Many people associate postpartum depression towards women as women feel depressed when they are awoken in the middle of the night by their child’s cries and not getting enough sleep. It can feel very overwhelming. The truth is that men can get postpartum depression as well and more men need to break the stigma so they can get the help they need.
The American Medical Journal says that 10% of men develop postpartum depression during the first trimester of their wife’s pregnancy through six months after the baby’s birth. It is possible that men could develop postpartum depression if their wife develops it as well. When most men feel anxious, angry, empty, or out of control, they feel like other men will not understand what they are going through and do not get help. Women tend to have a larger social circle and share stories about their pregnancy and life as a mother. For unknown reasons, testosterone levels drop and estrogen, prolactin, and cortisol levels go up. Men can also experience nausea or weight gain. These days, plenty of fathers are staying at home while their wife goes to work which makes them experience plenty of stress and little sleep as much as women.
The symptoms that men exhibit of postpartum depression are shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and full blown panic attacks. They will tend to feel worthless, lose interest in the activities they have enjoyed, and engage in risky behaviors like substance abuse, gambling, and infidelity. What men may not realize is engage in unhealthy behaviors can make matters worse. Men may also work long hours to better cope with their stress.
It is important for men to open up about their depression and to not feel ashamed to communicate with their wives about being a team through this stressful time. It also helps to exercise, eat well, journal, yoga, meditate, and anything else that may relax you. Men can also do talk therapy, take antidepressants, and anti-anxiety pills during the first few months. Doctors can refer men to a mental health provider that has experience with men’s issues. There is also the website postpartummen.com to learn facts postpartum depression with men and where you can participate in an online forum to share your story anonymously. Breaking the stigma of postpartum depression will help men not be ashamed and for them to get the help they need.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.