Anxiety Disorders

  • Giampaolo Perna
  • Ylenia Barone
  • Alessandra Alciati


Pregnancy and the puerperium are associated with high vulnerability to mental illnesses. Anxiety disorders, which have not been extensively studied, are common during the perinatal period, and their actual prevalence is probably underestimated. Studies on the pharmacological effects of drugs during pregnancy are inconclusive, and further research is needed to devise clear guidance. Overall, psychotherapeutic treatment should be the first choice for mild anxious symptoms, whereas drugs should be considered for moderate-to-severe anxiety. “No treatment” is not a valid alternative because of the well-documented medical and psychological consequences of untreated maternal anxiety on newborns. Therefore, identifying perinatal anxiety disorders is crucial for providing valid treatment options to the future mother and preventing any consequences for the child.


Perinatal period Pregnancy Postpartum Anxiety disorders Panic disorder Generalized anxiety Social phobia Specific phobia Benzodiazepines Antidepressants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giampaolo Perna
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ylenia Barone
    • 1
  • Alessandra Alciati
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Clinical NeurosciencesVilla San Benedetto Menni – Hermanas HospitalariasComo LakeItaly
  2. 2.Humanitas UniversityRozzanoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and NeuropsychologyUniversity of MaastrichtMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Leonard Miller School of MedicineUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  5. 5.Humanitas Clinical and Research CenterRozzanoItaly

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