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Do Men Get Postpartum Depression

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Dads & Depression: Know The Signs

My Postnatal Depression Story | Can Men Get Postnatal Depression?

Symptoms of depression can look different in men and women. Some of the more common signs in men include:

  • Anger,irritability or aggression.
  • Loss ofinterest in work or favorite activities.
  • Workingall the time.
  • Actingdistant or withdrawing from family and friends.
  • Feelingfrustrated, discouraged or cynical.
  • Feelingsad, hopeless or overwhelmed.

Men who have a history of depression might be at greaterrisk of postpartum depression. So are new fathers whose partners also havepostpartum symptoms.

Around 1 In 10 Men Experience Paternal Postpartum Depression After The Birth Of A Child Learn What Causes Pppd And The Symptoms To Look Out For Here:

Article by:Hidden DiagnosisSomething’s WrongBreaking ThroughThe ScienceOne More TimeSymptomsWhere to Get Help

Sometime after your bundle of joy arrives, you notice negative changes in your husbands behavior. It could be paternal postpartum depression. And yes, its real.

When his first child was born in October 2013, David Levine, was thrilled. I was as excited as any new parent and looking forward to being a dad, says Dr. Levine, a pediatrician who practices in Westfield, New Jersey. ;Within days his initial elation eroded, replaced by anxiety and fear.

His son, Zachary, cried constantly. As a pediatrician, Dr. Levine often comforted anxious parents and crying babies. But in his new role as a father, his medical training couldnt rein in his obsessive fear that Zacharys persistent crying indicated a serious medical issue. I became fixated on the idea something was devastatingly wrong with my son.

At work, Dr. Levine rallied engrossed in his practice. Back home in the couples small apartment, he was irritable and even angry. Every time Im with him hes crying, Dr. Levine told his wife, And now Im even more convinced theres something terribly wrong with him.

His wife and his sons pediatrician tried to reassure him. They didnt succeed. No one could persuade me that my son was fine, he says.

Risk Factors For Perinatal Depression Or Anxiety

For any gender, the rates of perinatal mood disorders are highest in poor and middle-income countries where access to mental health care and other support systems are limited.

When it comes to healthcare and paid family leave, the United States has a woeful track record compared to other high-income countries: It ranks lowest among the affluent countries in healthcare and is the only country out of 41 that doesnât guarantee paid family leave.

âThe experience of perinatal mental health is very much a biological, psychological, social, and anthropological issue,â Singley says. Itâs not a matter of sex.

Myriad factors can contribute to perinatal mood disorders. Parents are losing sleep. Their relationship is changing. They may not have access to mental health care or be home with the baby. All of these can stress parents and result in mood disorders.

âNot once was my husband asked these questions.â

People who have a history of mood or anxiety disorders have an increased risk of developing them during the perinatal period, says Singley, who experienced a difficult birth.

Peter feels like the stress of his sonâs birth primed him for the depressive period that followed.

âHe was in the NICU for a month,â Peter explains. âBy the time he got home, we had already been through the wringer.â

âNot once was my husband asked these questions,â she writes.

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Signs Of Postpartum Depression And Anxiety In Men

Men and women can experience depression very differently. Here are some symptoms that are common in men:

  • Increased anger and conflict with others
  • Increased use of alcohol or prescription/street drugs
  • Frustration or irritability
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Being easily stressed
  • Impulsiveness or risk taking
  • Feeling discouraged; cynicism
  • Increase in complaints about physical problems, like headaches, digestion problems or pain
  • Problems with concentration or motivation
  • Loss of interest in work, hobbies and/or sex
  • Working constantly
  • Concerns about productivity and functioning at work or school
  • Fatigue

Can Men Suffer From Postpartum Depression

Coping with Postpartum Depression

Your baby is crying, and nothing seems to soothe him. You look to your partner, expecting a helping hand, but he seems checked out. Is he just being selfish, or is it something more?

We know that postpartum depression is a serious and common risk for new moms, but we seldom think about how parenthood affects dads. Before you stew in your frustrations with your partner , take a minute to consider that he might be struggling with feelings of depression.

Dr. Ella Speichinger, OB/GYN, says that men show signs of PPD later than most women on average, about two to six months after the baby is born so theres a chance your partner isnt just being difficult.

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Men Also Get Postpartum Depression

Study Shows 1 in 10 Dads Has Moderate to Severe Postpartum Depression

May 6, 2008 — Postpartum depression hits new dads, too.

Moreover, male postpartum depression may have more negative effects on some aspects of a child’s development than its female counterpart, says James F. Paulson, PhD, of the Center for Pediatric Research at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va.

Paulson and colleagues reviewed data on more than 5,000 two-parent families with children aged 9 months.

They found that one in 10 new dads met standard criteria for moderate to severe postpartum depression.

That’s a “striking increase” from the 3% to 5% of men in the general population that have depression, Paulson tells WebMD.

The research, presented here at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association , also showed that the 14% of new moms have postpartum depression. That compares to 7% to 10% of women in the general population.

What Causes Postnatal Depression In Men

The adjustment to family life and the pressures of learning to raise a child can be overwhelming and stressful for fathers, no matter their circumstances. These issues are exacerbated by lack of sleep and less time to relax.

Queensland Healths Chief Psychiatrist Dr John Reilly says first-time dads especially may be susceptible to postnatal mental illness.

Theres no real way to prepare for the birth of your first child, Dr Reilly says.

Of course, there are the feelings of happiness and anticipation but the reality is, the new pressures of fatherhood can also cause feelings of apprehension, anxiety, exhaustion and guilt.

Life seems to change abruptly; suddenly you have a human being to care for and it can be very daunting.

Youre getting much less sleep, your routine is thrown out, you have far less free time and you spend more energy looking after your little one than yourself.

Postnatal depression may be more common in dads who have:

  • limited practical, emotional or social support
  • a history of mental health issues
  • had a difficult pregnancy
  • found the reality of parenting different from their expectations
  • had major life and relationship difficulties
  • financial stress
  • current or previous issues with alcohol or drugs.

Like mums who experience the illness, dads may also experience hormonal changes. Hormones such as testosterone and cortisol may change in men following the arrival of their child, triggering depression.

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What Can I Do About Paternal Postnatal Depression

It can be tough for anyone to admit they have depression, but it can be especially difficult for men. Many dont believe postpartum depression can even happen to men, but we know better now, right? Seeking treatment is a powerful thing, for it allows you to put your health and the health of your family first and foremost, where it belongs. Just remember the Postpartum Support International Motto: Youre not alone, dads. Youre not to blame. And you will be well.

1);; The first step is to recognize whats going on with you and take it seriously. Often, after dads ask and learn that, yes, men can get postpartum depression too, I hear them say, Yeah, I think thats what Ive got, then laugh it off. Taking your health seriously is important for the recovery of you and your entire family.

2);; Seek support and resources. Your wife/partner, family, or friends may be a good place to start when seeking support. Just having one or two people you trust who know whats going on can make a big difference in helping you recover. Learn all you can about PPND and treatment options. There are some great online resources just for dads .

3);; Work on family sleep. You need sleep to function well, and your family does too. Coupleswork together to help each other get as much rest as possible.

4);; Take a break as needed. I encourage new moms to take a little time for themselves each day and dads should do the same.

Signs Of Postpartum Depression In Men

Signs Of Male Postpartum Depression – Will Courtenay, PhD

Postpartum depression is different from the Daddy Blues, which many new dads can experience, says Dr. Courtenay. “With normal stress or the Daddy Blues, a guy’s going to feel better when he gets a little extra sleep, goes to the gym, or has lunch with a friend. 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 depressionand he should get help from a mental health professional who specializes in working with men. Untreated depression only worsens.”

Here are some common male postpartum depression symptoms:

  • Sadness, irritability, agitation, and/or anger
  • Feelings of worthlessness

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Risk Factors Of Ppd In Men

Besides the symptoms above, please remain mindful of the following risk factors:

  • History of depression
  • Feeling excluded or jealous of mother-baby bonding
  • Difficulty developing an attachment to the baby

The greatest predictor of a mans risk of depression is whether his partner is also depressed. Up to half of all men whose partners have PPD are depressed themselves. This can have devastating consequences.

Why We Need To Talk More About Male Postpartum Depression

Learn about an increasingly common condition called paternal postpartum depression, which few men can bring themselves to discuss.;

You’ve heard plenty of stories about women experiencing postpartum depression. After all, the condition affects about one in nine new mothers. But you may not know about paternal postpartum depression the one your partner may experience after your little bundle of joy arrives. This is what experts understand about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of postpartum depression in men.

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What Is Samhsas National Helpline

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

Also visit the online treatment locators.

Depressed Parents Less Likely To Read To Their Kids

Can Men Get Postpartum Depression?

The researchers looked to see whether the parents’ depression affected their interaction with their children.

“What we found,” Paulson says, “is that both moms and dads who were depressed were significantly less likely to engage in interactions such as reading, telling stories, and singing songs to their infants.”

But only the dads’ behavior significantly affected their child’s development at 24 months — “specifically in terms of how many words the child used,” Paulson says.

“If their dads were depressed and didn’t read to them, the infants had a much smaller vocabulary,” he says.

There was no link between the baby-mom interactions and the child’s command of words at 2 years.

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Lower Testosterone Higher Depression

Previous research has linked testosterone with mens depression levels in general. Low testosterone may contribute to the feelings of lethargy and disinterest in normally pleasurable activities that characterize depression. In fact, some psychiatrists have even suggested prescribing testosterone supplements to treat depression in men. However, no studies had specifically looked at the potential role of testosterone in fathers postpartum depression.

My colleagues and I analyzed data from the Community Child Health Research Network, a National Institutes of Health-funded study of new parents health and well-being. The study recruited moms after the birth of an infant and followed them for several years, along with their partners. At one of the study sites, in Lake County, Illinois, men also provided saliva samples for testosterone analysis when their infants were around nine months old. Both moms and dads reported on their symptoms of depression several times across the first few years of parenthood.

We found that dads with lower testosterone reported feeling more depressed. This fits with other research into how testosterone and depression work together. But ours is the first study to observe this relationship specifically in fathers of infants. Given that many men show drops in testosterone over the transition to parenthood, this finding may help explain why the postpartum period is such a high-risk time for depression in men.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ppnd

Pregnancy or Postpartum Depression may look different for men that it does for women. Though men may experience some of the traditional symptoms of depression , they often exhibit less sadness, crying, and outward emotional symptoms.

Some of the more common symptoms for Paternal Postnatal Depression include:

  • Irritability

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How Can Family Members Support Depressed Dads

The first step is to recognize whats going on and take it seriously. If you notice a personality shift in a dad who is expecting or has a new baby, encourage him to talk with a mental health professional.

After your baby comes, tips to support dad include:

  • Encouraging him to be involved with the baby, bathing, dressing, or feeding him or her whenever possible.
  • Taking childcare shifts so you both get adequate sleep. Family members of single parents can step in to make sure mom or dad gets as much rest as possible.
  • Spending time together. Understand that its common for your sex life to change after having a baby.

Finally, make sure dad knows prenatal and postpartum depression are common and treatable. And dads, please remember that asking for help when you are struggling is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.

To talk with a doctor about prenatal or postpartum depression, call or request an appointment online.

What Are The Symptoms Of Postnatal Depression In Men

Do Fathers Experience Postpartum Depression?

Its important men are aware of the symptoms of postnatal depression so they can seek support and treatment early. The condition can vary from one dad to another but if youve felt low, uninterested or unmotivated for two or more weeks, you may have depression;.;;

Changes in moods and emotions can be common and include: feeling sad, low or miserable; anxious; and overwhelmed or unable to cope. Dads may become short-tempered, frustrated and angry.

Men suffering postnatal mental illness may also experience behavioural changes. They may lose interest in things they once enjoyed, become withdrawn and disconnected from their partner, family and friends and fear going out in public. Its also common for fathers to be afraid of being alone with the baby.

Physical symptoms include: feeling sick in general; being unable to sleep or sleeping excessively; loss of appetite or overeating; low energy levels; and reduced sex drive.

Fathers with depression often struggle to think clearly or make decisions. They may suffer a significant loss of confidence and think their child is better off with someone else.

In serious cases of postnatal depression, men might even have thoughts about hurting themselves or the baby. Urgent treatment is required in these cases.

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The Science Of Sad Dads

Dr. Levine is not alone. According to a study published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 10% or 1 in 10 men around the world experience paternal postpartum depression . The study, a meta-analysis involved over 28,000 participants in 43 studies conducted between 1980 and 2009. The study also reported that the incidence was relatively higher in the 3-to 6-months postpartum.

And while hormone levels are considered a major factor in female postpartum, another study found that men with PPPD may also be experiencing some hormonal mayhem. The 2017 study found an association between lower testosterone levels and PPPD. According to the study, Following the birth of an infant, decreases in testosterone and increases in depressive symptoms have been observed in fathers. ;Why testosterone dips isnt yet understood.

Hormones may play a part but the strongest predictor of male postpartum is female postpartum. If the wife is depressed, the man is twice as likely to develop postpartum according to a 2004 review of 20 studies. Researchers concluded that during the first postpartum year, the incidence of paternal depression ranged from 1.2% to 25.5% in community samples, and from 24% to 50% among men whose partners were experiencing postpartum depression. Maternal depression was identified as the strongest predictor of paternal depression during the postpartum period.

The Stigma Around Male Postpartum Depression

Our society subscribes to the cultural myth that men should be stoic and tough things out, notes Dr. Courtenay. “So when men start to feel anxious, empty, or out of control, they don’t understand it and they certainly don’t ask for help.” Women, on the other hand, tend to have a larger social network and share stories and strategies during pregnancy and life as a mom. Their husbands almost always assume they’re alone in feeling sad or scared to be a dad.

Experts believe that paternal postpartum depression may be more prevalent now 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.

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