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Pierce, M. (2004). Severe Postpartum Depression After the September 11 World Trade Center Terrorist Attacks. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 3(4):466-479.

(2004). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 3(4):466-479

Severe Postpartum Depression After the September 11 World Trade Center Terrorist Attacks

Miriam Pierce, CSW, BCD

Ms. A was referred for a severe postpartum depression. She had given birth four weeks earlier, shortly after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. She reported that she had not been able to sleep for several weeks and feared she would descend further into the nightmares that kept her awake and in despair. She had been nursing her healthy baby girl but experienced fantasies of being devoured by her. The psychiatric consultant who had referred her recommended medication with the possibility of hospitalization if the severity of the depression did not abate. Dyadic infant-parent treatment as well as individual treatment for the mother were used to prevent the development of an attachment disorder in the child and to promote the mother's recovery from her severe depression. These interventions prevented the hospitalization that the referring psychiatrist had believed might become necessary.

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