University in Virginia, and a Paralegal Instructor of Master Technical Institute in New Jersey, practiced law and professional mediation before experiencing postpartum psychosis herself. After her recovery, she put her law career on hold to become an advocate for women with postpartum mood disorders.

Shoshana S. Bennett, licensed psychologist, founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987 after her second undiagnosed postpartum illness. Bennett is the Immediate Past President of Postpartum Support International and the past president of California's state organization Postpartum Health Alliance.

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