September 1962

Postpartum Psychiatric Problems.

Author Affiliations

By James Alexander Hamilton, Ph.D., M.D. Price, $6.85. Pp. 156. The C. V. Mosby Company, 3207 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, Mo., 1962.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;7(3):231-232. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01720030077024

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This book for psychiatrists, obstetricians, and general practitioners contains a comprehensive review of the symptomatology, pathogenesis, and treatment of postpartum psychiatric illness, and incorporates an excellent historical description of the literature in this field beginning with Marcé in 1858.

The author notes that "variability, progression, and unpredictability are characteristic of puerperal syndromes." He separates these syndromes according to predominant affects and symptomatology and devotes individual chapters to mania and depression, delirium, and "disassociation."

Minimizing psychogenic etiology he asserts that puerperal mental illness represents a distinct disease entity, "related to physiological changes that involve the endocrine system." He notes the organic flavor of the illness, the similarities to myxedema madness, a usual severalday latency period, and the apparent absence of premorbid personality deviations in support of this conclusion.

Sections of the book devoted to thyroid pharmacotherapy represent the author's original research contribution. The use of thyroid in

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