Moms Aren't The Only Ones Who Go Through Postpartum Depression. Apparently, Dads Can Experience Postpartum Depression, Too. Keep Reading For Details
Moms aren't the only ones who go through postpartum depression. Apparently, dads can experience postpartum depression, too. According to a new article in The Huffington Post, recent research indicates that up to ten percent of men go through postpartum depression. According to Mayo Clinic, the following are symptoms of postpartum depression (in women):
- Loss of appetite
- Intense irritability and anger
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Loss of interest in sex
- Lack of joy in life
- Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Severe mood swing
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby
At one time, I mistakenly believed that women experienced postpartum depression mainly due to hormonal changes that occur during and after pregnancy. However, after we adopted, I heard of adoptive parents becoming depressed after adopting -- post-adoption depression -- and there are obviously no pregnancy hormones involved. As such, it makes perfect sense that a dad can experience "postpartum depression." According to the Huffington Postarticle, postpartum depression is men can be caused by a number of different factors that predispose them to depression in general: History of drug or alcohol abuse, prior depression, prior relationship problems, prior abuse. Additionally, several circumstances directly related to the birth of a new child can contribute to postpartum depression in men: Isolation, sleep deprivation and hormones.
Although the changes are far less dramatic than those new mothers experience following delivery, men's hormones can change before and after a birth as well. Research -- much of it in animals -- suggests that testosterone levels dip and estrogen and prolactin (a hormone that helps make breast milk in women) increase in males before and after a partner gives birth. Men with postpartum depression may also exhibit postpartum drops in the level of cortisol, a stress hormone that drops in women postdelivery and has been identified as a possible factor in postpartum depression.
If you suspect your partner or spouse is experiencing postpartum depression, don't dismiss it. Encourage him to seek help because it's a serious condition. More on postpartum depression: