#1 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, October 4th, 2013 13:21
#2 By: Pete, October 4th, 2013 13:42
It's unfortunate she died, but the most important thing is no one was killed in her rampage, bystanders and especially her child.
#3 By: hamish strong, October 4th, 2013 14:00
The "If left untreated" stuff seems so important in a case like this, especially given the stigma and lack on information available about this illness. I would image PPD is one of the more spiral-likely forms of depression. At a time when everyone expects a woman to be unconditionally happy and head over heels in love with their child the "what the hell is wrong with me, what kind of disgusting non-human am I" depression boxes must pile-up pretty quickly.
#4 By: mrmcd, October 4th, 2013 14:07
Wait, 1 in 1000 actually seems really huge, considering how common birth is. 4000 briefly psychotic new mothers every year seems like something I would've heard about before now.
#5 By: Pete, October 4th, 2013 14:10
You have to take these psychiatric statistics with a (large) grain of salt. It's like the latest DSM, a lot of made up "spectrum" disorders. I'm sure there's a number of so called experts getting ready to jump on the post-partum bandwagon right now. This tragedy gets turned into an opportunity for funding, prestige, and, especially, FUNDING.
#6 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, October 4th, 2013 14:17
Even more important: Why would you have heard about this before? Mental health issues, especially those involving hallucinations, are things that people tend to keep pretty quiet out of fear of stigma. Most women with postpartum psychosis probably aren't talking about it. And, because the vast majority of them aren't a threat to other people, there's no reason their secrets would have gotten out.
Also, I get what you're saying here about estimations of how many people a disorder affects being pretty inexact. That said, I'm going to go ahead and request that we NOT start claiming mental illnesses are "made up", especially if said declaration is based largely on speculation. Postpartum psychosis may be rarer than estimated. Who knows. (And I've honestly not delved very deeply into how the estimations are made here.) But it is a real condition and it's demeaning to the people who've experienced it to armchair undiagnose them.
#7 By: Jason Andresen, October 4th, 2013 14:24
Have you ever been near new mothers? Even ones that don't get full PPD tend to be a bit crazy for the first few months. Babies are stressful. You add lack of sleep and the bazillion worries a new child brings top of that and it shouldn't be a surprise at all that new mothers get kind of messed up in the head.
#8 By: incarnedine_v, October 4th, 2013 14:31
Yes, but did she play Grand Theft Auto?
#10 By: Pete, October 4th, 2013 15:11
Oh I don't mean to under diagnose the illness. I don't know where you're from but around me it was actually quite the illness de jour a couple of years ago. Posters and magazine ads were pretty common. Of course it was pretty much just pill pushing and "awareness" campaigns for people in the medical field. It came after bipolar disorder kind of faded out and well after depression. My own wife went pretty nutso after our third so I know what it can be like.
#12 By: GregortheMendel, October 4th, 2013 15:30
I have had a friend with postpartum depression and my former secretary had postpartum psychosis. My secretary's story was very frightening to hear. It started shortly after the birth of her triplets and went away with medication. She saw things such as a black cloud over her house, threatening her babies. A real black cloud that hovered only over her house. Her idea of how to protect the infants was to wall them up in her house so they could not be found and harmed. She noted that it was completely illogical and it would have killed them to be walled up alive, but it made perfect sense to her at the time.
#13 By: Alice Weir, October 4th, 2013 15:31
More like, the "1 in 1000" number sounds way off. If true, every small community in the country would have a psychotic new mom in its midst. And that would something very difficult to ignore until...just now?
Almost sounds like they happily mixed pre-existing mental illness in and then blew the numbers elsewhere as well. Because, mentally ill women have children, too. And they are often faced with having to go off their meds for a period, as well as with the hormonal whim-whams that can happen afterward I merely question the number given - not the existence of the condition itself. Even ordinary PPD sux pampers.
#14 By: mrmcd, October 4th, 2013 15:39
I didn't mean to suggest it wasn't. I was just saying that for something this serious that apparently occurs in 1 out of 1000 births. For example, the rate of being temporary psychotic (in the clinical sense, not just using "crazy" as colloquial shorthand for stressed and emotional) about 6 times higher than the maternal mortality rate in the US, which is already one the highest among the "rich" developed world.
But as Maggie said, maybe it's just a case of a lot of it being under-reported or not diagnosed.
#15 By: Linn Elliott, October 4th, 2013 16:12
I don't have kids, but based on what I have seen among my friends and family who do, the most likely factor in wanting to kill your children...is having children.
#16 By: Donovan Acree, October 4th, 2013 16:18
Dear US Govt et al
Rather than bombing countries Americans can't find on a map, how about funding a healthcare system that treats mental disorders as something other than weakness?
Failure to do so may result in people running in to your buildings and gates.
#17 By: zhasu, October 4th, 2013 16:20
Well I guess we need to declare the war on postpartum depression. Everyone should get involved and report their neighbor, family member or a friend if they notice any suspicious activity. Definitely create a black-ops program where members of postpartum depression group(s) can be taken care of by the trained specialists from the government. We simply can't have this happening again.
#18 By: Preston, October 4th, 2013 17:01
A friend of mine used to work in the county mental health clinic, and they dealt with a number women that were fully psychotic before, during, or after birth. I post partum psychosis probably accounts for some of those familiar cases where "God" tells the woman to do something really awful to their baby.
This woman had PPD and became obessed with jumping off a bridge. She only survived because a cop sprinted onto the scene and an grabbed arm after she already jumped. She's fine now and even got a book deal out of it.
#19 By: Preston, October 4th, 2013 17:06
My Neighbor's Kids By: The Duh
I wanna kill my neighbor's kids!
I really hate them; yes I do!
I wanna kill my neighbor's kids!
If you met 'em, you would, too!
I wanna kill my neighbor's kids!
I wanna rip out all their brains!
Really hate my neighbor's kids!
I wanna throw
them under a train!
Oh, yeah, I hate 'em a lot, I do! Oh, yeah, oh, dig it, uh-huh, it's
true! I really hate my neighbor's kids! (Do I start yet? Lemme know
when I'm supposed to start, OK?!)
Oh, when they're playin' in their yard,
You hear their screams a mile away!
And when they throw stuff at my house,
Then they smile as if it were okay!
And the dog poops on my steps,
Stink a smell that is so sweet.
And when I go out of my house,
I get to wear it on my feet!
Oh, yeah, I hate 'em a lot,
I do! Oh, yeah, oh, dig it, uh-huh, it's true!
Cause I'm'a kill my neighbor's kids!
I really hate my neighbor's kids!
#21 By: E Smith, October 4th, 2013 17:16
I agree 100% with most of what is written, a tiny note of exception; I would considered a automobile driven dangerously be be effectively 'arming' someone, to the point where saying "She was unarmed." would seem incorrect to me. Saying 'reportedly she didn't have a firearm' seems to be as true as the rest of that paragraph.
We absolutely, unequivocally need to invest more resources into all our health systems.
#22 By: Jeff Atwood, October 4th, 2013 17:21
Sure, that's why we just shut down the government, because who the hell would want healthcare for all citizens? Fuck that.
#23 By: Preston, October 4th, 2013 18:06
Not all mothers with PPD are targeting their children, a lot of them are locked onto their husbands. You don't hear about that because it doesn't result in an arrest, it results in a divorce where the depressed person will make literally any accusation to "win." This is not hard, because as the new mother she will get the house, car, and child support. As soon as the idea arises, it's fait accompli, and no lawyer could resist that sort of slam-dunk. Trust me on this, guys don't go around saying "We're trying to get pregnant....so I may be homeless by this time next year."
This is very very common, and you won't hear about it Oprah.
Mental illness doesn't just have stigma it has profit and power, and psychoanalysts call it "secondary gain."
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