4 Signs of Postpartum Depression in Men
Postpartum depression in men is more common than you might think. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that at least 10% of men show signs of this disorder after the birth of their child.
According to data from the WHO, postpartum depression can occur in up to 40% of women after delivery.
The changes caused by pregnancy don’t end with the arrival of the baby. The process exerts an enormous amount of pressure on the couple.
New parents can be affected by stress and the alteration of their regular habits. Men also carry a heavy burden even though it may not seem like it.
The hardest part of postpartum depression is having to pretend that everything is fine. Sometimes it’s difficult for men to admit that the situation has overwhelmed them.
Women tend to have the advantage of being able to express their feelings more, without being afraid of the consequences.
Postpartum depression is centered around emotions. As parents we get very excited during the pregnancy and birth of our child. This is a normal and acceptable reaction. However, we don’t know how the change will affect us.
When men suffer from postpartum depression, they reflect it in a very different way than women do. In this article we’ll share with you the main signs of postpartum depression in men.
How to recognize postpartum depression in men
The signs of postpartum depression in men aren’t always associated with the typical image of sadness.
Men express depression in different ways than women. They may not show their depression through sadness but rather through irritability and aggression.
The origin of this depression is the same as in women. However, men express their sadness in a very different way.
Experts state that fatherhood requires a lot of physical and mental effort which can generate psychological effects. They may experience a feeling of general emotional congestion.
Here are a few signs of postpartum depression in men:
Anxiety is common during pregnancy and postpartum. It represents a clear sign of emotional disturbance. A lot of the changes that occur during postpartum promise to be permanent.
As parents we feel like we’re very far from returning to normality. In addition, experts state that men are mainly concerned about not being able to meet the baby’s needs.
Fathers can get stressed by the child’s growth; they want their children to be healthy and never get sick. They may also feel anxiety about the possibility of being replaced emotionally by their child.
Drastic mood swings
If the father of your child is naturally cranky, they may get even worse during this stage. As we previously stated, postpartum depression is mainly manifested by confusing behavior.
If you notice drastic mood swings, it could be because they’re getting defensive. Maybe their bad mood is their way to hide from fear. It’s also a means to avoid questions and harassment.
Just like mood swings, their aggressiveness could be a shield. Keep in mind that they aren’t pretending; their aggressiveness is created on a psychological level.
The threat of being replaced can also cause them to become aggressive; they assume that their replacement will happen sooner or later.
During the first days after birth, babies demand a lot of attention. They become the mother’s number one priority. Therefore, their feelings are somewhat understandable.
Lack of motivation and apathy
The symptoms that we mentioned previously occur because the man is responding to changes that have occurred in his life.
Sometimes other women, friends or relatives come to help the mother, leaving the man aside. As a consequence, the man starts to feel discouraged.
These signs can be perceived easily; however, we have to interpret them correctly. Although it’s difficult to deal with someone who is being moody or aggressive, we must help them overcome this situation.
Patience, understanding and love go hand in hand with the solution to most of these problems. These aspects are also useful to help alleviate postpartum depression in men.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Goodman, J. H. (2004). Paternal postpartum depression, its relationship to maternal postpartum depression, and implications for family health. Journal of Advanced Nursing. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2648.2003.02857.x
- Kim, P., & Swain, J. E. (2007). Sad dads: paternal postpartum depression. Psychiatry (edgmont), 4(2), 35. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922346/
- Miller, L. J. (2002). Postpartum depression. Jama, 287(6), 762-765. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/194624
- Olatunde Ayinde and Victor O. Lasebikan. (2017). Factors associated with paternal perinatal depression in fathers of newborns in Nigeria, Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 10.1080/0167482X.2017.1398726, 40, 1, (57-65).
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