Could a Blood Test Have Predicted my Postpartum Mood Disorder?
Do I carry the Postpartum Mood Disorder (PPMD) gene? Did I pass the gene onto my babies? By the time my 13 and 10 year old daughters have children will they be tested for the PPMD gene? Could I have passed the gene onto my son who may pass the gene onto his daughters if he has any?
What about women who don’t carry the gene? Could they still get PPMD? Can someone have the gene and yet not get PPMD? If not, why not?
So many questions – yet maybe we are finally going to get some answers:
There’s exciting news in the world of research surrounding Postpartum Mood Disorder – a small study by John Hopkins researchers uncovered genes that may actually predict women who will get PPMD. Read more here:
So if I knew I carried the PPMD gene would that have changed the outcome? I didn’t have many noticeable symptoms when my first daughter was born. With my second baby it was extreme mood swings and OCD. By my third baby it was debilitating anxiety – so if I had carried “the gene” would I have been receiving a different level of care from my doctors? Would I have still just been offered an anti-depressant and nothing else? Would it have changed the fact that I didn’t even know about postpartum OCD? or postpartum anxiety? Did this gene also have something to do with my inability to ovulate orr with my severe PMS? Is it going to predict what happens when I hit menopause? Wow…lots to think about.
I’m thrilled with this new research and hope that larger studies will confirm that a blood test could be a useful tool. It doesn’t mean we can drop the ball on awareness about all the types of PPMD and all the different options to treatment.
Postpartum Mood Disorder can take many forms including anxiety, OCD (intrusive thoughts & visions), depression, bi-polar, PTSD and life-threatening psychosis. Postpartum Psychosis is a medical emergency if you suspect you or someone you know is suffering seek immediate medical attention.
|Read more of my blog posts about PPMD: (trigger warning)|
Postpartum Anxiety Part 2: I thought I was dying again (trigger warning)