What You Need To Know About Postnatal Depression In Men

Postnatal depression in dads: 10 things you should know

What You Need To Know About Postnatal Depression In Men

It’s easy to focus on mums in the postnatal period. But let’s not forget dads, who might also need support.

Whether it’s sleep deprivation, money worries, new responsibilities, or the relationship dynamic shifting, dads also have a lot to take on board. This is a huge life change for both parents. On top of this, dads might feel guilty about what their partner is going through, knowing they aren’t the ones breastfeeding at 3am or healing from labour and birth.

Here’s what you need to know about postnatal depression in men.

1. Dads can experience depression in the first year after birth

The number of men who become depressed in the first year after becoming a dad is double that of the general population (Davé et al, 2010). First time dads are particularly vulnerable (Fatherhood institute, 2010). One in ten dads-to-be will also become depressed during their partner’s pregnancy (Stadtlander, 2015).

2. Postnatal depression in men often goes undiagnosed

The peak time for postnatal depression in men is three to six months after the birth (Fatherhood Institute, 2010). As with postnatal depression in mums, it often goes undiagnosed. The symptoms can look a lot the everyday stresses of having a newborn (Musser et al, 2013).

“If you have concerns about your own or your partner’s mental health, do seek help from your GP who can help you to access support services.”

3. Hormonal changes can play a role

Just as with mums, changes in hormones might make postnatal depression in dads more ly (Saxbe et al, 2017). Hormones including testosterone, oestrogen, cortisol, vasopressin, and prolactin may change in dads during the period after their babies arrive (Kim and Swain, 2007).

4. Postnatal depression in dads is more ly if there is maternal postnatal depression too

If one of you is experiencing emotional or mental health difficulties, it's more ly that the other is too. Of fathers with depressed partners, 24% to 50% experience depression themselves (Fatherhood Institute, 2010).

5. A range of factors can make dads more ly to get postnatal depression

Dads who are under 25 are more ly to go through postnatal depression than their older counterparts (Davé et al, 2010). Yet age isn’t the only risk factor for postnatal depression in men.

Other major risk factors include a history of depression and anxiety; financial pressures, and evidence also shows that not being in a relationship with the child’s mother (Huang and Warner, 2005; Wee et al, 2010; Nazareth, 2011).

Other factors that make postnatal depression in men more ly include: sleeping or crying issues with the baby; drug abuse or dependence; and feeling unsupported by their partners (Huang and Warner, 2005; Fatherhood Institute, 2010; Stadtlander, 2015). However, the cause and effect is unclear so these factors might not necessarily be the direct cause of mental health difficulties.

6. Postnatal depression in dads can show itself in different ways

Symptoms can include:

  • fear, confusion, helplessness and uncertainty about the future
  • withdrawal from family life, work and social situations
  • indecisiveness
  • frustration, irritability, cynicism and anger
  • marital conflict
  • partner violence
  • negative parenting behaviours
  • alcohol and drug use
  • insomnia
  • physical symptoms indigestion, changes in appetite and weight, diarrhoea, constipation, headaches, toothaches and nausea.(Musser et al, 2013; Stadtlander, 2015)

7. Postnatal depression in dads can take its toll on their relationships

Postnatal depression in dads canaffect their relationship with the baby’s mother. It can also affect the relationship they have with their child. They may play and engage less with their children and talk more negatively about and to them. They may sing and read less to their children, and may discipline them more harshly.

8. Postnatal depression in dads can have an impact on the development of their child

Dads’ depression is associated with emotional, social and behavioural problems as well as developmental delay in their children (Fatherhood Institute, 2010).

The association is stronger when a father experiences antenatal as well as postnatal depression, and when his symptoms are particularly severe.

There is also a stronger association when mum also has mental health problems (Stadtlander, 2015).

9. Screening is available

You might associate screening more with physical illnesses but mental health diagnoses are slowly catching up. Men who are concerned should pop over to NHS Choices and use the depression screening tool. If you’re concerned, see your GP or call NHS 111.

10. Postnatal depression in dads is treated the same as postnatal depression in mums

The treatment of paternal postnatal depression is in its early stages. Currently, the options for treatment are the same as for mothers with psychotropic medication and/or talking therapies (Nazareth, 2011; NHS Choices, 2016). Relationship counselling may also be useful (Musser et al, 2013).

Most, importantly share how you're feeling. You're not alone and support is available.

This page was last reviewed in February 2018

Our support line offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700. We also offer antenatal courses that are a great way for both parents to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

Davé S, Petersen I, Sherr L, Nazareth I. (2010) Incidence of maternal and paternal depression in primary care. JAMA Pediatrics; 164(11):1038-1044. Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/383936 [Accessed 1st February 2018].

Fatherhood Institute. (2010) Research Summary: FATHERS AND POSTNATAL DEPRESSION. Available from:http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/2010/fatherhood-institute-research-summary-fathers-and-postnatal-depression [Accessed 1st February 2018].

Huang C, Warner L. (2005) Relationship characteristics and depression among fathers with newborns. Social Service Review 79(1). Available from: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/426719 [Accessed 1st February 2018].

Kim P, Swain J. (2007) Sad dads: paternal postpartum depression, Psychiatry, 4(2):35-47. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922346/ [Accessed 1st February 2018].

Musser A, Ahmed A, Foli K, Coddington J. (2013) Paternal postpartum depression: What health care providers should know. Journal of Paediatric Health Care; 27(6): 479-485. Available from: http://www.jpedhc.org/article/S0891-5245(12)00220-9/fulltext#back-bib13 [Accessed 1st February 2018].

Nazereth I. (2011) Should men be screened and treated for postnatal depression? Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics; 11(1):1-3. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1586/ern.10.183?scroll=top&needAccess=true [Accessed 1st February 2018].

NHS Choices. (2014) Depression self assessment. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/depression.aspx [Accessed 1st February 2018].

NHS Choices. (2016) Postnatal depression pages. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Postnataldepression/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed 1st February 2018].

Saxbe DE, Schetter CD, Simon CD, Adam EK, Shalowitx MU. (2017) High paternal testosterone may protect against postpartum depressive symptoms in fathers, but confer risk to mothers and children. Hormonal Behaviour; 95:103-112 Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28757312 [Accessed 1st February 2018].

Stadtlander L. (2015) Paternal postnatal depression. International Journal of Childbirth education; 30(2):11-13. Available from: https://search.proquest.com/openview/d4950af74618239aa64b8b53f96d5713/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=32235 [Accessed 1st February 2018].

Wee KY, Skouteris J, Pier C, Richardson B, Milgrom J. (2010) Correlates of ante- and postnatal depression in fathers: a systematic review. Journal of Affective Discord; 130(3):358-77. Available from: http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327(10)00447-7/fulltext [Accessed 1st February 2018].

Source: https://www.nct.org.uk/life-parent/emotions/postnatal-depression-dads-10-things-you-should-know

Postpartum Men

What You Need To Know About Postnatal Depression In Men

Helping Men Beat The Baby Blues And Overcome Depression

Being a parent is hard. And being a new father of an infant is especially hard. It’s stressful. And conflicts with your partner that arise after a few sleepless nights can make things harder. But PPND is different. It’s a clinical condition.

PPND (Paternal Postnatal Depression) is common condition among men after the birth of a child. Up to 1 in 4 new dads have PPND. Depression, anxiety or other problems with mood can occur anytime during the first year of your child’s life. If you think you might have PPND, please carefully read this page and complete the assessment below.

PPND is a very serious condition. But it’s also a very treatable condition. If left untreated, however, PPND can result in damaging, long-term consequences for yourself, your child, and your family as a whole.

What Puts Me at Risk For PPND?

Unfortunately, we’re really only beginning to understand PPND. One of the things we know the least about is what puts men at risk for PPND. Here are some of the things that research suggests may increase your chances of experiencing PPND:

  • A lack of good sleep
  • Changes in hormones
  • Personal history of depression
  • Poor relationship with spouse
  • Poor relationship with one or both parents
  • Relationship stress – with a partner or with in-laws
  • Excessive stress about becoming a parent or father
  • Nonstandard family (such as being unmarried or a stepfather)
  • Poor social functioning
  • A lack of support from others
  • Economic problems or limited resources
  • A sense of being excluded from the connection between the mother and baby

One thing we do know is that if your partner is depressed, there’s a good chance you are too. Up to half of men whose partners have postpartum depression are depressed themselves.

The following assessment will help you determine whether you might have PPND. It’s called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale – or the EPDS, for short. It is the most widely used assessment for postpartum depression and anxiety. It has been tested and found effective with men.

We recommend that you print out this page and circle your answers. If you prefer, you can CLICK HERE to download the complete self-assessment, with instructions and scoring.

INSTRUCTIONS: Please circle the number of the answer that comes closest to how you have felt in the past week – not just how you feel today.

1.     In the past week I have been able to laugh and see the funny side of things:

0.     As much as I always could
1.     Not quite so much now
2.     Definitely not so much now
3.     Not at all

2.     In the past week I have looked forward with enjoyment to things:

0.     As much as I ever did
1.     Rather less than I used to
2.     Definitely less than I used to
3.     Hardly at all

3.     In the past week I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things went wrong:

3.     Yes, most of the time
2.     Yes, some of the time
1.     Not very often
0.     No, never

4.     In the past week I have been anxious or worried for no good reason:

0.     No, not at all
1.     Hardly ever
2.     Yes, sometimes
3.     Yes, very often

5.     In the last week I have felt scared or panicky for no very good reason:

3.     Yes, quite a lot
2.     Yes, sometimes
1.     No, not much
0.     No, not at all

6.     In the past week things have been getting on top of me:

3.     Yes, most of the time I haven’t been able to cope at all
2.     Yes, sometimes I haven’t been coping as well as usual
1.     No, most of the time I have coped quite well
0.     No, I have been coping as well as ever

7.     In the past week I have been so unhappy that I have difficulty sleeping:

3.     Yes, most of the time
2.     Yes, sometimes
1.     Not very often
0.     No, not at all

8.     In the past week I have felt sad or miserable:

3.     Yes, most of the time
2.     Yes, quite often
1.     Not very often
0.     No, not at all

9.     In the past week I have been so unhappy that I have been crying:

3.     Yes, most of the time
2.     Yes, quite often
1.     Only occasionally
0.     No, never

10.     In the past week the thought of harming myself has occurred to me:

3.     Yes, quite often
2.     Sometimes
1.     Hardly ever
0.     Never

After you’ve answered each of the 10 questions, add together the numbers from each of your responses.

If the total number is 5 to 8, it is ly that you have an anxiety disorder. If the total number is 9 to 10 or more, it is ly that you have depression.

If the total number is five or more, further assessment by a licensed mental health professional is recommended. If any number other than “0” is circled for question 10, you should contact a mental health professional immediately.

The EPDS is an assessment tool and should not take the place of clinical judgment. A comprehensive clinical assessment by a licensed mental health professional should confirm your findings.

An Important Word About The EPDS and Women

If there’s a chance that your partner is depressed, it’s important that she complete the EPDS as well. However, the instructions for completing the EPDS are different for women and men. Please suggest to your partner that she go to The Postpartum Stress Center online (www.postpartumstress.com) to obtain a copy of the EPDS, with specific instructions for women.

Sources:
Cox, J. L., Holden, J. M., & Sagovsky, R. (1987). Detection of postnatal depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. British Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 782-786.
Goodman, J.H. (2004).

Paternal postpartum depression, its relationship to maternal postpartum depression, and implications for family health. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 45: 26-35.
Lane A., Keville R., Morris, M., Kinsella, A., Turner, M., & Barry, S. (1997). Postnatal depression and elation among mothers and their partners: prevalence and predictors.

British Journal of Psychiatry. 171: 550-555.
Matthey S, Barnett B, Kavanagh DJ, Howie P (2001). Validation of the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale for men, and comparison of item endorsement with their partners. Journal of Affective Disorders, 64, 175-184.
Matthey S., Barnett B., Ungerer J., Waters B. (2000).

Paternal and maternal depressed mood during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Affective Disorders. 60: 75-85.

Source: http://postpartummen.com/postpartum-depression/

Oh Baby: Postpartum Depression in Men is Real, Science Says

What You Need To Know About Postnatal Depression In Men

Sometime after your bundle of joy arrives, you notice negative changes in your husband’s behavior. It could be paternal postpartum depression. And yes, it’s real.

When his first child was born in October 2013, David Levine, was thrilled. “I was as excited as any new parent and looking forward to being a dad,” says Dr. Levine, a pediatrician who practices in Westfield, New Jersey.  Within days his initial elation eroded, replaced by anxiety and fear.

His son, Zachary, cried constantly. As a pediatrician, Dr. Levine often comforted anxious parents and crying babies. But in his new role as a father, his medical training couldn’t rein in his obsessive fear that Zachary’s persistent crying indicated a serious medical issue. “I became fixated on the idea something was devastatingly wrong with my son.”

At work, Dr. Levine rallied engrossed in his practice. Back home in the couple’s small apartment, he was irritable and even angry. “Every time I’m with him he’s crying,” Dr. Levine told his wife, “And now I’m even more convinced there’s something terribly wrong with him.”

His wife and his son’s pediatrician tried to reassure him. They didn’t succeed. “No one could persuade me that my son was fine,” he says.

Then when Zachary was but a few weeks old, Dr. Levine became convinced that the baby hated him. “He cries as soon as I walk in the door,” he told his wife who pointed out that the baby was too young to hate anyone. Feeling isolated and rejected, Dr.

Levine became “verbally vicious” to his wife and demeaned his son constantly. “Maybe he’s autistic,” he told her, “hammering the point home day after day.” As the weeks went by his thoughts and feelings about, and towards his son, get darker.  “I hate him.

I wish we’d never had him,” he told his wife.

Hidden Diagnosis

Though he didn’t realize it at the time, Dr. Levine was displaying classic symptoms of paternal postpartum depression (PPPD).

While women tend to turn their sadness and fear inward, men are more ly to express depression through anger, aggressiveness, irritability and anxiety, says San Diego-based psychologist David Singley PhD, who has treated roughly 40 men with postpartum depression.

“They are also susceptible to other manifestations such as increased use of substances (drinking, drugs), addictive behaviors such as gambling or video games as well as physical manifestations headaches and stomach problems.”

Something’s Wrong

At some point during those weeks, Dr. Levine googled paternal postpartum.  “I found out it existed,” he says, “but still I didn’t seek help.”  For men going from dude to dad is very different from any other event in their lives,” explains Dr.

Singley, a member of the board of Postpartum Support International, an organization that provides resources and information about PPD. “And those old-school expectations that men are the protectors and providers keep men from seeking help.”  Dr. Levine’s reluctance to reach out to a professional was tied into his feelings about masculinity.

“I didn’t want my wife to see me as weak and helpless,” he says. “I was supposed to be the strong one.”

Stuffing his emotions made things worse. His dark moods led to dark, intrusive thoughts. When he put his son into his highchair, Dr. Levine worried he’d been too rough or had shaken him. And he confesses there were moments when his suppressed anger scratched so close to the surface that had to walk away from his son.

Breaking Through

When Zachary was about five or six weeks old, Dr. Levine and his wife planned an outing while Zachary’s grandparents were babysitting.  But that morning, “I said something really horrible to my wife about the baby,” he says.

Driving to work, he suddenly felt terrified that this time he had gone too far. He pulled over to call his wife to apologize and to ask if their date was still on.  He thought she said “no.”  (She didn’t.) Convinced that she was rejecting him, Dr.

Levine burst into tears.

That breakdown led to a breakthrough. He finally shared his despair, feelings of disconnectedness and fear with his wife. Her response was reassuring. “You need help. And you need rest. You’re falling apart,” she told him.  That very day he hired a night nurse.

And he made an appointment to see a mental health practitioner in his practice who specialized in postpartum depression. (He was the therapist’s first male patient.)  Over the next three months, cognitive therapy helped him understand that his obsessive negative thoughts were not based in reality. His son didn’t hate him.

His son hadn’t rejected him. His son was healthy and thriving.

Still, he never told his therapist or his wife about his darkest thoughts.  “I didn’t want anyone to think my son was in [any] danger.”

By the time Dr. Levine’s wife went back to work and his month-long paternity leave started, Zachary had “matured and stopped crying constantly,” says Dr. Levine.  “He ate well for me and he was smiling at me more.” His confidence as a parent grew. Feeling much better, he stopped therapy.

The Science of Sad Dads

Dr. Levine is not alone. According to a study published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 10% or 1 in 10 men around the world experience paternal postpartum depression (PPPD).

The study, a meta-analysis (a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies) involved over 28,000 participants in 43 studies conducted between 1980 and 2009.

The study also reported that the incidence “was relatively higher in the 3-to 6-months postpartum.”

And while hormone levels are considered a major factor in female postpartum, another study found that men with PPPD may also be experiencing some hormonal mayhem.

The 2017 study found an association between lower testosterone levels and PPPD.

According to the study, “Following the birth of an infant, decreases in testosterone and increases in depressive symptoms have been observed in fathers.”  Why testosterone dips isn’t yet understood.

Hormones may play a part but the strongest predictor of male postpartum is female postpartum. If the wife is depressed, the man is twice as ly to develop postpartum according to a 2004 review of 20 studies.

Researchers concluded that “during the first postpartum year, the incidence of paternal depression ranged from 1.2% to 25.5% in community samples, and from 24% to 50% among men whose partners were experiencing postpartum depression.

Maternal depression was identified as the strongest predictor of paternal depression during the postpartum period.”

While the research confirms that male PPPD is real, the majority of men don’t know about it. The real challenge is two-fold: making men aware and helping them get help. And that’s precisely what Dr. Levine hopes to do by telling his story

One More Time

In October of 2017, Dr. Levine, now 40 and his wife, 38 welcomed their second child, a daughter named Alexandra.  His plan was to start therapy before the baby was born but as the birth approached, a death in the family sidetracked him. “My mind was preoccupied with other things,” he says.

Although he went into therapy when his daughter was four weeks old, some of the old feelings and anger reemerged.  “It all came to a head a couple of months ago,” he said.

He found himself saying terrible things about his daughter in front of his son who said, “that’s not nice, daddy.”  “I couldn’t believe I’d let it happen again,” he says.  But this time he didn’t withdraw or try to hide his feelings from his wife.

  Thanks to the cognitive therapy he’s “better at curtailing intrusive negative thoughts,” he says. “Now I believe that things will get better.”

Symptoms

According to Pacific Post Partum Support Society, common signs of postpartum depression and anxiety in men are:

  • Increased anger and conflict with others
  • Increased use of alcohol or prescription/street drugs
  • Frustration or irritability
  • Violent behavior
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Being easily stressed
  • Impulsiveness or risk-taking (this kind of behavior can include reckless driving or extramarital affairs)
  • Feeling discouraged; cynicism
  • Increase in complaints about physical problems, headaches, digestion problems or pain
  • Problems with concentration or motivation
  • Loss of interest in work, hobbies and/or sex
  • Working constantly
  • Concerns about productivity and functioning at work or school
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling sad or crying for no reason
  • Conflict between how you feel you should be as a man and how you are
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Where to Get Help

Once a month Dr. Singley hosts an hour-long call-in forum where men can get support from an expert and from one another about adjusting to and dealing with the pressures of parenthood. You can also visit the websites below for more information on postpartum depression in men:

  • Postpartum Men
  • Pacific Post Partum Support Society
  • Postpartum.net

Source: https://www.psycom.net/postpartum-depression-in-men

Postpartum Depression in Men

What You Need To Know About Postnatal Depression In Men

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Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6659987/

Yes, Postpartum Depression in Men Is Very Real

What You Need To Know About Postnatal Depression In Men

The frequent night feedings. The fussing that seemingly can’t be soothed. The rearranging of your days to tend to the constant needs of a brand new baby. It can all catch up to any new parent.

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While we typically associate the “baby blues” and postpartum depression with women, new fathers can experience serious mood changes after bringing baby home, too.

In fact, paternal postnatal depression is “wildly common,” says psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD. About 10% of fathers become depressed before or just after their baby is born, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Postpartum blues are especially common three to six months after the birth, with as many as one in four dads experiencing symptoms.

The reason is partly biological, Dr. Bea says. “Everyone knows that mothers’ hormones change a lot during and after pregnancy. But there’s evidence that fathers also experience real changes in their hormone levels after a baby is born,” he explains.

And plenty of non-hormonal factors are at play, too:

  • One plus one … plus one: Men may be used to being the focus of their partners’ attention. That changes when a baby enters the equation. Moms tend to bond quickly with baby. Dads bond with babies in different ways, and it can take a while. In the meantime, dad can feel a third wheel.
  • Provider pressure: A new father can feel intense pressure to provide for his new addition, which can ramp up stress around finances and career.
  • Guilt trips: There’s a cultural expectation that new dads should be over the moon. If they’re not quite feeling it yet, they might feel guilty on top of everything else.
  • Just not getting it: Most new parents get so little sleep — and so little sex — that they might start to wonder why they have a bed. Lack of either can take a toll on your mood.

Dads & depression: Know the signs

Symptoms of depression can look different in men and women. Some of the more common signs in men include:

  • Anger,irritability or aggression.
  • Loss ofinterest in work or favorite activities.
  • Workingall the time.
  • Actingdistant or withdrawing from family and friends.
  • Feelingfrustrated, discouraged or cynical.
  • Feelingsad, hopeless or overwhelmed.

Men who have a history of depression might be at greaterrisk of postpartum depression. So are new fathers whose partners also havepostpartum symptoms.

Help for paternal postpartum depression

Unfortunately, many men laugh off the idea of paternalpostpartum depression. And even if they accept it’s the real deal, they might notadmit it’s affecting them.

“But there’s nothingshameful about postpartum depression,” Dr. Bea stresses. “Fatherhood is a hugenew job, with long hours and no pay, and society doesn’t do a good enough jobsupporting men in this role.” 

To maintain a positive mood when you’re in the thick of newfatherhood, Dr. Bea recommends focusing on the self-care basics:

  1. Eat well.
  2. Exercise.
  3. Rest (yeah, we know, but grab a nap when you can get one).
  4. Avoid drinking, gambling and other reckless behaviors.
  5. Talk about your feelings — whether it’s with your partner, parent, sibling or friend (or anyone who will listen without judgment).

Adjusting to a new baby takes time. It’s normal for yourmood to be a little rocky in the process. But if your symptoms last more than twoto three weeks, consider help from a counselor or psychotherapist.

“Asking for helpdoesn’t mean you’re helpless,” Dr. Bea points out. It means you’re doing whatyou need to do so you can be the best partner — and best dad — you can be.

Source: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/yes-postpartum-depression-in-men-is-very-real/

Antenatal depression and postnatal depression in men

What You Need To Know About Postnatal Depression In Men

Pregnancy is a powerful and life-changing experience for women and men. It can stir up some strong, deep and unexpected emotions and issues.

As a man, there might be days during your partner’s pregnancy when you feel flat, down or irritable. These kinds of changes are normal.

But emotional changes that last longer than two weeks and get in the way of your daily life could be depression. Depression during pregnancy is called antenatal depression. Depression after birth is postnatal depression.

Up to one in 10 men experiences antenatal or postnatal depression.

I’ve spoken to thousands of people on the helpline and in my clinical work, and there’s a common theme for women and men. It’s ‘I didn’t know I would be experiencing this emotional stuff as I learned about being a carer of a baby’.
– Belinda Horton, former CEO, Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA)

Signs of antenatal and postnatal depression in men

If you’re experiencing any of the changes below for more than two weeks, don’t struggle against them or ignore them. Get help. Speak with your partner, family and friends and see your GP.

Common physical signs might include:

  • tiredness
  • lack of appetite
  • trouble sleeping, or sleeping and waking at unusual times
  • weight loss or gain.

Changes in emotions and moods can also be signs of antenatal and postnatal depression. For example, you might feel:

  • sad
  • guilty or ashamed
  • cranky, anxious and angry
  • isolated or disconnected from your partner, friends or family
  • unable to enjoy things you used to find fun or pleasurable.

You might have changes in thinking. For example, you might:

  • be unable to concentrate or remember things
  • have trouble making decisions or doing everyday tasks
  • have thoughts of being overwhelmed, control or you can’t cope
  • think about death or suicide.

You might also have changes in behaviour. For example, you might:

  • not be interested in sex
  • withdraw from your family or want to spend more time at work
  • use drugs or alcohol as a way of handling the depression.

Antenatal and postnatal depression have the same symptoms and are treated in the same way. It’s just the timing that’s different – antenatal depression comes before birth and postnatal depression comes after. You might hear these conditions referred to together as perinatal depression.

Getting help for antenatal or postnatal depression in men

If you think you might have depression, it’s important to get help early.

Here are things you can do to start the recovery process:

  • Talk with your partner, family and friends about what you’re going through.
  • Call PANDA on 1300 726 306 or MensLine on 1300 789 978.
  • Speak to your GP.
  • Go to your local community health centre.
  • Contact your local mental health services.

If you’re having thoughts about hurting yourself or your family, you should urgently speak to your GP or call Lifeline Australia on 131 114. If you believe that someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 000 or go to your local hospital’s emergency department.

Depression and your partner

Around 15% of women develop postnatal depression after the birth of their babies.

Dads whose partners have postnatal depression often find their partner withdrawing from love and affection – not just sex, but also from the friendship that comes in a relationship.

If your partner is struggling, or you notice that she’s experiencing the symptoms of antenatal or postnatal depression, encourage her to seek help. To start with, she could speak to her GP or child and family health nurse.

Your support will make a big difference to your partner and can help reduce her symptoms. Read more about how to care for a partner who has postnatal depression.

Source: https://raisingchildren.net.au/grown-ups/looking-after-yourself/depression-before-and-after-birth/antenatal-postnatal-depression-men