Perinatal Mood Disorders

Pregnancy and the birth of a child is a exciting and celebratory time for many families. However, for approximately 20-25% of these women and their families this can be a very difficult time - especially if the mother is experiencing a Perinatal Mood or Anxiety Disorder.  Also know as PMADs, these disorders are the #1 complication of pregnancy and childbirth. Perinatal Mood Anxiety Disorders can have profound adverse effects on the women, children, and their family’s mental, physical and emotional health. Women of every culture, age, income level, and race can develop PMADs. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. There are effective and well-researched treatment options to help you recover.

Symptoms can appear anytime during the two-year span from conception through baby’s first birthday.  Onset of symptoms may be gradual or sudden. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are caused by changes in biology, physiology, environment, and expectations. 

According to PostPartum Support International the following symptoms as well as others could indicate that you have a form of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder (such as postpartum depression).

  • Are you feeling sad or depressed?1
  • Do you feel more irritable or angry with those around you?
  • Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?
  • Do you feel anxious or panicky?
  • Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?
  • Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind?
  • Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
  • Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?
  • Are you worried that you might hurt your baby or yourself?

While many women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. Please know that with informed care you can prevent a worsening of these symptoms and can fully recover. There is no reason to continue to suffer.

ADAA Resources

Additional Resources

Trending Articles

Educational Resources
Tips & Strategies from our Member Experts and Public Community
Block reference
If your child has seen coverage of such an event, make sure you talk with them about what they…

Your physical health, mental health, and sexual health are all important for your wellbeing.…

If you feel lost or depressed in your life, we see you and we feel you. I hope my story helps to…
I was very sensitive as a child and was born as a twin. At the age of 15, my first panic symptom…