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To see if what you’re experiencing or observing in a loved one could be a reason to seek help, fill out a short mental health checklist.
Postnatal psychosis can cause sudden and dramatic changes in a woman’s thinking, mood and behaviour. Psychosis causes a loss of contact with reality, so her behaviour may be out of character or seem out of control. She may also believe/hear/see/smell things that are not real. Symptoms normally occur within the first four weeks after giving birth but can occur up to 12 weeks after birth. Sometimes the symptoms aren’t recognised until even later. Symptoms will vary but things to look out for include:
'I was frightened, confused, withdrawn, pestered by illogical thoughts that randomly popped into my head including self harm and harming my baby.'
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms in your partner, or in a loved one who has recently given birth, then you should seek support immediately. Postnatal psychosis is a medical emergency due to the dangerous thoughts and impulsive behaviour a woman may experience.
"I knew on that day that I was unwell but decided that my only choice was to keep on going. I thought that I had to, I thought that was my only choice. I just didn't realise how much my life would change that day."