Obsessional Thoughts in Postpartum Females and Their Partners: Content, Severity, and Relationship with Depression
- 415 Downloads
Only a few studies have examined the development or exacerbation of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) during pregnancy and the postpartum. Although the available literature suggests that OCD symptoms, particularly obsessional problems, develop at higher than expected rates among postpartum females, the overall prevalence of such symptoms in the postpartum remains unknown. Previous findings also suggest that intrusive distressing thoughts related to situational stressors are common in the general population. Therefore, the present study was designed to assess the presence and phenomenology of postpartum obsessive-like intrusive thoughts, images, and impulses in a large sample of parents with very young infants. Surveys were mailed to 300 childbearing women and their partners. Results were obtained from approximately one fifth of the sample; and 65% of respondents indicated the presence of obsessional intrusive thoughts. Intrusions were similar to “normal obsessions” as reported in previous research. Results are discussed in terms of the content of intrusive thoughts, their relationship to depression, and implications for etiological models of OCD and perinatal education.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Angst, J. (1993). Comorbidity of anxiety, phobia, compulsion and depression. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 8, 21–25.Google Scholar
- Antony, M. M., Downie, F., & Swinson, R. P. (1998). Diagnostic issues and epidemiology in obsessive–compulsive disorder. In R. Swinson & M. M. Antony (Eds.), Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Theory, research, and treatment. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Baer, L. (1994). Factor analysis of symptom subtypes of obsessive compulsive disorder and their relation to personality and tic disorders. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 55, 18–23.Google Scholar
- Buttolph, L., & Holland, A. (1990). Obsessive–compulsive disorder in pregnancy and childbirth. In M. Jenike, L. Baer, & W. Minichiello (Eds.), Obsessive–compulsive disorder: Theory and management (pp. 89–95). Chicago: Yearbook Medical Publishers.Google Scholar
- Rachman, S., & Hodgson, R. (1980). Obsessions and compulsions. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Radoff, L. (1977). The CES-D Scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Journal of Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385–401.Google Scholar
- Wroe, A. L., Salkovskis, P. M., & Richards, H. C. (2000). “Now I know it could happen, I have to prevent it”: A clinical study of the specificity of intrusive thoughts and the decision to prevent harm. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 28, 63–70.Google Scholar