New Mothers with Disturbing Thoughts: Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and of Psychosis in Postpartum

  • Vesna Pirec
  • Agnieszka Grabowski


Psychiatric symptoms in postpartum tend to vary in severity and presentation. As a result, they may be challenging to adequately recognize and treat. In this chapter, we will focus on postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder and postpartum psychosis. Both of these psychiatric illnesses can have intrusive thoughts of hurting the child as a central theme. It is imperative to promptly identify them, determine severity of presentation, and assist women in obtaining treatment. If symptoms remain undetected, serious and sometimes lethal consequences for both mother and child could follow.

A case for each disorder is presented. Neither woman had significant previous psychiatric illness, which created additional diagnostic and treatment challenges.


Postpartum Puerperium Obsessions Compulsions OCD Intrusive images Intrusive thoughts Psychosis in puerperium Bipolar disorder Postpartum mental illness 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Insight Behavioral Health Centers, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryRush University Medical SchoolChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Wildflower Center for Emotional Health LLCChicagoUSA

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