Abstract

Women who had a psychiatric illness requiring hospital admission within 90 days of delivery were compared with a control group matched for age, Research Diagnostic Criteria diagnosis and year of admission. Those with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder differed significantly from non-puerperal controls in being more deluded or hallucinated, more labile and more disoriented. There was no difference between puerperal and control cases of major depressive or manic disorder with respect to treatment received, or responded to, or length of stay in hospital.