Perinatal Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Awaiting the arrival of your child or becoming a mother should be a time of great hope and happy anticipation, but for some, it can bring a wave of depression and anxiety. If you are experiencing depression and anxiety that occurred during or within one year after your pregnancy, you may have Perinatal Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

GAD is usually prevalent in those who have a history of depression, anxiety or substance abuse, a family history of mental illness, lack of a good support system, issues with a previous pregnancy or schedule and hormonal changes.

Some common signs of GAD are:

  • Feeling sad, depressed, and/or crying a lot
  • Diminished interest in becoming a mother
  • Feeling worthless or guilty, especially about not being a good mother
  • Strong anxiety, tension, and/or fear either about your future child or other things
  • Sleep problems
  • Thoughts of wanting to be dead or wanting to kill yourself
  • Having low energy
  • Loss of or increase in appetite or weight
  • Trouble focusing, remembering things, or making decisions
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations, numbness, or hyperventilation

Often times the new mom may experience disbelief, embarrassment, shame or guilt with GAD before seeking treatment to manage the disorder.  Successful management of GAD can be done through medication and/or therapy.

If you are expecting a baby or have just become a mom and are feeling any of the symptoms listed above, you can make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Mental Health for a screening.

To make an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.