We hear of moms suffering from postpartum depression and harming themselves and/or their baby.
When hearing such news, it’s so easy to judge these moms without remembering that they are suffering from a clinical condition that makes them incapable of controlling their emotions and actions.
Depression in moms is often associated with those who have very young babies. But postpartum depression, a.k.a. postnatal depression, can affect moms with older children too, as reflected in the following heartbreaking case.
On Tuesday, December 1, a 35-year-old Malaysian mother allegedly killed her two young sons, aged three and five.
She is believed to be mentally unstable, according to The New Paper, and has been remanded for seven days at a hospital by Malaysian courts.
The tragedy took place in the town of Sungai Petani in Kedah.
According to Kedah CID chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Nashir Ya:
“Her husband is working in Singapore. The boys’ grandfather returned home at about 3pm and was shocked to find them dead with their throats slit on the ground floor of the house. One of the children also had a slash wound on his wrist.”
The woman, who had a cut on her left wrist, was found in another room and arrested at the scene.
Depression can strike any mother with kids of any age
We tend to think that it’s mothers of very young babies who are more affected by postpartum depression.
But research shows that mothers are actually more likely to suffer depression when their child is around four years old, than when they are babies.
In fact, the study — which was conducted by Australian researchers and published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology — found more than 14 percent of women suffered depression when their child was four years old.
What’s more, women who had only one baby were twice as likely to be affected by postpartum depression when their child was four years old than those who had more children.
The authors of the report say the findings show that health professionals need to rethink policies around monitoring the mental health of mothers that focus more on pregnancy and the period soon after giving birth.
We can’t help but agree, especially in the wake of incidents such as that reported earlier in this article.
Perhaps those two little boys would still be living had their mother got timely and appropriate help.
Read: Baby blues vs Post-partum depression: What’s the difference?
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