Most people are familiar with the terms postpartum depression, postpartum or PPD. You may have heard someone say, “Tanya had postpartum” or “I had postpartum depression with my first born.” Postpartum means the time period after giving birth and postpartum depression was basically used to describe any mental health issue that may arise after a woman gives birth. Although, depression may be the most common mental illness that occurs, it is not the only one that these women experience.
PMAD is the new terminology and it stands for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The perinatal period includes the time period of conception through the first year after giving birth and includes all risks and complications that may arise during that time period.This means clinicians can include and diagnose symptoms or conditions that may occur during pregnancy, which is before the postpartum period.
Specifically, PMAD includes depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. Of course, all these disorders can occur outside of the maternal population, however there is an increased risk during the perinatal period.
All of these conditions can be treated or well managed with therapy, however for some, medication may be necessary. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of crying spells, irritability, sleep difficulty, guilt or fatigue during or after pregnancy that lasts for more than two weeks please reach out for support. If symptoms include racing thoughts, anxiety, hallucinations, mania, intrusive thoughts, suicidal thoughts or you just don’t feel right please reach out for support as soon as possible or call 911 if there is imminent risk. The number one goal is to keep you and your baby safe.