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Clinical presentation of postnatal and non-postnatal depressive episodes

Cooper, Carly, Jones, Lisa, Dunn, Emma, Forty, Liz, Haque, Sayeed, Oyebode, Femi, Craddock, Nicholas John ORCID: and Jones, Ian Richard ORCID: 2007. Clinical presentation of postnatal and non-postnatal depressive episodes. Psychological Medicine 37 (09) , pp. 1273-1280. 10.1017/S0033291707000116

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Background The relationship of postnatal (postpartum) depression (PND) to episodes of depression occurring at other times is not well understood. Despite a number of studies of clinical presentation, there is little consistency in the literature. We have undertaken within- and between-individual comparisons of the clinical presentation of postnatal (PN) and non-postnatal (NPN) depressive episodes in women with recurrent depression. Method In a sample of well-characterized, parous women meeting DSM-IV and ICD-10 criteria for recurrent major depressive disorder, the clinical presentation of episodes of major depression with onset within 4 weeks of giving birth (PND group, n=50) were compared with (i) the non-postnatal episodes of women with PND, and (ii) episodes of major depression in parous women who had not experienced episodes of mood disorder in relation to childbirth (NPND group, n=132). In addition, the non-postnatal episodes of the PND group of women were compared with the depressive episodes of the NPND group. Results The small number of differences found between PN and NPN depressive episodes, such as reduced early morning wakening in postnatal episodes, are likely to be explicable by the context of having a new baby rather than by any difference in the nature of the underlying depression. Conclusions The results do not point to substantial differences in clinical presentation between episodes of major depression occurring in relation to childbirth and at other times. Other avenues of research are therefore required to demonstrate a specific relationship between childbirth and depression.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0033-2917
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 08:23

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