C-L Case Conference: A 33-Year-Old Bhutanese Woman With Postpartum Hallucinations

Alexandra Schoenberger, Cindy Boudreaux, Jyoti Sachdeva, Hilja Ruegg, Vijayshree Yadav, David E. Karol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We describe the case of a 33-year-old pre-eclamptic Bhutanese woman who presented with postpartum hallucinations. We discuss our concern for postpartum psychosis versus a culturally appropriate phenomenon, with her diagnostic picture complicated by the use of interpreters and the intersection of culture and medicine. Top experts in the consultation-liaison (CL) field provide guidance for this clinical scenario based on their experience and a review of the available literature. This case highlights both the impact of language barriers and the challenges of interpreting psychiatric symptoms within a cultural context. Key teaching points include differential diagnoses for postpartum hallucinations, the importance of interpreting patient presentations within their unique cultural contexts and identities, and the impact of language interpretation on patient care. Specifically, we offer guidance on differentiating postpartum psychosis from a culturally appropriate phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-634
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • communication
  • conceptual equivalence
  • cultural humility
  • postpartum hallucinations
  • postpartum psychosis
  • postpartum seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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