In perinatal mood and anxiety disorders

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Perinatal mood and anxiety: Introduction

Mood disorders in the perinatal period


  • 10 to 15 per cent of women experience depression in the perinatal period.
  • Nearly half of women with a prior history of depression relapse in the perinatal period.
  • More than half of women diagnosed with depression in the postpartum period have the onset of illness in pregnancy.
  • Three per cent of pregnant women use SSRIs.

Clinical presentation

  • Pregnancy does not offer protection from mental illness.
  • Signs of pregnancy and depression overlap.
  • Depression can present with either agitation or retardation.

Anxiety disorders in the perinatal period


  • Over half of women with depression have a concurrent anxiety disorder.

Clinical presentation

  • Anxiety disorders may present as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias and posttraumatic stress disorder.
  • Acute symptoms drive women to seek medical attention.

Psychiatry in primary care toolkit

The Psychiatry in Primary Care App has been decommissioned. 

The revised print version of Psychiatry in Primary Care is avaible through the CAMH store. 

We have posted a number of revised chapters from the book in Treating Conditions and Disorders in the new Professionals section of