What are REPRODUCTIVE Mood Disorders?
Reproductive mood disorders encompass perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and menstrual-related mood disorders. The perinatal period refers to pregnancy and up to one year postpartum. Disorders that we treat related to perinatal mood disorders include depression and anxiety during pregnancy, pregnancy loss, infertility, postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety.
Both anxiety and depression are common during the perinatal period, with 50-85% of women experiencing postpartum “baby blues” for one to three weeks after delivery. Symptoms of baby blues include mood instability, depressed mood, weepiness, sadness, irritability, anxiety, lack of concentration and feelings of dependency. Ten percent of women experience postpartum depression (PPD), in which these symptoms are longer-lasting and more severe. PPD typically occurs 2-3 months after childbirth, but may occur at any point after delivery. Symptoms of PPD last for more than 2 weeks.
Perinatal anxiety is also common during this period, and often co-occurs with postpartum depression. Common anxiety symptoms women experience during this time are panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, excessive worry, and intrusive thoughts and/or images of frightening things happening to the baby. Although common, if these symptoms begin to impact daily functioning or quality of life, women should seek help.
We also treat the menstrual-related mood disorder of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Most women experience mood symptoms before the onset of their menstrual cycle (premenstrual syndrome or PMS); however, 5-10% of women experience significant depression and/or anxiety that begins one to two weeks before the onset of menses and completely resolves at the start of the menstrual cycle. Symptoms of PMDD include irritability, depressed mood, anxiety, or mood swings and can cause conflict in relationships and significant impairment.
We may ask that your partner come to several sessions to help support you in your depression, anxiety, or loss.