Modern Psychological Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Non-psychotic Postnatal Depression (PND) is the most common complication of childbirth. Commonly misconstrued as the "baby blues", PND is, in fact, just as serious as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). PND affects 13%-15% of all mothers; if untreated, it can lead to Postnatal Psychosis, a much more severe illness that has lead to suicide and child abuse. Despite the similarities between Major Depressive Disorder and PND, the disorders are different in many aspects. Symptoms of PND are directly related to the new child and to the demands of motherhood. Unlike PND, MDD is classified specifically in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (APA, 2000). The lack of proper classification of PND may be responsible for the lack of proper education on the topic. Risk factors include socio-demographic, socioeconomic, psychiatric, biological and personal factors. Perceived social support, the level of satisfaction with familial relationships and beliefs about motherhood are all also likely to correlate with the severity of symptoms. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the. Beck Depression Scale and the Postnatal Depressive Symptom Survey are all used the most in screening for depressive symptoms specific to the birth of a child. However sensitive, the tests used have limitations due to their original design not being specified for the postpartum period. Treatment is currently being modified for PND clients. There are different factors associated with Postnatal Depression that are not found among the more commonly known form of depression and treatment must focus on those specific factors. Treatment has been found to be successful in most cases and it is imperative to further research in order to develop more successful treatment. In an attempt to increase the awareness of Postnatal Depression, the literature review emphasizes on risk factors associated with PND as well as the screening tools and treatment options.
BF1 .M63 v. 15 no. 2 2010
Pridgen, Shannon and Biglan, Minhnoi C. Wroble
"Postnatal depression: a review of the literature,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 15
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol15/iss2/4