Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mom Suffering From Postpartum Psychosis Beheads 3-month-old Baby

Deasia Watkins, 20, of College Hill, Cincinnati is charged with aggravated murder in connection with the death of 3-month-old Janiyah Watkins yesterday. According to police, Janiyah was beheaded and her body was found on the kitchen counter by a 5-year-old relative who was dropped off to wait for his bus to school. The knife used on the baby was found placed in the dead baby's hand. Court records state that Deasia had been diagnosed with post-partum psychosis -- which is different than the more common postpartum depression [Andrea Yates, who drowned her 5 kids in a bathtub in 2001 was diagnosed with this, too] -- and directed to take Risperdal to treat her illness. She was not taking the drug, however. Neither was attending the parenting classes or refrained from breastfeeding, which was ordered not to do. Last January, police were called to the apartment after reports of screaming and a baby crying. When officers arrived, they said Deasia was high on weed and "speaking in tongues." Officers said they had to forcefully remove the infant from Watkins' arms because she refused to let go. Earlier this month, child protective services placed Janiyah, who was born Dec 4, in the custody of her aunt, after confirming Deasia was physically abusing the baby and she was "speaking with demons." At the time of her death, Janiyah had multiple stab wounds to the right side of her face and head, a fractured right arm and her head was severed from the body.

Here's some reading on the disease.
Postpartum psychosis (or puerperal psychosis) is a term that covers a group of mental illnesses with the sudden onset of psychotic symptoms following childbirth. A typical example is for a woman to become irritable, have extreme mood swings and hallucinations, and possibly need psychiatric hospitalization. Often, out of fear of stigma or misunderstanding, women hide their condition. In this group there are at least a dozen organic psychoses, which are described under another heading "organic pre- and postpartum psychoses". The relatively common non-organic form, still prevalent in Europe, North America and throughout the world, is sometimes called puerperal bipolar disorder, because of its close link with manic depressive (bipolar) disorder; but some of these mothers have atypical symptoms (see below), which come under the heading of acute polymorphic (cycloid) psychosis (schizophreniform in the US). Puerperal mania was first clearly described by the German obstetrician Friedrich Benjamin Osiander in 1797, and a literature of over 2,000 works has accumulated since then. These psychoses are endogenous, heritable illnesses with acute onset, benign episodic course and response to mood-normalizing and mood-stabilizing treatments. The inclusion of severe postpartum depression under postpartum psychosis is controversial: many clinicians would allow this only if depression was accompanied by psychotic features. The onset is abrupt, and symptoms rapidly reach a climax of severity. Manic and acute polymorphic forms almost always start within the first 14 days, but depressive psychosis may develop somewhat later....Some women have typical manic symptoms, such as euphoria, overactivity, decreased sleep requirement, loquaciousness, flight of ideas, increased sociability, disinhibition, irritability, violence and delusions, which are usually grandiose or religious in content; on the whole these symptoms are more severe than in mania occurring at other times, with highly disorganized speech and extreme excitement. Others have severe depression with delusions, auditory hallucinations, mutism, stupor or transient swings into hypomania. Some switch from mania to depression (or vice versa) within the same episode. Atypical features include perplexity, confusion, emotions like extreme fear and ecstasy, catatonia or rapid changes of mental state with transient delusional ideas; these are so striking that some authors have regarded them as a distinct, specific disease, but they are the defining features of acute polymorphic (cycloid) psychoses, and are seen in other contexts (for example, menstrual psychosis) and in men....Without treatment, these psychoses can last many months; but with modern therapy they usually resolve within a few weeks. A small minority follow a relapsing pattern, usually related to the menstrual cycle. Mothers who suffer a puerperal episode are liable to other manic depressive or acute polymorphic episodes, some of which occur after other children are born, some during pregnancy or after an abortion, and some unrelated to childbearing. Puerperal recurrences occur after at least 20% of subsequent deliveries, or over 50% if depressive episodes are included. Severe overactivity and delusions may require rapid tranquilization by neuroleptic (antipsychotic) drugs, but they should be used with caution because of the danger of severe side effects including neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Electro-convulsive (electroshock) treatment is highly effective. Mood stabilizing drugs such as lithium are also useful in treatment and possibly the prevention of episodes in women at high risk (i.e., women who have already experienced manic or puerperal episodes). The location of treatment is an issue: hospitalization is disruptive to the family, and it is possible to treat moderately severe cases at home, where the sufferer can maintain her role as a mother and build up her relationship with the newborn. This requires the presence, round the clock, of competent adults (such as the baby's maternal grandmother), and frequent visits by professional staff. If hospital admission is necessary, there are advantages in conjoint mother and baby admission. Yet multiple factors must be considered in the subsequent discharge plan to ensure the safety and healthy development of both the baby and its mother. This plan often involves a multidisciplinary team structure to follow up on mother, baby, their relationship and the entire family. Suicide is rare, and infanticide extremely rare, during these episodes. It does occur, as illustrated by the famous cases summarized below. Infanticide after childbirth is usually due to profound postpartum depression (melancholic filicide) when it is often accompanied by suicide.

source: WCPO
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