BBC Radio 4 broadcast their candid look at postpartum psychosis (PP) on Monday 5th December 11.00-11:30am which included an interview with perinatal psychiatrist Dr Ian Jones an expert in postpartum psychosis and leading NCMH researcher.
Postpartum psychosis affects between one in 500 and one in 1000 women in the days or weeks after childbirth. Symptoms can include non-stop talking, inability to sleep, racing thoughts, rapid mood swings, poor appetite, irritability, extreme confusion, hallucinations and delusions. The illness often appears without warning and can occur in women with no history of mental illness, however if treated properly full recovery from this disorder can be swift.
The programme features unique access to a group of women who have had the illness and who talk openly about their experiences and the journey back to recovery. They are taking part in an art project funded by the Wellcome Trust which aims to raise awareness of the condition. The presenter Clare Dolman herself suffered an episode of postpartum psychosis and is the founder of ‘Action on Postpartum Psychosis’ (APP) a network which looks to provide information on the condition, improve public awareness and help facilitate research.
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The art project is supported by perinatal psychiatrist, Dr Ian Jones, an expert on postpartum psychosis and leading NCMH researcher. Dr Ian Jones is working with teams in Cardiff and Birmingham to discover what causes the illness. If it can be established that some women have a genetic predisposition to the condition, it might be possible to predict which women were at high risk and take steps before, rather than after, the illness strikes.
When asked about his involvement Dr Ian Jones said “We are delighted to have participated in the arts project and in the fantastic program on radio 4. It was great that our work trying to understand what triggers Postpartum Psychosis was highlighted in the program. Understanding more about this condition is vital if we are to help women who experience such sever episodes of illness at this time.”