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POSTPARTUM PSYCOSIS

Delusions, Hallucinations & Behavior

Delusions

 

Unusual or oddly inaccurate beliefs that a person is convinced are true.

The beliefs are not explained by the person’s cultural/sub-cultural beliefs.

Examples might be the belief that someone was out to harm you, that you were guilty of a major sin, or that you had a serious medical illness when all tests had been negative, or that your baby was going to die.

Alternatively, a person with delusions might think that they or their baby had special powers such as communicating with God or being able to breathe underwater.


Hallucinations

 

Having perceptions that are not real but being convinced that they are real.

These perceptions are most commonly those of hearing voices but may be hearing other things; seeing, smelling or feeling things that are not real.

An example could be the belief that you can hear your neighbours talking about you when in fact this would not be possible.

If someone is experiencing psychosis their behaviour is usually very out of character, abnormal or disorganised.

This is usually the most obvious problem – the bizarre thought(s) or experiences are not always apparent to others and require professional assessment.


Behaviour

 

Behaviour in postpartum psychosis can be very out of character and unpredictable.

  1. Periods of agitation and disorganisation with very poor concentration are common.
  2. Alternatively a woman may seem inactive and unable to get going.
  3. She may seem confused at times.
  4. Her mood might seem to fluctuate from being disinhibited and overly confident to low and apathetic.
  5. She may seem frightened or suspicious.
  6. A wide range of behaviours may be seen