Mood Disorders in Women: Focus on Reproductive Psychiatry in the 21st Century

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Vivien K. Burt
Veronica Quezada


Mood Disorders, Women, Reproductive Psychiatry, 21st Century


The burden of mental illness in general, and depression in particular, has long been underestimated.  One in 6 persons  in the United States will, at some point, suffer from major depression.1 Depression is second only to heart disease as a leading cause of medical disability in the   U.S.2     Women   are   vulnerable   to   mood instability at times of life-cycle related hormonal challenge (e.g., including the premenstruum, pregnancy, post-miscarriage, postpartum and perimenopause).3 Neurobiological, genetic, and psychosocial   substrates   underlie   the   increased vulnerability for depression in women. The significant negative impact of maternal depression on maternal and child health and psychological well-being and other possible consequences of chronic depression will be reviewed. The enormous  burden  of female  depression on women,  their children  and their families  has been well-documented over the past two decades. What remains is the need for serious, rigorously conducted research into effective and safe treatments  for depression  in women,  particularly at times of reproductive transition

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