Psychiatric Disorders in Women’s Health

  • Shambhavi Chandraiah


The global burden of psychiatric disorders is growing with major depression often being as debilitating as diabetes or coronary artery disease. Women often seek psychiatric care from their primary care provider or obstetrician/gynecologist. The most common psychiatric disorders seen in women include major depression, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder as well as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most of these disorders are effectively treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or similar antidepressant/anxiolytic medications (+/−psychotherapy). However, bipolar disorder requires mood stabilizers.

Reproductively associated psychiatric disorders include premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders during pregnancy and postpartum, as well as perimenopausal depression and anxiety. Pregnancy and breastfeeding present unique situations where careful assessment and discussion of the impact of untreated psychiatric disorder versus the positive or potential negative side effects of the use of psychotropic medication on the fetus or infant is essential. Psychotherapy may be particularly useful as a primary treatment approach or as adjunct/alternative treatment when medication use may be problematic.


Mood disorder Depression Bipolar disorder Anxiety Posttraumatic stress disorder Premenstrual dysphoric disorder Pregnancy Postpartum Lactation Perimenopause 



Thank you to Drs. Umesh Bhandari and Holly Kinget for their early contributions to this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Quillen College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA

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