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Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Psychosis?

By Anonymous October 25, 2014 - 5:19pm
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My wife was just admitted in the hospital. She just got back to work after having a rough pregnancy and having time away from work. She has been very stressed at work. She would talk about work every day for the last two weeks and yesterday she broke down, talking about how everyone at work is out to get her, that they have been trying to destroy her, and was obsessed over the fact that all of our problems (even outside of work) was related to her job and crazy manager. It seems like she had an incredible stressful day at work and it triggered this. Also, she didn't sleep at all the day before and has not been sleeping well post-pregnancy. This week especially the baby has not let us sleep a lot and she was up all night long worried about getting fired from her job.

I have been reading on postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis, and I am very confused as to what could be the cause of my wife's condition. She has been emotional, but still wants to care for her baby

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HERWriter Guide


Hii Anonymous. Thanks for sharing your concerns about your wife's health and coming to EmpowHER.

During the postpartum period, up to 85% of women experience some type of mood disturbance. For most women, the depression and mood disturbance are short term and relatively mild, often called the baby blues.

About 10-15% of women experience the more disabling and persistent postpartum depression, and 0.1-0.2% of women experience postpartum psychosis.

No specific cause of postpartum depression has been found.

Hormone imbalance plays a role in post partum depression. Levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone and cortisol fall dramatically after delivery, affecting mental health.

Many women are very tired physically after delivery, impacting their ability to keep up with regular activities, including working.

Stress also plays a role in any form of depression as the level of various hormones change in the body in response. 

From what you've shared, your wife is being impacted by both the pregnancy and return to work. During her hospital stay it will be important for her to have not only a physical workup to determine the state of her physical health but to also get mental health support. Both aspects of her health are interrelated and she needs support from experts as well as an integrated approach to meeting her needs.

On your end I would think about what you can do to support her at home to make her transition from the hospital to home easier, and to also ease her return to work. Given that, as you say, she had a rough pregnancy, the impact may be with her for several more months. Her OB/GYN may be a good resource for you to use to better understand what she's dealing with and other ways that you can help.

We hope she is getting good care in the hospital and they provide a good after care home plan. Will you stay in touch and let us know how you and she are doing? We wish the best for your entire family during this difficult time.

Take care,


October 26, 2014 - 10:05am
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