Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School

Archive | Depression in Women

Psychiatric Clinics of North America: June Issue on Women’s Mental Health

In the field of reproductive psychiatry, we don’t really have any textbooks to rely on.  However, the June issue of the Psychiatric Clinics of North America is devoted to Women’s Mental Health, and it’s pretty much the most comprehensive guide on this topic. With articles from leaders in the field, it covers PMDD, medication use […]

Continue Reading · 0

Brexanolone: Related to Allopregnanolone, Effective for the Treatment of Postpartum Depression

In 2015, we first reported on SAGE-547 (SAGE Therapeutics), a new medication for the treatment of severe postpartum depression.  SAGE-547, now called brexanolone, is an allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors.  This drug was initially under investigation for the treatment of refractory seizure disorders but it turned out to be a good antidepressant.  The information we […]

Continue Reading · 0

In Brief:  Traumatic Events in Childhood and Adolescence Increase Risk for Perimenopausal Depression

  Previous studies have indicated that depression during the perimenopausal transition is associated with various risk factors, including previous history of depression, poor physical health, and more severe perimenopausal symptoms.  A recent study (reviewed here) indicates that women who experienced multiple traumatic events during childhood or adolescence are more likely to experience depression during the […]

Continue Reading · 0

Perinatal Depression Screening Is Just The Start

The following post was first published in OB/GYN News. Please see our OB/GYN News archives here. Publish date:  March 3, 2017 Over the last decade, appreciation of the prevalence of perinatal depression – depression during pregnancy and/or the postpartum period – along with interest and willingness to diagnose and to treat these disorders across primary care, obstetric, […]

Continue Reading · 1

Effectiveness of Psychological Interventions for Postpartum Depression in Primary Care

  Postpartum depression (PPD) has been identified as the “most under-recognized, under-diagnosed, and under-treated obstetrical complication in America”, affecting approximately 10-15% of new mothers. In addition to affecting maternal mental health during a critical time in a woman’s life, there are are a number of downstream effects associated with undiagnosed or untreated PPD such as […]

Continue Reading · 0

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Linked to Anxiety and Depression

  Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine-related dysfunction in women of reproductive age (1).  It is also the most common cause of infertility due to the absence of ovulation.  Many women are not diagnosed as having PCOS until they experience issues with infertility (2).  PCOS is considered to be a genetic disease […]

Continue Reading · 0

Improving Access to Mental Health Services: Could Lay Counselors Be Used to Treat Perinatal Depression?

About 15% of women suffer from perinatal depression — depression which emerges during pregnancy or the postpartum period; however, most women with perinatal depression do not receive any  type of treatment.  While we have made huge strides in increasing awareness of postpartum mental health issues, there are still significant obstacles to obtaining treatment.  Especially in […]

Continue Reading · 1

Is BDNF a Biomarker for Depression During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period?

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a growth factor which acts on neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, promoting the survival of neurons and promoting the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses.  In the brain, it is most active in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain—areas important  to learning, memory, and […]

Continue Reading · 0

Pregnancy Termination Does Not Affect Women’s Long-term Mental Health or Well-Being

The US Surgeon General made the recommendation in 1989 that a five-year longitudinal cohort study was necessary to provide data about the health effects of an elective termination on women. To rise to this challenge, the Turnaway Study was launched at the University of California, San Francisco Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. This prospective, […]

Continue Reading · 0

Postpartum Depression in Women with No History of Psychiatric Illness

Most studies observe that about 15% of women experience postpartum depression (PPD).  For the majority of women who present with postpartum depression, the postpartum episode is not the first ever episode of depression and instead represents a recurrence.  These women report a pattern of recurrent depressive illness consisting of both puerperal and nonpuerperal episodes.   […]

Continue Reading · 1