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Post Partum Depression Psychosis is Real

Updated on March 14, 2017

Help them don't ignore them

Andrea Yates

What Happens in the Mind of a Woman Who Kills Her Children

The entire world feels anger and rage when women kill their children. Andrea Yates, Susan Smith and many more like them have a condition called post partum depression psychosis. As the world watched these horrible stories unfold the world failed to realize that these women were sick.

When a woman has a child her first thought is not "I am going to kill my children today", but thoughts of love. Then one day something changes and the monster of post partum depression psychosis rears its ugly head and makes a women commit the unthinkable and that is to kill her child.

People do not understand post partum psychosis and think that these women are the worst monsters that ever lived, when in fact the did not realize what they were doing.

In my years of teaching child birth education, this story became very real to me when I had a patient who was pregnant with her fifth child, very depresssed and tried to make her children drink bleach along with her. She thought that there was nothing wrong with it. I had paid her a visit that day and when she told me what she did, I had to call it in to social services and get her help. Those little faces was all I could think about.

Post partum depression psychosis is very real and these women, not that I am in any way defending their actions, are sick and if their families would have known the signs they could have gotten help and the children could still be alive today.

Post partum psychosis can come on at any time up to two years post delivery.

Symptoms of post partum depression psychosis are:

•Illogical thoughts
•Refusing to eat
•Extreme feelings of anxiety and agitation
•Periods of delirium or mania
•Suicidal or homicidal thoughts

Most women know something is wrong, but only 20% will do something about it. If you have any family members that are new moms, please check on them and help them. This is a very curable illness and one that can be helped and treated with medication.

None of these children ever had to die. The sad thing with Yates is her husband knew and continued to allow her to have children. Each time her psychosis got worse. His mother knew also so as far as I am concerned they should be in jail right along with her.

Andrea Yates husbands interview

What happens in a woman's mind?

A mother suffered an extreme and terrifying form of postnatal depression which caused her to hear voices and fantasize about killing her baby daughter.

Having never suffered any form of mental illness, Lyndsey Walker, 20,experienced rare postpartum psychosis following the birth of her daughter Elizabeth, now 15 months old.

The psychosis manifested itself as a male voice inside Miss Walker's head which told her she was an unfit mother and that her family would be better off if she were dead. (

When I was teaching child birth, women could not believe this was so. I had a patient that had psychosis during her pregnancy and was in a catatonic state until she delivered. She was perfectly normal after that.

Women will have thoughts of putting their babies in the microwave, drinking bleach and the voices tell them to just kill them. These voices they hear tell them they are not fit mothers and that their children would be better off dead.

This is not a game but an emergent situation. If you every see signs of psychosis after the birth of a baby, please do not wait to get help for that person. Every day that goes by gets worse. People think these women know what they are doing, but that is farther from the truth.

Melanie's law

Should they be charged with murder?

This question is never answered because people are so outraged they don't stop to think that women need help in this situation. It never gets better without help. Putting them in prison is not helping the situation but hindering them to get treatment they so deserve to have.

No one wakes up and says I am going to kill my children. These women have a right to get help. I can not imagine the torture they go through daily in their minds. We don't put schizophrenics in prison, we treat their illness.

Post partum depression psychosis is very real and people should feel bad for these women not want to kill them. The saying forgive them father for they know not what they do is the truth in this situation.

Help is only a phone call away

It is normal for women to have the baby blues after birth but within a few weeks this should be going away. If it doesn't then please call your local help hotline so that they can guide you to the right people to help that mother.

For those that are bitter and don't understand this, then I pray that no one in your family ever has to live with this horrible illness.

It may be your wife, sister or daughters life you may be saving. Pick up the phone and get them help it is not fair for these women to suffer, when there is help available.


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