You've heard plenty of stories among friends, on social media, or maybe even in celebrity tell-all books of women experiencing postpartum depression. But have you heard of PPND paternal postnatal depression —the one your partner may suffer from after your little bundle of joy arrives? PPND is very, very real: A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 10 percent of men worldwide showed signs of depression from the first trimester of their wife's pregnancy through six months after the child was born.
The number spiked to a whopping 26 percent during the three- to six-month period after the baby's arrival. This is what experts understand about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of postpartum depression in men. Could Postpartum Depression Happen to You?
A study published in Pediatrics found that depression among new dads increases by 68 percent during the first five years of baby's life. Testosterone levels drop; estrogen, prolactin, and cortisol go up. Some men even develop symptoms such as nausea and weight gain.
While a lack of sleep is probably the biggest culprit when it comes depression among new dads, other possible causes include a history of the disease, a dad's rocky relationship with his partner, financial problems or stress, and a sick, colicky, or premature baby. Men who've experienced the loss of loved ones—either in the adult years prior to becoming a parent or while growing up—are also at increased risk D0ing my nb fa ther part 4 depression.
She adds that adoptive parents are also vulnerable. The best predictor of a man's risk of depression is whether his wife is also depressed.
Our society subscribes to the cultural myth that men should be stoic and tough things out, notes Dr. Their husbands almost always assume they're alone in feeling sad or scared to be a dad.
Experts believe that paternal postpartum D0ing my nb fa ther part 4 may be more prevalent D0ing my nb fa ther part 4 largely because this generation of fathers is feeling the same psychological, social, and economic stressors that some mothers have long experienced. The trend toward dads staying home with Baby while mom goes off to work is becoming more widespread.
With more moms working, dads are shouldering child care and household tasks that traditionally fell to women. They have plenty of stress and little sleep, and this, along with hormonal changes, can lead to depression. Yet despite all of that, PPPD is still easily eclipsed by its maternal counterpart.
Perhaps because many men would rather stifle their feelings than talk about them, which can make the situation at home much more heated and fraught.
Postpartum depression is different from the Daddy Blues, which many new dads can experience, says Dr. But with depression, these things won't make him feel better. The symptoms are more severe and last longer. If the 'blues' last more than two or three weeks, it's probably depression—and a man should get help from a mental health professional who specializes in working with men. Untreated depression only worsens.
While some men exhibit classic symptoms of sadness, others become irritable, agitated, or angry, says Dr.
Dads may have shortness of breath, heart palpitationsor full-blown panic attacks. Men may feel worthless; lose interest in sex or activities that used to bring them joy; or engage in such risky behaviors as abusing alcohol or drugs, gambling, or extramarital affairs.
Even mild to moderate depression can have serious repercussions when it's not treated. Watch out for these symptoms and speak with a doctor if you're concerned. Research shows that talk therapy is very effective in treating depression, and it can be combined with medication. But there are lots of treatments that range from traditional to alternative.
The important thing is that a man get help, preferably from a licensed mental health professional and one who specializes in working with men, says Dr.
Also, seek out support groups and sites like Postpartummen. Keep trying until you find the mental health treatment that's right for you, says Christina Hibbert, PsyD, an expert on postpartum mental health and founder of the nonprofit organization, the Arizona Postpartum Wellness Coalition. She created a DVD on postpartum couples and said that when she presented it at a conference, it was the first time she remembers there being a discussion about the father's postpartum experience.
If there are treatments available and they work—which they do—men should do them because otherwise this depression can go on for a long time.
Getting help can save a man's life— or his marriage.
And if a father can't do it for himself, he should get help for the well-being of his child. Men need to recognize that depression is a medical condition — it's not a weakness of character.
For a man to admit he's depressed isn't unmanly or admitting defeat. It's taking charge of his life.