Can Men Get Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is often assumed to occur only in women, but men can also suffer from this problem. The condition is surprisingly common among men, and is recognized as paternal postnatal depression (PPND). Unfortunately, men often have difficulty recognizing or admitting this problem, so they avoid the treatment that could spare them and their families great trouble.
What Is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression has long been recognized among women who have recently given birth. Often known as the “baby blues,” postpartum depression is a seemingly mysterious condition that causes depression at a time of great joy. Doctors do not fully understand what causes postpartum depression, but it may result from the realities of parenthood, from sleepless nights to continual worry over finances or medical expenses.
Postpartum depression in men often causes the following symptoms:
- Feeling sad, anxious or stressed
- Being irritable
- Having a short temper or being easily angered
- Finding reasons to avoid being home
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Seeking escape in drugs or alcohol
If you struggle with any of these issues, consider the likelihood of PPND.
Treatment for Paternal Postnatal Depression
In our society men are taught to be resilient and self-reliant. These are admirable traits that can encourage men to rise to challenges that come their way. However, these same traits can also keep men from admitting a need for help. They may feel that suffering from depression is a sign of weakness, making them reluctant to admit their feelings. Men who are depressed typically suffer without seeking help, and think that they should just be able to get over it.
However, depression is a debilitating condition that can result in serious consequences. A man who is depressed may have difficulty meeting his responsibilities and may take it out on those he cares about, including his wife and children. Untreated depression can put a tremendous strain on a family.
The brain is a complex organism that sometimes requires professional treatment. Men who think nothing of being treated for a physical illness or injury should not feel stigmatized by treatment for depression. Counseling for PPND can result in tremendous benefits for a father and his entire family.
Help Finding Treatment for Paternal Postnatal Depression
Paternal postnatal depression can cause serious problems for you and your family. Depression is often a progressive condition that will get worse over time as the consequences build up. Avoiding treatment for PPND means denying yourself the tools needed to fix the problem. Counseling for PPND can help you enjoy family life again as you find the best in yourself as a husband and father.
If you or someone you know is suffering from PPND, help is available. If you have questions about PPND, or if you would like help finding treatment, call us. Our helpline is toll free and we are available 24 hours a day.