Researchers at Northeastern University found that postnatal depression and psychosis are the major reasons that young mothers go violent with their children.

Toddler tantrums are normal, but sometimes, they need your help
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Every now and then, we could come across tidings about mothers killing their own children or being violent to their children. Here is an instance.


A Massachusetts woman killed her five-year-old daughter, three-and-a-half-year-old son and injured a seven-month-old infant. She was accused of the crime. This raised the burning question of how a woman who has been kind to her family can turn against the same family.

Lindsay Clancy of Duxbury strangled her child and also jumped from the second-story window, attempting suicide on Tuesday. The clue that is to be noted is that in July, she opened up about her postpartum anxiety on her social media page.

Laurie Kramer, a psychology professor at Northeastern University spoke to the Northeastern Global News about how postpartum reappears or gets out to be a mental health disorder that makes young mothers behave viciously towards their own families.

 She also talks about the remedies and measures that can assist the well-being of mothers and their children.

Postpartum and its symptoms:

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Postpartum depression is not unusual. 2 out of 10 new mothers experience postpartum depression. They experience unhappiness, low mood, sleeplessness, sadness, and hopelessness. It may be confusing that instead of being euphoric, mothers look glum after the birth of their children. 

This is a very important disorder that should be treated immediately when it occurs. In some women,  this may fade away, when they get adequate sleep and someone who could alternatively take care of their baby.

Postpartum psychosis:

Postpartum psychosis is a feeling of depression and hopelessness that new mothers have. They may also be coupled with confusion and disordered thinking. This is very rare and it should be immediately intervened if observed.

Image source: Los Angeles Times

The sick would undergo hallucinations, especially auditory hallucinations in severe cases. When the sufferers are not able to think straight, the voices that they hear could make them paranoid and bring some delusions. These could make them act dangerously toward themselves as well as toward their family.

They could even have voices that tell them to do away with themselves. It is just that they cannot think of the hallucinations, voices, or delusions before they act.

Do all young mothers undergo postpartum disorder?

It cannot be naturally understood what women undergo deep inside. Not all women suffer from postpartum disorder, perhaps women who were affected by mental disorders like bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia in prior are more likely to have postpartum disorder.

However, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital say that, about half of the women who suffer from postpartum psychosis have not gone through any psychiatric disorders previously, which takes us by surprise.

How can the disorder be put off?

The best remedy that can be done to prevent women and their children from postpartum disorder and its negative impacts, is to care for young mothers.

The months after the birth of a baby are considered to be the “fourth trimester.” Women undergo many changes in their bodies, and many hormones are at play. During these months, the mothers of the newborn should get enough sleep and eat good food. They need good support in taking care of their infants. Lack of sleep is the prime factor that causes postpartum disorder.

Nowadays, home visiting programs are in leaps and bounds. The factors like living alone, struggling for income, and housing insecurities have a vulnerable effect on bad health.

There are also programs that provide doulas who not only support women during childbirth, but also during postpartum.

Do women directly reach out for help?

It is very common that women are afraid of being seen as bad mothers. Nevertheless, medical interventions and psychological therapies could help them overcome their suffering. Women can also get in touch with known people who have undergone the postpartum period and found ways to come out of it.

How likely should people around them support them?

More than medical interventions, the family and friends, around a young mother, can help them during postpartum. Good care and healthy food with adequate sleep could help them easily handle the postpartum.

It should be understood that hallucinations or delusions are very dangerous and should be treated immediately with the assistance of psychological services.


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