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Psychosis And Childbirth


Friday, October 10th, 2008 Psychosis And Childbirth

With reference to the recent article in the Guardian (29 09 08) Rachel Brand after having her baby began to suffer post natal depression. Even worse she was also suffering from a much rarer condition - a discovery that came only after she made several attempts to kill herself.

Everything was very normal in terms of the pregnancy, the baby was born after a 39 hour labour and a perineum incision. Not everything went to plan.

Because Rachel had not been able to sleep during the labour, tiredness was profound and she felt less likely to look after her new baby.

Dave her husband says that at no time did his wife ever express any overtly negative emotions towards Susie, but I was indifferent a lot of the time. I was wrapped up in my own world and everything was about me. At that point I really wasn’t doing much for her, just little things like a feed or a change. Sometimes I couldn’t do anything at all and Dave and our families did everything.

At the end of the first month it was clear that I had post-natal depression but after six weeks it began to get worse. My negative thought processes became more surreal and disjointed. I was convinced I was going to end up in a psychiatric hospital for the rest of my life. At this point I started thinking that Dave and Susie would be better off without me.
She states “I tried to kill myself for the first time around eight weeks after Susie was born” Clearly there needs to be an awareness of such issues just from an educational point of view.

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