Pregnancy symptoms mimic depression

Rates of depressive disorders in pregnancy are significantly overestimated because many of the symptoms used in the DSM criteria occur naturally as a direct result of pregnancy, a Sydney-based study of 118 women in their second or early third trimester has found. 

Two-thirds of the pregnant women who met criteria for major depression reported a number of their symptoms were due to the normal physical changes of their pregnancy. 

Taking that into consideration, the women would no longer meet criteria for a diagnosis of major depression, the researchers found. 

They suggested using additional probing questions rather than relying on symptoms on their own to make diagnosis.

J Affect Disord 2011, online 3 June

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