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Psychiatric disorders women may experience during pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most crucial phases of a woman's life and can also take a toll on mental health. Learn about psychiatric problems that a pregnant woman may have to deal with during her pregnancy.

Pregnancy By Meenakshi ChaudharyNov 16, 2015

Depression in pregnancy

At times during pregnancy, it may get hard to differentiate symptoms of depression from normal experiences of pregnancy. Unfortunately, the course of depression varies throughout the pregnancy term. The most common risk factor that leads to depression during pregnancy is discontinuation of medication by women who had had a history of depression. Other factors that may also contribute to depression during pregnancy include a negative attitude towards pregnancy, lack of social support, maternal stress, etc. If left untreated, it can lead to negative consequences.

Panic disorder

The course of panic disorder during pregnancy is unpredictable and remains unclear. Many women may experience first onset of panic disorder during pregnancy. Treatment options for panic disorder during pregnancy include pharmacological therapies, antidepressants, cognitive behavioural therapy, supportive psychotherapy, relaxation techniques, sleep hygiene and dietary counselling.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

If you worry about the responsibilities of motherhood, you may develop obsessive compulsive disorder. The condition is characterised by thoughts that you cannot control and repetitive actions, that cannot be controlled either, in response to these thoughts. Major life changes that occur during pregnancy trigger distressing conditions in which obsessive thoughts drive pregnant women to perform repetitive rituals such as repeated hand washing or cleaning.

Eating disorders in pregnancy

Several pregnant women, around 5% of them, experience eating disorders, posing risk of negative consequences for both the mother and the infant. A recent study suggests that pregnant women with active eating disorders are at higher risk of a caesarean section and postpartum depression.

Bipolar mood disorder

While some women with bipolar disorder may experience relief from symptoms during pregnancy, others may still have a higher risk for postpartum depression. Image source: Getty

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