Personality, thinking style and postpartum psychosis

Over the years, many BDRN participants have completed questionnaires asking about aspects of personality and thinking style such as self-esteem, impulsivity and perfectionism. Our previous research has shown these aspects of personality to be associated with having a mood disorder. Recently, we conducted the first study to investigate whether these factors are also associated with women with bipolar disorder developing postpartum psychosis. Interestingly in our sample of over 500 women, we found no specific relationships suggesting these personality and thinking styles may not be relevant for predicting risk of postpartum psychosis in women with bipolar disorder. This finding is consistent with wider research that suggests other factors, such as hormones or sleep disruption are potentially more important in the triggering of severe mood episodes associated with childbirth. Our study was recently published in the journal BMC Psychiatry and you can access it here:

Our work investigating the causes of postpartum psychosis is ongoing and we look forward to updating you on more our research in this area in the future.