I caught this article in Healthline and it made me want to further explore this topic: There is ample research which shows that Dad’s can suffer from Postpartum Depression, too.
First, a disclaimer. This is not an attempt to minimize the pain or severity of Postpartum Depression in Moms. This is not a #NotAllMen related entry, and please don’t take it that way. The evidence is clear – Postpartum Depression in women problem is real (with as many as one in seven women suffering), it is large and it is significantly more widespread than postpartum depression in men. Indeed, in my legislative career, I’ve worked on legislation which would help low income women be screened and treated for Postpartum Depression.
That being said, Postpartum does apparently hit Dads too, and I think its an issue worth exploring.
The Healthline article reviewed a variety of research on Postpartum in new fathers, which analyzed a variety of internet postings in blogs and chat rooms (yeah…not sure about that) and showed that many men suffered from symptoms about Postpartum and weren’t sure what to do or where to find information.
However, there is ample research – of a more rigorous, academic type – which shows that Postpartum does truly exist in men, so much so that it has a name: Paternal Postpartum Depression (PPD). This issue is widespread enough that there is an entire website dedicated to it. Postpartummen.com accurately notes that there are many symptoms of depression, but men often experience and express it differently, including through anger and alcohol. For what its worth, this is also something which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.
How widespread is this issue? According to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Research, high – as many as one in ten men. The study also noted that the rates were slightly higher during the 3-6 month period, and PPD correlated moderately with maternal depression. Hormones are a big cause of maternal postpartum depression, but that’s also the case for men: Men experiencing PPD also have testosterone drops.
The good news is that treating PPD is just like treating any other disorder – as long as you are able to seek and find help, you’ll get there. As best I can tell, relying on therapists and support groups are widely accepted options to deal with PPD.
As always, I conclude by asking you for your opinion! Do you have experience with dealing or treating PPD? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!