Research has shown that women are not the only ones affected by postpartum depression (PPD). The study out of Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA, showed that at least 10% of men also suffer from PPD. The difference is that it seems to be situational rather than hormonal, as depression is believed to be in new mothers.
According to study co-author James Paulson, a clinical psychologist and associate professor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School, “If you put 100 per cent of your chips on that bet, then really, there’s nothing left that you would expect with dads. If moms are getting depressed because of hormone changes, why would dads get depressed? They don’t go through the same hormone changes – they don’t have to be pregnant, they don’t have to deliver the baby. That bias has had a lot do with what people think,” Paulson says.
“The fact of the matter is that the evidence of hormone theories and pre- and post-natal depression is pretty inconsistent, and it’s not as strong as the evidence on psychosocial factors – things like changes in the relationship, financial stress, social support and social stress, which are reasonable things to expect to affect fathers.” The research has found that men suffer from PPD most between 3 and 6 months, and it seems sleep deprivation may be one of the causes. Unfortunately, men and women still consider it a taboo.
From my personal experience, it wasn’t until I started talking about it, that others came forward to share their experiences. Here are some tips from a previous blog that can help both men and women.