Recent Posts

Suicidal Ideation in Pregnant Women Not Always Associated with Depression

It seems that there is considerable variation in the estimated prevalence of suicidal ideation in pregnant and postpartum women across studies. One element that may contribute to this variation is how we assess for this symptom. Many studies use self-report questionnaires, such as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) which asks how often “the thought of harming myself has occurred to me”. Other studies use the Patient Health Questionnaire or PHQ-9 which asks how often...

Weekly Roundup for AUGUST 9, 2019: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Opioid use in pregnant women is a significant public health concern.  A recent study observed that one out of five pregnant women (21.6%) filled a prescription for an opioid and 2.5% received a chronic opioid prescription for greater than 30 days.  It is estimated that the number of pregnant women diagnosed with an opioid use disorder (OUD) has more than quadrupled over a 15-year period ending in 2014, increasing from 1.5 to 6.5 per 1000...

Initiative to Screen All Women for Anxiety, Including Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States, and women are about  twice as likely as men to suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime.  According to a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one in five pregnant women experience at least one type of anxiety disorder.  Given the high prevalence of anxiety disorders among women, the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) issued a...

Lithium and Anticonvulsant Mood Stabilizers: No Higher Risk for Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

For women with bipolar disorder, choosing whether to maintain or discontinue treatment with a mood stabilizer during pregnancy is challenging.  This is a process which requires careful and thoughtful consideration, weighing the risk of adverse outcomes associated with exposure to a particular drug against the risk of recurrent illness in the setting of medication discontinuation. While we have considerable information regarding the teratogenicity of various mood stabilizers, we have much less data regarding other pregnancy...

Register Online MGH Conference on Women’s Mental Health – October 17, 2019

We are excited to announce that we will be offering a new one day course in Women’s Mental Health in Boston on Thursday, October 17th.  This is the day preceding the Annual Psychopharmacology Conference (October 18-20, 2019). This course will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in women across the reproductive lifespan. Specialized knowledge is necessary to tailor treatments to reproductive events such as pregnancy and pregnancy planning, the postpartum, breastfeeding, the...

Perinatal Anxiety: Common But Not Frequently Recognized or Treated

According to a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one in five pregnant women experience at least one type of anxiety disorder. While this may be surprising to some, anybody who works with pregnant and postpartum women is well aware that anxiety is very common in this population.   Because anxiety is so common and is often a very normal response to any sort of life transition, one of the challenges that faces...