'Baby Blues' Aren't Folklore
As recently as the 1980s, many physicians dismissed postpartum depression, among other women's mental-health issues. Doctors at Pitt, including Katherine Wisner, vowed to change that.
When Wisner herself was training as a psychiatric resident, her supervisors pooh-poohed her concerns for women suffering depression during and after pregnancy. “They said pregnant women are ‘fulfilled,’ so they don’t become psychiatrically ill,” she recalls.
Today, Wisner directs Pitt’s Women’s Behavioral Health Clinical Care Advocacy Research Education (CARE) center, where she and her colleagues investigate women’s mental health issues. One CARE study, led by Eydie Moses-Kolko, found evidence that postpartum depression isn’t solely related to hormonal imbalances. Meanwhile, professor Dorothy Sit studies the effects of menstrual cycles on mood symptoms in bipolar disorder, while professor Kara Driscoll studies mood and anxiety disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period.