It was supposed to be the happiest time in Clare Dolman's life. She'd just given birth to a baby daughter named Ettie. As Dolman wrote in a BBC article, "Elation soon turned into a form of mania." She couldn't stop talking. She got little sleep. She was irritable. She suffered from mood swings.
Soon Dolman was out of control and on her way to a psychiatric hospital. Dolman had lost her mind, she says, because she suffered from postpartum psychosis, a rare illness that is not to be confused with postpartum depression or anxiety.
Postpartum psychosis occurs 1 to 2 times out of every 1,000 deliveries. Why new mothers suffer from the malady is unclear. Genetics, hormone levels and disrupted sleep patterns may all share in the blame. Symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, hyperactivity, paranoia and difficulty communicating [sources: Dolman, Postpartum.net].