A review of the literature shows that this condition occurs in every 400 to 1,000 deliveries. The variation of the figures is due to the fact that there is no line of demarcation between extreme nervousness with minor changes and a definite psychosis. Statistics show that postpartum psychosis constitutes about 10 per cent of the female admissions to the psychopathic hospitals.
The duration of the condition is from several weeks to eight months, the prognosis for ultimate recovery in the true postpartum psychosis being good.
The cause of this psychosis is as yet a matter of speculation and theory. No common findings are noted among the case reports. Psychogenic factors are not always present. Infection, shock and difficult labors are not constantly found. As a rule there is no evidence of toxemia. The literature is confusing and contradictory, indicating that the real cause is as yet unknown. The definite predisposing
SCHMIDT HJ. THE USE OF PROGESTERONE IN THE TREATMENT OF POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS. JAMA. 1943;121(3):190–192. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840030028007
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