Puerperal psychosis or post partum psychosis is less frequent than post partum depression but can be more serious with higher risks to you and your baby. This is especially so if you suffer from Bipolar affective Disorder or any psychotic illness like schizophrenia, but it can occur even without previous history of mental health problems.
Symptoms include feeling elated or high with racing thoughts, sometimes alternating with low mood or confusion; plus delusional thoughts – abnormal beliefs that are felt as true and/or hallucinations (auditory or visual) – hearing or seeing things that not real but seem real; and frequently with lack of insight - no awareness that these is happening and it is not real.
Puerperal psychosis is frequently an emergency and your should be seen by doctor, preferably a psychiatrist as soon as possible. If symptoms are not very severe and in the early stages, it can be treated at home, with the support of a perinatal mental health team. However, especially if there is high risk to yours and your baby safety, hospital admission is required, preferably to a Mother and Baby Unit, where you can have your baby with you and you don’t need to be separated.
If you or anyone you know expresses any of these symptoms get help as soon as possible, out of hours you should attend A&E department to be seen by a psychiatrist because treatment is effective and recovery faster if early treated.