Treatment for Postpartum Psychosis
In most cases for this type of mental illness, treatment needs to be in a hospital, if possible, in a special psychiatric ward. At this stage, the child must remain with the mother. However, if the hospital does not have a special mother-baby unit, then a family member or friend will have to step in to assist until she is released.
This person should bring the baby to the hospital as often as possible, so the child does not experience separation from its mother. The time the mother spends in the hospital depends on how she reacts and responds to treatment.
In-hospital mental health treatments available:
- Medication: There are various kinds of medication used for this treatment which include antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood. During for her to breastfeed the baby as it could harm the child. The mother needs to be carefully watched, as it may result in further loss and grief and depression.
- Psychological therapy: Cognitive behavioural therapy will be introduced. Also referred to as ‘talking therapy’ where the therapists will get together with the patient and discuss the mother’s experiences. This type of therapy is carried out in an environment where she feels safe and confident to speak plainly about her feelings. These sessions help to change the way she has been thinking and behaving.
- Electro-conclusive therapy: This type of treatment is very seldom used and is only applied when the symptoms are very severe. The therapy is administered under anaesthesia where small electrical currents are sent through the brain. This changes the chemistry of the brain and helps to reverse the mental health symptoms. The treatment is only used after all other treatments have been unsuccessful.