Irritability is a pervasive yet underreported and underrecognized feature of distress during the perinatal period. Despite historically being overshadowed by co-occurring symptoms of depressed and anxious mood, perinatal irritability can be highly distressing to affected individuals and disrupt daily functioning, particularly within the interpersonal domain. In the current paper, we review current research on the biopsychosocial determinants of irritable mood during the perinatal period and provide recommendations for assessment and intervention. We highlight the importance of assessing the triggers and behavioral outputs of irritability, and discuss how providers can attend to an individual’s environment and cultural context in case conceptualization and the delivery of clinical services.
External Funding: This work was supported by funding from the NIH (R21MH119615; PI Schiller). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. The sponsors had no input into writing the manuscript or in the decision to submit the article for publication. Danielle Swales is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH T32 MH093315). Samantha Hellberg was supported by funding by the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) during the production of this work; the IOCDF had no role in the writing of the manuscript or the decision to submit the paper for publication.