Postpartum depression is thought of by many folks, their thoughts turn to new mothers — and for good reason: As many
After having a, as 15 percent of women become depressed or experience anxiety
baby. But researchers have unveiled a fresh finding: Guys can get the baby blues,
study published in April’s issue of Pediatrics place the amount of new fathers with postpartum
depression at 7 percent. After looking at more than 1,700 dads with
One-year-olds, the researchers found that depression
Had a negative effect on parenting — blue fathers were more likely
to spank their children and less likely to read to them.
Depression: One Guy’s Accounts
Sandler and his wife welcomed their long-awaited baby boy into the entire world with
excitement and all the conventions of their Jewish heritage. But when their
Family and friends returned home after having a couple weeks, Sandler experienced the
First warning signs of postpartum depression — and it went beyond
the normal baby blues.
felt that I was trapped,” recalls Sandler — and he was surprised to
feel this way. He’d been thrilled with his wife’s pregnancy every
Physician’s appointment and eagerly anticipating the arrival of his son. He was 35
At his wife, and the time was marginally older. Although having a baby was
Technically high risk because of her age, all went well with both pregnancy
and the C section delivery.
Was dedicated to being a father that was helpful, but after a few weeks at home with his
Newborn and wife, he also started to feel frustrated. “I was stuck in that
Second, and I could not look ahead to anything,” he remembers. “It seemed like our
This baby controled entirely lives, and he couldn’t even tell us
what he wanted or desired.”
Knew that his ideas and feelings were making it hard for him to be the
Dad and husband he desired to be, and he understood he needed help to cope. His
Wife already was in treatment for adult ADD, so Sandler had a therapist to whom
He could turn as he sought help. That therapist, in turn, referred him to a
psychiatrist. Between per year of antidepressants and intensive treatment, Sandler
Says he was not unable to overcome his postpartum depression.
Who Gets the Infant
Number of men influenced by postpartum depression changes in the small research
That is been done as well as the topic is not talked about much, so many new fathers are
Struggling to identify their feelings as signs that they want help.
recent Pediatrics study found that about 7 percent of new
Dads experience postpartum depression, but more worrisome is the finding
that dads’ depression expands with their newborns. Dads who were depressed
were more than three times more likely than non-depressed dads to have spanked
Their child were less likely to read with their child three and previously month
or more days per week.
therapist and writer Will Courtenay, PhD, LCSW, whose Oakland, Calif. private
practice includes fathers with postpartum depression, believes it is even more
Widespread. “Fourteen percent of new fathers
in the United States experience postpartum depression. That amounts to nearly
1,700 dads each day who become newly depressed,” he says.
Courtenay points out another study that found that when increases
the mummy has postpartum depression, soaring to almost 50 percent. New fathers’ sudden change in
Several factors particular to the postpartum period can triggers mood,
including adjustments the whole family must make to get a fresh baby —
Insufficient sleep, and even, in some men, hormone that is corresponding changes. A history
of mood disorders can also be among the uncertainty factors for postpartum depression in
10 Warning Signals
of Postpartum Depression in Dads
knowing the signs of depression might help, says Courtenay.
Depression could differ for men than girls. Where women could be more likely
To be tearful or depressed, depression in men can appear as anger or irritability.
Other signs and symptoms for postpartum depression in men comprise:
in sleep patterns
Disposition or persistent despair
of interest in activities and hobbies you once appreciated
Unworthy or as if your family or baby would better off without you
Increased usage of alcohol or illegal
from family and friends
aches and pains without evident cause
of harming oneself or suicide
How to Get
Treatment for Postpartum Depression
men face a barrier to seeking treatment which is mainly rooted in society’s
beliefs about manhood. “The cultural myth is the fact that guys do not get depressed and
tells men that they shouldn’t get depressed — so they shouldn’t show
it, that they should simply ‘man up.’ And so they don’t get treated,” clarifies
Courtenay. “In fact, guys are far more likely than women to attempt to hide their
unlike girls, men don’t commonly see their doctor after baby’s arrival, so
there is one less point of contact with a person who could inquire the right
the research workers in the Pediatrics study found that three outside
Of four blue dads had talked with their child’s pediatrician in the year
after their child’s birth, indicating that pediatricians might possess a role in
Helping give them tools to link better, as well as to identify blue dads
to their kids.
Could You Be Depressed? Take the Quiz
“If a man can’t seek help for himself, he should at least do it for his kids.
Studies demonstrate a father’s postpartum depression has a long term
impact on the mental, social, and behavioral growth of his kids,”
warns Courtenay, including that the impact of a daddy’s untreated depression may
Seem as soon as preschool years.
Treatment for depression
Comprises cognitive behavioral therapy too as or discussion therapy
Antidepressants to get improvements in exercise and diet and a period of time.