People were stunned last week when they heard the story of Krystal Cascetta, the 40-year-old hematology-oncology specialist who shot and killed her baby daughter before turning the gun on herself at her Westchester home. Some experts suspect postpartum depression is to blame for the tragedy, but what can be done to help someone who might be suffering from it? Dr. Gail Saltz, a clinical associate professor of psychology at New York Presbyterian Hospital, appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to offer her analysis on what a new mother goes through in the throes of this cruel condition.
“It’s different than what we call, like, ‘baby blues,’ just feeling emotional, maybe having a few days or being sad or irritable,” Dr. Saltz explained to Berman and Riedel. “Postpartum depression is serious, and it can be life-threatening. You feel sadness and guilt and worthlessness, and you can develop a severity all the way up to psychotic thinking, and that’s when, it’s at its most severe. The woman can be at risk of harming herself and she can be at risk of harming her baby.”
Dr. Saltz says the stigma attached with postpartum depression has been one reason why treatment is so difficult to administer however there may be a medical breakthrough. “Just last week, the FDA approved the first oral medication (zuranolone) for women who have postpartum depression… the only thing that’s existed even for just a couple of years is something that you have to take by IV in the hospital for three days in a row, so this is the first oral medication that looks like it greatly improves postpartum depression for women.”
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