Lockdown Study Finds Undiagnosed Mental Health Crisis Among New Mothers

New mothers experienced worryingly high rates of depression and anxiety during the first lockdown, our new research has revealed. One of the major contributing factors to them feeling this way was the psychological impact of social distancing measures. Our study examined the psychological and social experiences of more than 600 women with babies between birth and 12 weeks old during the first lockdown in the United Kingdom. We wanted to understand the prevalence rates of “clinically relevant” maternal depression and anxiety. By clinically relevant, we mean mothers who scored above a certain threshold on questionnaires normally used by clinicians when they assess and diagnose mental health conditions. Usual rates of depression and anxiety after birth in the UK are around 15 percent. Our survey found similar rates, with 11 percent of women reporting they already had a current clinical diagnosis of depression and 18 percent reporting an existing clinical diagnosis of anxiety. However, when we …

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