Postpartum depression has long been attributed to only mothers. Little did people know that fathers, too, can be depressed. The cultural and societal pressure for men to be stoic and strong may be the primary reasons why postpartum depression is overlooked in fathers.
Having a baby is, in fact, an enormous life challenge for new parents and depression could stem from either financial concerns, a shift in relationship dynamics, or sleep deprivation.
Saying that new fathers can certainly have postpartum depression is true; a study affirmed that. One surprising thing from the study was that fathers said they were unaware that men could have postpartum depression. Even women who saw the signs in men weren’t sure what to call it.
Furthermore, from the study, when new fathers found out they too could be depressed, they were disappointed by the lack of information. They said the information about postpartum depression they had laid their hands on only concentrated on mothers.
Therefore, just like many new mothers, new fathers can also be exhausted and overwhelmed. Postpartum depression in men needs to be addressed for the well-being of their children because it can negatively impact the child’s development.
In this article, we have clarified that new dads can develop postpartum depression. We have also revealed the signs associated with this condition. Keep reading.
Postpartum depression may look different in males than in females. Men may go through some “traditional” symptoms like changes in appetite (or sleep patterns) and fatigue. They can also display emotional expressions like crying. Read more about postpartum depression HERE.
Common signs of this condition in new fathers are;
- Sudden outbursts, anger, or violent behaviour
- Low motivation
- Working a lot more or less
- Irritable and anxiety
- Risk-taking behaviour or increase in impulse control, like becoming a heavy alcohol drinker or taking prescription drugs wrongly as a means of handling depression
- Backing down from relationships
- Poor concentration
- No interest in sex
- Suicidal thoughts
Postpartum depression is not limited to mothers; fathers, too, can have it. The symptoms can last for weeks or months if noticed and left untreated, leading to more complicated situations when ignored.
If you think you or a loved one has a “male” postpartum depression, the best action is to get help to rule out mental health and maintain overall well-being. Speak to a doctor if you’re concerned.