Are You Suffering From Male Postpartum Depression?
Do you still remember the first time you saw your child’s face and you felt that unbeatable bliss? But as days and weeks passed by, you’re starting to lose that sense of humor and become panicky, worried and anxious? Then, you also started losing sleep and becoming miserable each passing day. Any of these symptoms could mean you need help with male postpartum depression.
What’s even worse is that you’re now becoming irritable and moody at work and noticing you’re getting angry with your wife for the slightest of things. You’re not alone! Men also suffer from paternal postpartum depression (PPPD).
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Male Postpartum Depression: It’s Real And Treatable
Yes! In fact, more than 1,000 new fathers in the US become depressed on a daily basis. And some studies pointed out that the figure could be as high as 2,700, meaning one in four new fathers could suffer from PPPD.
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- A study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health reported that 13.3% of expectant dads are suffering from depressive symptoms during their wife’s third trimester of pregnancy.
- Research also shows that dads suffering from depression are between four to 25%, and this is in the first two months after their baby’s birth.
- Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that 10% of men from all over the world had showed depressive symptoms from the first three months of their partner’s pregnancy, lasting up to the sixth month of their baby. This figure also increased to 26% within the three- to six- month after birth of the baby.
- Will Courtenay, a California-based psychotherapist, revealed that the best predictor of PPPD is whether his wife is also suffering from PPD. It is because 50% of dads with depressed wives or partners are also depressed. He also noted that men do not understand it when they feel empty, anxious or out of control, so they do not ask for help.
What Are the Symptoms of Male PPD?
Depressive and mood disorders are common and real in the same manner that diabetes and heart disease are – and they are also debilitating. But admitting you are depressed does not mean weakness or surrender. Dealing with depression is about accepting FIRST that you have it, and then knowing its signs and symptoms. Check out the following male postpartum depression quiz to test if you have the silent sadness.
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- Do you find yourself being easily angered, putting yourself to conflict with your wife and other people?
- Do you exhibit violent behavior? Or do you easily become irritable or frustrated at work, play or other activities you’re doing?
- Have you gained or lost significant amount of weight?
- Do you binge drink? Or are you noticing an increased use of prescription and/or street drugs?
- Are you having problems with focus, concentration and motivation?
- Are you becoming impulsive? Or do you notice how you are becoming more of a risk taker now that you’re not before?
- Are you starting to lose interest in sex, work or hobbies?
- Are you feeling discouraged?
- Are you feeling sad without a reason?
- Do you often suffer from indigestion or headache?
- Do you find yourself into trouble due to lack of productivity at school or work?
- Are you working more constantly than ever?
- Are you choosing isolation from loved ones, colleagues and friends?
- Do you find yourself being easily stressed?
- Are you experiencing conflict about how you’re feeling and how you should be feeling as a man?
- Do you suffer from fatigue more often?
- Have you been considering suicide?
If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, chances are you’re suffering from paternal postpartum depression. Now, how do you deal with male postpartum depression symptoms?
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What to Do
- Know the factors contributing to PPPD. A few of them include family history, personal history, new parent worries, financial problems, feeling overwhelmed, lack of emotional or social support and feeling excluded from the bond of your wife and baby.
- Do talk therapy. Spit it out and get it out your chest. You might also want to cry it out with your wife or in a safe and quiet place.
- Take a walk, practice breathing techniques or do some yoga for men.
- Seek support from other dads with PPPD.
- Use prescription medications to treat depression.
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More tips to deal with stress and emotions
- Ask for information and help near you.
- Spend time with your little one.
- Take some time off for yourself.
- Say yes to help from family members when they offer it.
Dealing With Male Postpartum Depression
You don’t have to keep depression to yourself. Talk it out, cry it out, and seek help. Practice yoga and breathing techniques, take some time off for yourself, and spend time with your little one. Nevertheless, you’re not alone because men worldwide also suffer from PPPD.
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Hope this guide has helped you learn about its symptoms and treatment options. If you would like to help other dads suffering from postpartum depression, share this article on Facebook today!
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