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Everyone experiences feelings of sadness occasionally, but depression is different. It persists over time and can cause a variety of other symptoms. Depression is a medical condition that affects more than million people globallyaccording to the World Health Organization WHO. People sometimes call it clinical depression or major depressive disorder.
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Learn about an increasingly common condition called paternal postpartum depression, which few men can bring themselves to discuss. You've heard plenty of stories about women experiencing postpartum depression.
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After all, the condition affects about one in nine new mothers. But you may not know about paternal postpartum depression PPND —the one your partner may experience after your little bundle of joy arrives.
This is what experts understand about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of postpartum depression in men. Is male postpartum depression real? According to experts and scientific research, it actually does exist. A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 10 percent of men worldwide showed s of depression from the first trimester of their wife's pregnancy through six months after the child was born.
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The spiked to a whopping 26 percent during the three- to six-month period after the baby's arrival. Paulson, Ph. A study published in Pediatrics found that depression among new d increases by 68 percent during the first five years of Baby's life. Conventional wisdom holds that a mother's postpartum depression is triggered largely by hormonal fluctuations —and studies show that a man's hormones also shift during pregnancy and after birth, for reasons that are still unknown.
Testosterone levels drop; estrogen, prolactin, and cortisol go up. Some men even develop symptoms such as nausea and weight gain.
Those hormone fluctuations—paired with the neurochemical changes that occur in the brain as a result of sleep deprivatio n— can create the perfect storm for male postpartum depression, says Dr. Other risk factors for paternal postpartum depression include a history of the disease, relationship instability, financial problems or stress, and a sick or premature baby. Men who've experienced the loss of loved ones—either in the adult years prior to becoming a parent or while growing up—are also at increased risk for depression.
The best predictor of a man's risk of depression is whether his wife is also depressed.
Postpartum depression is different from the Daddy Blues, which many new d can experience, says Dr. But with depression, these things won't make him feel better. The symptoms are more severe and last longer. If the 'blues' last more than two or three weeks, it's probably depression—and he should get help from a mental health professional who specializes in working with men.
Untreated depression only worsens. So how long does male postpartum depression last? Symptoms of PPND can stick around for weeks or months if left untreated—and it can have serious repercussions when ignored.
Do you think yourself or a loved one has male postpartum depression? Watch out for these symptoms and speak with a doctor if you're concerned. Research shows that talk therapy is very effective in treating depression, and it can be combined with medication.
But there are lots of treatments that range from traditional to alternative. The important thing is that a man get help, preferably from a d mental health professional and one who specializes in working with men, says Dr. Also, seek out support groups and sites like Postpartummen. These resources provide facts about postpartum depression in men, and they also act as an online forum where men can share their feelings anonymously.
Keep trying until you find the mental health treatment that's right for you, says Christina Hibbert, PsyD, an expert on postpartum mental health and founder of the nonprofit organization, the Arizona Postpartum Wellness Coalition.
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She created a DVD on postpartum couples and said that when she presented it at a conference, it was the first time she remembers there being a discussion about the father's postpartum experience. Getting help can save a man's life or his marriage. And if a father can't do it for himself, he should get help for the well-being of his.
Our society subscribes to the cultural myth that men should be stoic and tough things out, notes Dr. Their husbands almost always assume they're alone in feeling sad or scared to be a dad. Experts believe that paternal postpartum depression may be more prevalent now largely because this generation of fathers is feeling the same psychological, social, and economic stressors that some mothers have long experienced.
The trend toward d staying home with Baby while mom goes off to work is becoming more widespread.
Common symptoms of depression: what to know
With more moms working, d are shouldering child care and household tasks that traditionally fell to women. They have plenty of stress and little sleep, and this, along with hormonal changes, can lead to depression. Yet despite all of that, male postpartum depression is still easily eclipsed by its maternal counterpart. Perhaps because many men would rather stifle their feelings than talk about them, which can make the situation at home much more heated and fraught.
Parents hopes that increased knowledge about this common condition will open the doors for conversation. It's taking charge of his life. By Margery D. Rosen and Diana Kelly Updated February 14, Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. Save Pin FB ellipsis More. Father and Son Yawning. Credit: Sasha Gulish.
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Has he become uncharacteristically irritable or agitated? Is he distancing himself from his partner and the baby? Is he gambling, drinking, taking drugs, or engaging in other reckless behaviors?
Does he have a personal or family history of depression? Is he sad, tearful, or uninterested in doing things that he used to enjoy?
Does he make comments that he feels worthless or shares suicidal thoughts? Does he spend more time than usual at work? Is Mom suffering from postpartum depression too?
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Why we need to talk more about male postpartum depression
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