News outlets are reporting that the woman involved in the recent incident on Capitol Hill was suffering from postpartum depression or psychosis. This is an important opportunity to shine light on how real, common, and treatable perinatal mental health disorders are. Perinatal mood disorders range in severity widely. While 20% of new mothers suffer from some sort of depression or anxiety after birth, only 1 in 1,000 of those moms will suffer from the extreme disorder of psychosis, where a mom loses touch with reality. An official statement from Postpartum Support International was released regarding this incident:
Women, families, and health care providers need to know that pregnancy and postpartum mental health disorders are common, real, and treatable. We can prevent escalation and crisis with access to qualified treatment and support.