From the pregnancy period to after childbirth a lot of attention is paid to the mother and the baby the reason for this is that do tend to face a lot of risks and challenges so they need all the support and attention they can get.
Postpartum depression is one topic that has been discussed a lot lately; many women have come out to talk about how they have felt depressed after the birth of their child.
Some, immediately after some several months after it is still difficult for us to understand the colours all possible causes of postpartum depression.
While awareness of postpartum depression is still very minimum a lot of us, who have an idea what postpartum depression is as still of the opinion that it is a condition peculiar to women. Is it possible for new fathers to also suffer postpartum depression? This may sound pretty weird, but they can actually suffer from this condition.
This claim has been made by a research article which was recently published in the journal of family issues. While new parents are looking out for postpartum depression in the mothers, they should also look out for it in the fathers because being aware of this possibility would save them a lot and also doctors should also be on the lookout for it.
Information for the study was gathered from websites forums chat rooms and blogs where new fathers were able to share their stories.
In the stories shared on these platforms, the fathers mentioned that they were unaware of the possibility for men to suffer from postpartum depression and even the women who noticed the symptoms in their significant other were not sure what to call it.
It became obvious that the new fathers were frustrated by the lack of information on the possibility of men suffering from postpartum depression and they also pointed out that all the information they were able to gather were focused specifically on mothers.
Just like a lot of new mums new fathers also pointed out that they felt trapped exhausted and overwhelmed. Many of them felt neglected by their wives, the society, and health care systems and they began to resent the constant needs of the new baby.
The research team was led by a couple and family therapy professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Brandon Eddy.
The researchers faced quite some limitations during the course of the study. The most significant of these limitations being the inability for them to gain access to fathers who were willing to answer specific questions or to verify who they were.
They were unable to validate if the fathers got a diagnosis of postpartum depression from a mental health professional or a physician. There was also no way for them to find out if the father’s had experienced depression before the birth of their children or if it was something that showed up after the baby was born.
Just like women men can also develop depression. However, there is no particular measurement available to access postpartum depression in men as there is for new mothers.
This study is not the first one to tackle this issue. A longitudinal, population-based study carried out in 2014 revealed that the rate of depression in fathers around the world ranges from 5 to 10%.
It was also discovered in this study that the rate of depression is higher among fathers who do not live with their children. Four fathers who were with their kids they showed a higher rate of depressive symptoms when their children grow to be five years and older.
A review of studies in 2004 also found that paternal depression ranges anywhere from as low as 1.2 to 25.5% in the communities that were sampled. Nevertheless, depression amongst men who significant others had postpartum depression catapulted to 24 to 50%.
According to the Mayo Clinic father’s you have a history of depression who are younger who have financial or relationship problems stand a higher risk of experiencing postpartum depression.
Doctors men suffering from postpartum depression in clinical practice
Dr Michael Brodsky is a Los Angeles care health plans medical doctor for behavioural health and social services in California.
During a talk with health line Dr. Michael said that being a qualitative study this particular research work doesn’t say enough about how men are affected by this specific condition or how long it lasts.
Nevertheless, this study does a beautiful job of describing the kind of things that come up when a new father suffering from depression write down the experiences on the internet.
According to Dr. Brodsky, the study confirms the kind of things he has seen repeatedly in clinical practice.
He talked about young men of reproductive age who find themselves feeling discouraged exhausted depressed or overwhelmed by obligations and pressure of new parents food while they seek to be supportive to their significant other and their newborn child.
As we already know many stresses are associated with having a child and Dr. Brodsky makes us understand that several other factors can push a new further into the person mood.
For instance, job performance of the new father may suffer due to sleep deprivation associated with caring for the newborn and this would, in turn, lead to conflict with supervisors.
The loss of a supportive relationship with relatives or friends may also contribute to deepening a new father’s sense of hopelessness or depression. Such kinds of stresses may increase the risk of a man developing depression.
Another doctor who is a pediatrician with AltaMed Health Services in California, Dr. Plan Shapiro, strongly agree that postpartum depression is a reality for a lot of fathers. According to Dr. Shapiro, lack of sleep, a baby who depends on you and demands a lot of time, and putting everything together exposes the entire family to stress.
When a person is chronically stressed it affects your cortisol and other stress hormones. This is not to say stress hormones are not good they are but when put under continuous pressure and anxiety it wears down your immune system.
This is one reason why we need to be alert and offer help to everyone who is in such a situation.
Some men hold back on talking
It was discovered during the study that some fathers feel under pressure to conform to the stereotypical manly roles that prevent them from expressing their feelings or fears so that they do not appear weak.
According to the findings of the research, men are less likely to seek professional help for depression than women. According to Dr. Brodsky, key men find it challenging to admit to symptoms of clinical depression or to even talk in terms of postpartum depression.
In a few ways, it just may be easier for men to discuss the patient because some male celebrities have recently shown willingness to discuss similar struggles.
Take pop star justin bieber for example he recently came out to talk about his struggles with depression and even went as far as seeking treatment. According to Dr. Shapiro, the first step two handling this condition would be getting men to talk about it.
When a person is in a place of postpartum depression they did not see any light at the end of the tunnel everything to them at that point is negative. it is important for both the sufferer and his family to move out of that realm.
This is not only essential for the parents but also for the children because they are also affected by a change in one parent’s character. Eddie perceive persons greatest motivation should be the effect of the estates on the people they love the most so whenever you feel something is wrong the best thing to do is have a conversation.
Diagnosing postpartum depression
Both men and women can easily develop depression after the birth of a child.
The new edition of the diagnostics and statistics manual of mental health disorder according to Dr. Bruce key now defines depression with peripartum onset as one that usually occurs within four weeks after or before a person put to bed. and as a result of this definition, the diagnosis is limited to women.
The signs of major depression in new fathers include a change in appetite loss of sleep decreased interest in activities they used to enjoy low energy levels and trouble concentrating.
They might also have to deal with the feeling of sadness thoughts of self-harm and guilt. Any new father who experiences 4 or more of the above-listed symptoms and it persists for as long as two weeks may be dealing with postpartum depression.
If new fathers can get a person they can confide in it will be very helpful. Whether this person is a friend, the mother of the child, a co-worker, or a relative, it doesn’t matter.
It is also possible for new fathers to take advantage of baby checkups and discuss with their child’s pediatrician to help them lighten the burden on their shoulder.
Things can easily escalate in the absence of treatment. Fathers who suspect their dealing with postpartum depression should not be too scared or ashamed to seek help from a licensed mental health professional.
Do you know anyone who has had to deal with postpartum depression? Do not hesitate to leave a comment in the comment section provided below as we look forward to interacting with you.