Expectant Mothers Tested for Bipolar Disorder

This morning I came across an article about the folks over at St. Joe’s Women’s Health Concern Clinic using a questionnaire to assess the risk of bipolar disorder in expectant women.

The free questionnaire (The Mood Disorder Questionnaire) is helping employees detect bipolar disorder in pregnant women, in an attempt to help the clinic provide better care for women who may have postpartum depression or psychosis.

Supposedly the test proves a negative (for bipolar disorder) with 98 percent accuracy and a positive with 80 percent accuracy.

So, why is this important?

Apparently one in four women with bipolar disorder have a relapse in symptoms during or after pregnancy. And, when those symptoms can lead to suicide or women attempting to harm their own children, it is a good idea to seek treatment for the disorder before symptoms potentially get out of hand.

It is currently not common practice to use such a questionnaire during pregnancy care, but this clinic is hoping to change that, expressing that proper treatment could save lives.

For more information or to check out the article in full, link here.

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One response to “Expectant Mothers Tested for Bipolar Disorder

  1. I can personally attest to childbirth making Bipolar waaaayyyy worse. I can also say that my Dr 18 years ago just chalked it up to Postpartum Depression and pumped me full of Prozac (and we all know how that ends). Maybe this is a stride forward. I am, though, skeptical of just giving pregnant women a questionnaire to determine the likelihood they suffer/will suffer form a mood disorder. Every pregnant woman I have ever known has had mood and personality changes related to pregnancy and childbirth, whether or not they were mentally ill. Unfortunately the skeptic in me sees scenarios where pregnant women may be unnecessarily medicated as a ‘prophylactic measure.’ God knows psychiatrists do it to us when we aren’t pregnant.

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