Understanding the warning signs of postpartum psychosis

ST. LOUIS — The murder-suicide involving a St. Louis family struck a nerve among women across the country. It is bringing postpartum psychosis into the spotlight. Moms who appear to have it all can snap quickly and take their life as well as those in their own family.

On Feb. 2, Mary Jo Trockey, 32, shot and killed her husband, Mathew, and their 3-month-old daughter, Taylor Rose.

In the days following the tragedy, psychologists said it was clear Trockey suffered from an extreme and rare form of postpartum depression called postpartum psychosis.

Approximately one in seven women have postpartum depression and anxiety. One in 2,000 develop postpartum psychosis.

The warning signs include a family history of postpartum depression, a family history of anxiety or depression, poor social support, a person who is controlling or a perfectionist.

Women usually do not ask for help, which is why it is so important that family members see the warning signs and intervene.

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