Many people are not aware of postpartum depression in men. Postpartum depression in men is often less recognized and discussed compared to postpartum depression in women. Raising awareness about this issue is important to ensure that men who experience postpartum depression receive the support and understanding they need.
Postpartum Depression In Men – Shared Symptoms
The term ‘postpartum depression’ is a well-recognized phrase in today’s society, typically associated with the emotional challenges women face after giving birth. Thankfully, awareness about this condition is increasing, and women who experience postpartum depression often receive the empathy and support they need from their families and communities. However, how many people are aware of postpartum depression among men? It’s a reality that often goes unnoticed. Statistics reveal that one in ten men is susceptible to this form of depression. Yet, societal attitudes and egos tend to downplay this reality, leading to men’s experiences being overlooked or misinterpreted.
The symptoms of postpartum depression are surprisingly similar between men and women. To gain a deeper understanding of this often-overlooked issue, let’s compare the symptoms individuals may experience during the postpartum period, regardless of gender:
Anger and Irritability: Both men and women may find themselves more irritable, leading to frequent quarrels and emotional outbursts.
Substance Abuse and Cravings: Coping with the stress of postpartum depression can lead to cravings for substances like alcohol and other substances.
Despair: Feelings of hopelessness and despair can overwhelm both men and women during the postpartum period.
Violence: In severe cases, some individuals may exhibit violent behavior.
Weight Changes: Postpartum depression can result in significant weight gain or loss for both genders.
Social Withdrawal: A common symptom is the tendency to withdraw from social activities and isolate oneself.
Laziness and Lethargy: Fatigue and a lack of energy are common among those suffering from postpartum depression.
Sexual Disturbances: Both men and women may experience disturbances in their sexual relationships, which can lead to feelings of loathing.
Fatigue: Exhaustion and chronic fatigue are often part of the postpartum depression experience.
Crying Alone: Many individuals find themselves in tears, often suffering in silence due to the stigma surrounding their condition.
Suicidal Thoughts: In the darkest moments, thoughts of self-harm or suicide may creep in.
Hormonal fluctuations, often associated with postpartum depression in women, can also affect men. With the birth of a child, testosterone levels in men may decrease, though the exact cause remains a medical mystery. However, scientific research suggests a correlation between reduced testosterone levels and postpartum depression in men.
Various psychological factors can contribute to postpartum depression in men. A naturally gloomy disposition can intensify with the birth of a child, leading to increased depression risk. Additionally, if there is a history of depression in the family, the likelihood of postpartum depression occurring is higher. Often, symptoms in the wife can be transmitted to the husband, making it vital for both partners to address their mental well-being.
The sleepless nights spent caring for a newborn can be a significant cause of postpartum depression in both men and women. Marital conflicts and unexpected pregnancies can also trigger postpartum depression in men. The initial excitement of impending fatherhood can quickly turn to anxiety upon the child’s arrival, as fathers fret over their child’s well-being, fearing chronic illnesses and other worries that lead to emotional outbursts and relationship strain.
Recent reports suggest that men may begin exhibiting postpartum symptoms when their wives are three months pregnant. These symptoms tend to peak in the next three months. Notably, while women with postpartum depression often conceal their condition, men typically express it through emotional outbursts, anger, and, in severe cases, violence. Many men do not seek professional help, assuming the role of the family’s pillar and denying their own struggles. However, psychotherapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy have proven effective in addressing these issues.
Several developed countries have implemented measures to assess and address the mental health of new parents. This recognition of the importance of parental mental health in a child’s development underscores the need for discussions and treatment related to postpartum depression in men. They too require psychological support and treatment to ensure their well-being during this critical period.
The mental health of parents plays a pivotal role in a child’s mental and intellectual development. Thus, it is essential to recognize and address postpartum depression among men. They, too, deserve understanding, empathy, and access to psychological treatment during this challenging phase of life. By acknowledging and supporting men experiencing postpartum depression, we can foster healthier family dynamics and promote the well-being of all family members, including the newest addition.
Are you suffering from postpartum depression in men?
- PubMed: Paternal postpartum depression
- WebMD: Postpartum depression in men
- Mayo Clinic: Postpartum depression
- Psychology Today: Paternal postpartum depression
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Mathukutty P. V. is the founder of Simply Life Tips. He is a Blogger, Content Writer, Influencer, and YouTuber. He is passionate about learning new skills. He is the Director of PokketCFO.
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