Postpartum depressions in mothers is now an accepted fact – not saying that society still deals with it absolute positivity. But, at least, new mothers belonging to the so-called educated community don’t feel shy or guilty because of postpartum depression. However, not much is discussed about the emotional aspects of a man who become a new father. Why so? The fathers are humans too! According to studies, as compared to 14% of new mothers, 10% of new fathers are also affected by depression which can be called as ‘Post partum depression in the fathers’.
Another study published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, claims 10% of men around globally experience paternal postpartum depression (PPPD). The study, a meta-analysis (a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies), included over 28,000 participants in 43 studies conducted between 1980 and 2009. It also reported that the incidence “was relatively higher in the 3-to 6-months postpartum.”
While the symptoms may be the same in both cases, the reasons vary to a great extent. In women, it’s the hormone that plays the primary role; in men, it’s the sudden lifestyle change that puts them in a fix! The added responsibilities, suddenly losing the focus of the wife (who gets busy with the newborn) and not knowing how to handle the baby, are some factors that affect fathers to a great extent. We also cannot completely deny that paternal postpartum depression (PPPD) may also be due to some extent of hormonal mayhem, particularly testosterone.
Men do not experience any changes in their bodies, but when some of them find their partners being dragged into depression, they cannot stay away from it long. And the chances of PPPD doubles when their wives develop postpartum.
Though researches and numbers certify that postpartum exists in men, not many men know about it or accept it!
Some of the symptoms of PPPD (paternal postpartum depression) are:
- Increased agitation and anger
- Increased consumption of alcohol
- Noticeable weight gain or loss
- Isolation from family and friends
- Loss of interest in sex, work, or hobbies
- Feeling of depression
- Thoughts of suicide
- Difficulty in concentration
With the presence of the new member in the family, the woman has a lot to take care of. And not wanting to increase their burden, men mostly tend to hide these emotions within them – which is incorrect.
As we always say and as first-hand parents, we firmly believe the father and mother should confide in each other. And no matter what, they must spend occasional quality “we” time like they did before kids. Until a couple is happy, they will never be able to pass on positive vibes to their kids – which is much required! Always remember that any parent may feel dejected during the new phase of life and while starting a family. It doesn’t mean you are a bad or “not together” father or mother. In fact, you are just sad and it’s a phase – getting treatment and support helps you care for your baby and your partner. Do not suffer in silence, speak to a consultant, some trusted friend, or your child’s doctor – help is there for everyone – call for it.