Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 483–488

A prospective study of thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation during the postpartum period in women with mood disorders

  • Carley J. Pope
  • Bin Xie
  • Verinder Sharma
  • M. Karen Campbell
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00737-013-0370-y

Cite this article as:
Pope, C.J., Xie, B., Sharma, V. et al. Arch Womens Ment Health (2013) 16: 483. doi:10.1007/s00737-013-0370-y

Abstract

Individuals with mood disorders are at higher risk for self-harm and suicidal ideation than other psychiatric group. However, the risk of self-harm and suicidal ideation after pregnancy for women with mood disorders is unknown. This investigation assessed the prevalence of thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation during the 1-year postpartum period in women with major depressive disorder or bipolar II disorder. Data were collected between June 2005 and March 2010 from a convenience sample of women participating in a study on the course of mood disorders during pregnancy and postpartum. Participant diagnosis was confirmed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Thoughts of self-harm were assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale item 10 and suicidal ideation was assessed using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale item 3. During the 1-year postpartum period, 16.97 % reported thoughts of self-harm while 6.16 % reported suicidal ideation. Further, those reporting thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation postpartum also reported higher levels of depression and hypomanic symptoms. We found that a number of women in our sample of women with a diagnosed mood disorder report experiencing thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation during the postpartum.

Keywords

Bipolar disorder Major depressive disorder Postpartum Self-harm Suicide 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carley J. Pope
    • 1
  • Bin Xie
    • 2
  • Verinder Sharma
    • 3
    • 4
    • 6
  • M. Karen Campbell
    • 5
  1. 1.Clinical Research Coordinator, Department of NeurologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Epidemiology & BiostatisticsUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.Psychiatry and Obstetrics & GynecologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  4. 4.Perinatal Clinic, St. Joseph’s Health CareLondonCanada
  5. 5.Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and PaediatricsUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  6. 6.Regional Mental Health Care LondonLondonCanada

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