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Mood disorders during pregnancy.

Depression is prevalent among women in the Middle East, especially during pregnancy, mainly due to hormonal fluctuations.

Conditions such as postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis are increasingly gaining attention since these conditions could even lead to hospitalisation.

Although pregnancy has typically been considered a time of emotional wellbeing, recent studies suggest that up to 20 per cent women suffer from mood or anxiety disorders during pregnancy. There is concern over prescribing medication to pregnant women, even though depression poses a significant risk to the baby and mother.

"In my practice, I receive many patients suffering from postpartum psychosis. Due to the nature of the condition, many new mothers need to be hospitalised. I usually refer them to psychiatric departments in hospitals as opposed to stand-alone outpatient clinics," said Dr Yousef Abouallaban, managing director and consultant psychiatrist of American Centre for Psychiatry and Neurology, Abu Dhabi.

Dr Abouallaban will be discussing depression in women at the Obs-Gyne Exhibition and Conference from March 30 to April 1 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Postpartum psychosis is a severe episode of mental illness that begins suddenly in the days or weeks after having a baby. Symptoms vary and can change rapidly. They can include high mood (mania), depression, confusion, hallucinations and delusions. Postpartum psychosis is a psychiatric emergency and needs to be treated as such.

"Postpartum psychosis is severe due to its symptoms and it should be treated urgently. The patient should seek medical assistance in its early stages especially because it is potentially a life threatening condition. Urgent care is essential as soon as the patient experiences primary symptoms," said Dr Abouallaban.


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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 27, 2014
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