Post-partum psychosis is a mental health disorder that affects about 1 in 1000 women after childbirth. This condition is different from post-partum depression. That is more popular and many women (and some men) usually have a higher tendency to experience.
Post-partum psychosis is a severe psychological disorder in which the sufferer comes down with symptoms like delusion, hallucination, thought disorder, confusion, disorientation, irregular sleep patterns, agitation, mood disorders, suicide ideation, attempted killing or actual killing of the baby and so on.
Post-partum psychosis may start shortly or a couple of months after giving birth. Women who have had a bout with post-partum depression have a high possibility of experiencing this disorder. Also, previous encounters of post-partum psychosis can lead to new ones at subsequent childbirths.
People with this disorder require a lot of support from family members, spouses especially, medical practitioners and other significant care givers. This support is particularly critical as the symptoms of the disorder can bring about suicide ideation. In some cases the mother can kill the child.
The low awareness level of mental health issues in Nigeria has made it difficult for many people living with mental health problems to receive adequate support and care. This raises the tendencies of people in need of mental help to resort to unbecoming escapes such as suicide or even roaming the streets.
Husbands, family members and medical practitioners should be very careful and attentive at noticing any form of dysfunctional behaviors in newly birthed mothers. This is one way to ensure requisite maternal mental health.