Postpartum depression is a depression that takes place weeks or months after the child birth. For long time, it was generally believed that only women can suffer from postpartum depression. Nowadays it is certain that men too can get depressed when they become fathers.
Even though becoming a parent for the first time is joyful for many people there are those that go through great hardships during this period. Those individuals should never be blamed for their condition. Depressed persons need help not judgment because they are ill and not mean.
Another thing that needs to be emphasized is that postpartum depression in men is not a sign of weakness or that they are going to be bad parents. Once a depressed man is cured he can be a loving and caring husband and father.
Facts about Postpartum Depression in Men:
10 % of new fathers suffer from postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression in men is less common than in women.
3% of new fathers develop severe postpartum depression.
When depressed, men are often aggressive, irritable and prone to alcohol abuse. This is opposite to women who generally feel sad and hopeless when depressed.
Men are much less willing to admit that they are depressed than women. They are also not as comfortable as women when seeking help. This is why men generally do not seek professional help and because of this they suffer in silence.
Postpartum depression in men is very treatable. However when postpartum depression in men is not treated it can have major consequences and even a fatal ending.
Postpartum depression in men doesn’t mean that they are going to be bad fathers. It means that they need appropriate treatment, understanding and support from their wives and other members of family.
Signs of Postpartum Depression in Men:
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression in Men:
Loss of interest in all activities that were once enjoyed
Feeling tricked into becoming a parent
Treatment for Postpartum Depression in Men:
Psychotherapy: There are many types of psychotherapies that can treat postpartum depression in men and depressive disorders in general.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, Interpersonal therapy, Gestalt therapy, Psychoanalytic therapies, Family therapy and many others are used for treating depression.
Psychotherapy offers education, support, coping tools, understanding and many other things that are essential for successful recovery.
Antidepressants: Antidepressants are very useful tool for severe type of postpartum depression in men because they make them capable to participate in psychotherapy where the healing process is taking place. Antidepressants are not magic pills or sole solution to the problem.
Antidepressants should be taken only under a supervision of a health professional and only if they are necessary. Also, when taking antidepressants a patient must be disciplined and take them in the exact way as it is prescribed.
Alternative treatments for postpartum depression in men: There are many kinds of alternative treatments for depression. One of them is natural supplements which can be useful and in some cases even replace antidepressants. An important thing to know is that just because they are natural that doesn’t mean that they are harmless.
When thinking about using alternative treatments for postpartum depression in men, a trained professional should be consulted for advice. You should never take any type of medicine on your own because you can seriously harm yourself.
The most important thing is to be able to recognize postpartum depression in men because recognizing it is the first step of the healing process.
Seeking professional help and getting appropriate treatment is the next step; and the final one is it to participate in therapy and not to give up no matter how difficult it may be at times.