40% of Women Cannot Identify the Full Spectrum of Perinatal Mood Disorders
We’ve all heard of Postpartum Depression by now but I really wondered, do we know what it really entails? I am one of those women who fell through the cracks because I didn’t know about Perinatal OCD or Anxiety. It is one of the reasons I started Hormone Soup – to create awareness and so other women could know that they aren’t alone!
We conducted a survey of 1300 randomly selected Canadian woman and set to find out how much women really know about Perinatal Mood Disorder which is the Number One complication of Pregnancy. When we asked women to identify the full spectrum of mood disorders surrounding pregnancy and the postpartum here’s some of what we found out:
Depression – 93%
The good news is almost everyone recognizes Depression! Thanks to so many awareness campaigns by organizations and bloggers and the medical community! The job’s not done though – we still have 7% of people who didn’t get it.
Anxiety – 83%
This number was pretty high as well – higher than I had thought it would be actually – 83% of women know that anxiety can be associated with pregnancy and the postpartum period. But it still leaves room for improvement – almost 20% of women didn’t know. I was one of those women who had no clue. Panic Disorder also falls under Anxiety – some women develop debilitating panic.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – 25%
The crack widens with OCD and I am not one bit surprised. I think when we think of OCD we tend to think of the Howard Hughes germaphobe. That’s not the type of OCD we’re talking about here – women can experience many different types of intrusive thoughts and/or visions and they usually involve harm coming to the baby in some way. The thoughts can involve everything from someone else harming the baby, the mother harming her own baby, disturbing sexual thoughts about the baby, accidents happening to the baby. As you can see, it’s no wonder women aren’t talking about it – it’s terrifying when it happens. And, furthermore, it’s scary to admit this kind of stuff. But we absolutely need more awareness here. New research is showing Postpartum OCD affects 1 in 10 new moms! Let’s get this number up and start talking about it.
Bipolar Disorder – 22%
I’m sure this one doesn’t surprise many of you – it’s still confusing in the medical community as well I would say. Researchers are trying to figure out myriad issues here, such as women who have depression “convert” to bipolar disorder with pregnancy, confusion diagnosing women with either bipolar or depression, the link between bipolar disorder and psychosis.
Psychosis – 30%
This is disturbing to me – even though Postpartum Psychosis is considered “rare” effecting approximately 1 or 2 per 1,000 babies being born, it is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention. We definitely have work to do here.
Maternal Mental Health involves everyone
I really believe we can help each other as women – because the woman who is in the throes of one of these disorders may not know herself or be able to figure out what’s going on – she may need your insight. Know the symptoms in case it happens to 15 – 20% of the women you know.
* The percentage of women who recognized the disorder as part of the spectrum of mood disorders associated with pregnancy/postpartum.
|About Sonya:I am striving to make a change – women’s health is my passion and that is why I felt compelled to start blogging at Hormone Soup and more recently start an online healthcare platform that will provide women with the real tools they need to help them take the driver’s seat in their own healthcare. My long time vision for women’s health is being realized and we have some amazing things going on over at Open Source Health – I’ve gathered an amazing team of people that are also passionate about women’s health and experts in their field – I think you’ll be impressed. Head on over and see what’s going on.|