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Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADS) Treatment near Syracuse, NY and Surrounding Areas

While many women can experience some mild mood changes during and after birth, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders are much more severe and can affect up to 1 out of 5 women, making them the most common complications of pregnancy.  Symptoms can develop during pregnancy up to the first year after birth and can range in severity.  They can include a variety of disorders including Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, PTSD and Psychosis.


If you believe you may be experiencing perinatal mood disorders, therapy may be able to help.


Types of Perinatal Mood Disorders:
Pregnancy Depression and Postpartum Depression

This is the disorder most people have heard of and are therefore more familiar with. Mothers with postpartum depression may experience feelings of extreme sadness and exhaustion, and they might have a hard time completing daily care activities.  They might also experience feelings of anger, irritability and guilt.  They may notice changes in the way they sleep and eat, and have a hard time concentrating.  They might notice a lack of interest in the baby and possibly even have thoughts of harming themselves or their babies.

Types of Perinatal Anxiety Disorders:
Pregnancy Anxiety and Postpartum Anxiety

Because postpartum depression is talked about the most, a lot of women don't know what to think when they start experiencing extreme feelings of worry and fear, typically related to the health and safety of the baby. 

Postpartum Anxiety Symptoms

Women with postpartum anxiety might notice changes in the way they sleep and eat, symptoms of dizziness, hot flashes, increased heart rate, nausea, shortness of breath and chest pain.  They might also have a hard time sitting still or concentrating and feel like they're losing control.

Types of Perinatal Anxiety Disorder:
Pregnancy OCD and Postpartum OCD

Women who experience Obsessive Compulsive Disorder during or after pregnancy often have upsetting intrusive thoughts or mental pictures that are both unwanted and ongoing.  Women who experience these can find the images to be scary. In an effort to manage or reduce these anxiety symptoms, they often do certain behaviors over and over again to the point where they might interfere with daily living activities.  One of the challenges of OCD is that women often suffer alone - they remain silent for fear that others will believe they actually want to do something to their baby when in fact the opposite is true - they are terrified of something bad happening.  Women who experience these thoughts or images are very unlikely to act on them.

Types of Perinatal Anxiety Disorders:
Postpartum Panic Disorder

Postpartum panic disorder is characterized by frequent panic attacks (recurrent, unexpected episodes of panic and fear that peak within minutes) that focus specifically on maternal issues such as being a bad mother or the fear that her baby might get sick or die.  When people have panic attacks they experience extreme physical symptoms such as trembling, shaking, sweating,heart palpitations and dizziness.

Types of Perinatal Anxiety Disorders:
Postpartum PTSD

Women who experience postpartum PTSD have often suffered from a previous traumatic pregnancy or birth experience.  Women may experience feelings of extreme anxiety, flashbacks from previous traumatic events or avoid places or other things that might trigger negative memories or emotions related to  the event.

Types of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders:
Postpartum Psychosis

This is a rare but severe condition where women may experience hallucinations (hearing and/or seeing things that others can't) and/or delusions (they might believe things that aren't true and be unable to trust the people around them).  Other symptoms may include elevated mood, racing thoughts, paranoia, depression and confusion. People with postpartum psychosis may also experience a loss of inhibition.  This is an emergent condition that can be very dangerous. Women who experience symptoms of postpartum psychosis should seek help immediately by contacting their local law enforcement agency or going to their nearest emergency room.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Treatment

Although specific treatment may vary based on the individual and the condition, effective treatment may include talk therapy, medication management or a combination of both.  Although medication may be helpful in managing symptoms, therapy can help address the underlying causes and help you learn strategies for coping.  The form of talk therapy I most commonly use in my psychotherapy practice is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).  If you feel that medication might be a good option for you, please speak to your medical provider.

How to Get Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder Help

For many people, therapy is effective in helping with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders.

Schedule Your Therapy Appointment

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