Background: Though potential differences in postpartum and nonpostpartum major depression have major implications for the etiology and treatment of both disorders, these differences have not been clearly delineated. Emotion theory presents a potentially important framework for understanding these differences.
Methods: The current study examined the performance of 65 postpartum depressed, 65 nonpostpartum depressed, and 65 healthy control women on two facial recognition tasks.
Results: Postpartum and nonpostpartum participants performed worse on the recognition of emotions of happiness and fear when compared to controls on both tasks. Participants with postpartum depression showed a greater impairment on both disgust and anger when compared to participants with nonpostpartum depression; participants with nonpostpartum depression showed greater impairment on happiness when compared to postpartum depression.
Conclusion: Postpartum and nonpostpartum depression may impair facial expression recognition differently. Results are discussed in terms of limitations and clinical implications.
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