In perinatal mood and anxiety disorders

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Perinatal mood and anxiety: Introduction

Mood disorders in the perinatal period

Epidemiology

  • 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

Epidemiology

  • 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.

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