Postpartum Depression : A Severe Psychotic Syndrome

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“Postpartum psychosis is a severe psychotic syndrome that is estimated to occur after 1.1 to 4 of every 1000 deliveries. More than half of the affected women meet diagnostic criteria for major depression” (Weissman and Olfson 800). Postpartum depression is a further common mental illness than postpartum psychosis, however Margery Kempe displays serious symptoms. Several readers believe that Margery Kempe was a woman who devoted her life to God, however, after her first child was born Margery Kempe was recognizably sick due to the feelings that she should not live. In The Book of Margery Kempe, the first autobiography in the English Language, Margery Kempe displays the symptoms of hallucinations, crying episodes, and depression to show that she has postpartum psychosis.
“In 1858 postpartum psychosis was determined by organic factors and constituted a disease entity” (Swyer 1232). To understand whether Margery Kempe had postpartum depression, psychosis, or a different mental illness like depression after her first child, readers have to look at the symptoms Margery Kempe showed and the symptoms of each illness. To start, depression is the least serious and can happen to anyone. Wiessman and Olfson said that women tend to be more depressed than men and can begin early in adolescence years, “around 13 to 15 years of age, and is maintained throughout life. There is a peak in first onsets during the childbearing years and a decrease in onsets after age 45”and that “depressed
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