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New York Times Features Northwestern Depression Research

Northwestern scientists’ postpartum depression research highlighted on front page

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June 17, 2014

CHICAGO --- Two recent Northwestern Medicine® studies were featured prominently in a front-page New York Times article June 16 titled “‘Thinking of Ways to Harm Her’: New Findings on Timing and Range of Maternal Mental Illness.”

The story summarized a fast-growing body of research that is changing the very definition of maternal mental illness. Scientists said new findings “contradict the longstanding view that symptoms begin only within a few weeks after childbirth” and that “recent studies also show that the range of disorders women face is wider than previously thought.”

The article highlighted recent important research from Northwestern Medicine®’s Katherine L. Wisner, M.D., which found that a surprisingly high number of women have postpartum depressive symptoms.

Wisner is director of Northwestern’s Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders and the Norman and Helen Asher Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She’s also a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Women who suffered from postpartum depression shared their stories with the New York Times, explaining in detail the terrifying visions and thoughts they had about harming their babies and ways they sought out treatment and help.

Recent research from Dana Gossett, M.D., on how new moms likely suffer from obsessive-compulsive symptoms more than the general population, was also featured in the article. Gossett is chief and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Studying and treating reproductive-related depression disorders in women is a priority at Northwestern Medicine®. In 2013, the Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine opened its doors with a major focus on women and depression. It’s one of only a handful of centers focused on women of all ages who may be suffering from reproductive-related depression.

“Women should not suffer in silence,” said Wisner, director of the Asher Center. “They can feel better. There are very good and effective treatments for depression and mood changes related to hormones.”

Read the entire piece online in the New York Times.

Topics: University News, Research, People