Bringing postnatal depression out of the shadows

Lancet editorial on the stigma of perinatal mental illness 10/11/12.

Last week, it fell to a judge in a UK court to decide the fate of a woman who had killed both her children, while suffering from postnatal depression. The court heard from three psychiatrists who gave evidence that Felicia Boots, who suffocated her 14-month-old and 10-week-old children, had postnatal depression. She had stopped her prescribed antidepressants because she was convinced that the drugs would harm her baby through her breast milk and feared that her children would be taken away from her. Justice Fulford said: “A prison sentence would be wholly inappropriate in this case…I unreservedly accept that what she did to the two children, that she and her husband loved and nurtured, were the results of physical and biological factors beyond her control.” The verdict was manslaughter due to diminished responsibility (murder charges were dropped), and the outcome is inpatient psychiatric treatment…Read more>>