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Birth. 2018 May 20. doi: 10.1111/birt.12356. [Epub ahead of print]

Anger in the context of postnatal depression: An integrative review.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Contrary to social constructions of new motherhood as a joyous time, mothers may experience postnatal depression and anger. Although postnatal depression has been thoroughly studied, the expression of maternal anger in the context of postnatal depression is conceptually unclear. This integrative review investigated the framing of anger in the context of postnatal depression.

METHODS:

After undertaking a search of CINAHL, Ovid-Medline, PsycInfo, and Web of Science, we identified qualitative (n = 7) and quantitative (n = 17) papers that addressed maternal anger and postnatal depression. We analyzed the data by developing themes.

RESULTS:

Our review indicated that anger was a salient mood disturbance for some postnatally depressed women with themes integrated as: (i) anger accompanying depression, (ii) powerlessness as a component of depression and anger, and (iii) anger occurring as a result of expectations being violated.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings indicate that anger can coexist with women's postnatal depression. Anger can be expressed toward the self and toward children and family members with negative relationship effects. We recommend that health care providers and researchers consider anger in the context of postnatal mood disturbances.

KEYWORDS:

childbirth; integrative review; postnatal anger; postnatal depression

PMID:
29781142
DOI:
10.1111/birt.12356

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