Looking beyond depression
Call for greater global focus on improving quality of mental health care for women in the perinatal phase
Researchers and healthcare services have focused on depression, particularly postnatal depression, but a growing evidence base has accrued on the importance of other primary and comorbid disorders, particularly bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders (post-trauma stress, obsessive-compulsive, panic and generalized anxiety disorders), psychosis, eating disorders and personality disorder in both the antenatal and postnatal period.
The World Psychiatric Association urges all health care professionals and policy makers to improve pregnancy outcomes, reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, improve care of the infant and enhance the mother infant relationship.
The WPA calls for all health professionals and other care providers to look beyond depression and also focus on other symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, somatic symptoms (as potential indicators for depression) and psychotic disorders. Women with severe mental illnesses need to be recognised as a high risk group requiring co-ordinated obstetric, paediatric and mental health care.
Read the full statement by the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)