What Happened to Pranaiya Oulapathorn and Her Son Arthur?
Pranaiya Oulapathorn was a happy and loving mother who gave birth to her son Arthur in March 2021. However, a few months later, she started to suffer from postpartum depression, a mood disorder that affects some women after childbirth. She became obsessed with breastfeeding, developed insomnia, and had dark thoughts that eventually took over her mind. On September 1, 2021, she took her own life and the life of her son Arthur, leaving behind her husband Hamish Magoffin, who was devastated by the loss.
According to CNN, Pranaiya Oulapathorn had been diagnosed with postpartum depression a month before her death and was receiving treatment. However, her condition did not improve and she felt hopeless and helpless. She also felt guilty for not being able to breastfeed her son enough and for having negative feelings towards him. She told her husband that she wanted to disappear and that she was a bad mother.
What is Postpartum Depression and How Common is it?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mental health condition that affects more than one in 10 women within the first year of giving birth, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It can cause symptoms such as sadness, anxiety, irritability, loss of interest, fatigue, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, and difficulty bonding with the baby. PPD can affect anyone, regardless of their age, income, culture, or background. Some risk factors include history of mental health problems, stressful life events, lack of social support, and hormonal changes.
PPD is often underdiagnosed and undertreated, as many women do not seek help or are not aware of the signs. Some women may feel ashamed or afraid to admit that they are struggling, or they may think that they are supposed to be happy after having a baby. Some may also face stigma or discrimination from their family, community, or health care providers. PPD can have serious consequences for the mother, the baby, and the family, such as impaired cognitive and emotional development, increased risk of child abuse and neglect, and increased risk of maternal mortality.
How Can Postpartum Depression Be Prevented and Treated?
PPD can be prevented and treated with a combination of psychological, social, and medical interventions, according to the WHO. Some of the strategies include:
- Screening and assessment of pregnant and postpartum women for PPD and other mental health problems
- Providing counseling, psychotherapy, and peer support to women with PPD and their partners
- Prescribing antidepressants or other medications when appropriate and monitoring their effects and side effects
- Educating women and their families about PPD and its symptoms, causes, and treatments
- Promoting healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, balanced diet, and stress management
- Encouraging women to seek help and support from their health care providers, family, friends, or other sources
- Reducing stigma and discrimination against women with PPD and raising awareness about the condition
How Can You Help Someone with Postpartum Depression?
If you know someone who is suffering from PPD, you can help them by:
- Listening to them and showing empathy and compassion
- Validating their feelings and reassuring them that they are not alone or to blame
- Encouraging them to seek professional help and offering to accompany them if needed
- Helping them with practical tasks, such as childcare, household chores, or errands
- Providing emotional support, such as hugs, compliments, or positive feedback
- Inviting them to join social activities, such as walks, coffee dates, or support groups
- Checking in on them regularly and asking how they are doing
- Being patient and understanding with them and their recovery process
Pranaiya Oulapathorn cause of death was a tragic result of postpartum depression, a condition that affects many women around the world. PPD can be prevented and treated with proper care and support, but it requires awareness, recognition, and action from both the affected women and their loved ones. PPD is not a weakness or a fault, but a treatable illness that can be overcome with help. If you or someone you know is experiencing PPD, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. You are not alone and there is hope.