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Prepartum Psychosis and Neonaticide: Rare Case Study and Forensic‐Psychiatric Synthesis of Literature

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Peripartum psychosis is a rare but serious psychiatric disorder characterized by the presence of a mood episode with psychotic features. Although controversy surrounds the nosological status of peripartum mental disorders, these conditions continue to be of exceptional interest to the medical and forensic mental health communities. The aim of this study was to report a rare case of prepartum psychosis which escalated to the endpoint of neonaticide and summarize literature on peripartum mental disorders and infanticide. A 30‐year‐old mother murdered her newborn with the spike of her serum delivery system and planned to commit suicide while in hospital after hallucinating due to an acute puerperal psychotic disorder with a prepartum onset and postpartum deterioration. Her disorder was not managed until neonaticide. Throughout this paper, the significance of a multidisciplinary approach for the optimal management of these incidents is highlighted and diagnostic as well as therapeutic issues are addressed.
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Keywords: affective disorders; biochemistry; delivery; depression; filicide; forensic psychiatry; forensic science; infanticide; mood disorders; neonaticide; obstetrics; perinatal; postpartum; pregnancy; prepartum; psychosis; puerperal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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