Women's Transitional Healthcare
Beginning at adolescents, women face an increased risk for mental illness. Women are 2 to 3 times more likely than men to develop depressive disorders. Studies show that depression accounts for the greatest burden of disease among all mental health problems, and is expected to be the second-highest of all general health problems by 2020. Anxiety and depression are the two most regularly diagnosed and treated disorders in mental illness. The occurrence of these disorders triples during the postpartum period in women predisposed genetically or environmentally to risk factors that exacerbate these disorder. Between 50-85% of new mothers experience a brief postpartum period of tearfulness and anxiety, termed the "postpartum blues." With studies showing 10 to 15% of women experiencing postpartum depression, or PPD, a longer-lasting and more pervasive type of mood disorder. Anxiety during pregnancy also increases with some evidence of panic attack improving during the fourth trimester. Yet the risk of developing new onset or symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) significantly increases.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is defined as symptoms that occur during the week before menses and interferes with daily life functioning. PMDD must include at least 5 symptoms during that week and remitting after onset of menses. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and postpartum depression increases the risk of new onset and recurrence of a major depressive episode during the perimenopausal cycle of a women's life. Hormones alone may treat hot flashes but symptoms of agitation, sleep disturbances, and mood instability may continue.
Depression and Anxiety that occur during the perinatal period places not only one person at risk but an entire family.