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Postpartum mental health condition likely a factor in Dr. Krystal Cascetta, sources say

SOMERS, NY — There is new information in that tragic murder-suicide involving a Westchester physician and her 4-month-old daughter.

We learned that the gun used was properly registered to the doctor’s husband, and sources tell CBS2’s Tony Aiello that a postpartum mental health condition is likely a factor.

Postpartum mental health problems affect an estimated 20% of new mothers, and researchers believe postpartum depression, or more severe postpartum psychosis, was a factor in cancer doctor Krystal Cascetta’s death by suicide after police said she lost her 4-year-old baby. month old at their home in Somers, Westchester County.

“It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear this news,” said Adriana Pentz.

Pentz is an advocate working to spread awareness about postpartum mental health. Ten years ago, she developed postpartum depression after the birth of her first child.

“I started to withdraw from my surroundings. I felt very nervous. I was very worried about my daughter,” Pentz said.

Cascetta was a highly trained physician. Experts said postpartum mental illness affects women at every level of education and income.

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“There really isn’t any discrimination based on education or age, or how badly a woman wants to have a baby or become a mother,” said Dr. Catherine Daniels of the Westchester Medical Center.

Daniels, a psychiatrist, said it’s important to surround new moms with love and support, and to be aware of behaviors that seem out of sync.

“In view of women who seem very anxious and concerned about the baby’s well-being, women who doubt their own ability to adequately care for the baby, and a real kind of sadness, disinterest and withdrawal,” Daniels said.

Just this week, the FDA approved the first drug specifically for the treatment of postpartum depression – zuranolone.

“I think what’s so important about this — it draws attention to and progress in this area of ​​postpartum depression treatment, which gives us all a lot of hope,” Pentz said.

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