“She was pleasant. She was very happy with her daughter, very proud of her daughter,” she said. “I just never would have anticipated this in a million years.”
Carey’s mother, Idella Carey, told ABC that her daughter began suffering from postpartum depression after giving birth in August 2012.
“She was depressed. … She was hospitalized,” said Idella Carey, who said her daughter had no history of violence.
Experts say symptoms of postpartum depression include lack of interest in the baby; mood swings between sadness and irritability; scary thoughts of something bad happening to the baby; and, in severe cases, suicidal thoughts — but not delusions.
In contrast, a condition known as postpartum psychosis can come with hallucinations, paranoia and desires to hurt the child. But it is extremely rare and does not tend to last for a year, experts say.
“If it’s just a case of postpartum depression, you usually don’t see people hurting others or getting aggressive,” said Dr. Ariela Frieder, a psychiatrist at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center.
She said that some women who appear to have postpartum psychosis actually have a different mental illness — bipolar disorder.
Dr. Brian Evans, a periodontist in Hamden, Conn., said Carey was fired from her job at his office about a year ago. He would not say why. He said Carey had been away from the job for a period after falling down a staircase and suffering a head injury, and it was a few weeks after she returned to work that she was fired.
“We’re shocked to know this happened and we feel saddened for her family and all those involved,” he said.
On Sept. 16, a man killed 12 people in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard before dying in a gun battle with police.
The gunman, Aaron Alexis, a defense-industry employee and former Navy Reservist, had complained of hearing voices and said in writings left behind that he was driven to kill by months of bombardment with electromagnetic waves.
Carey had been sued by her condominium association for failure to pay fees, court records show. A lawsuit settled in February alleged that she owed the association $1,759 plus collection costs.
Tucker reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Lauran Neegaard and Adam Goldman in Washington, Michael Melia in Hartford, Conn., and Jessica Hill in Hamden, Conn., contributed to this report, along with AP researcher Barbara Sambriski in New York.