Postpartum Depression -- Do Dads Have It Worse?

April Peveteaux
7

dark night depression
Flickr photo by notsogoodphotography
Postpartum depression is traditionally mom's arena. The hormones, the sleep-deprivation, and many other factors combine to pack a wallop after the baby has arrived and taken over your former life.

But The Wall Street Journal is reporting that it's not just mom who's suffering -- 1 in 10 dads has postpartum depression also.

While the hormones aren't a cause of postpartum depression in men, the other factors that could cause both men and women to seek treatment are: Isolation from friends, sleep-deprivation, worries over money, and stress in the relationship.

And, as it is with women, this study says that the baby can suffer negative consequences due to dad's depression

Tragically, in the case of men and PPD, there can also be a tendency toward aggressive behavior, and that aggression can descend into abuse. Additionally, moms married to depressed dads tend to have a good chance of being depressed themselves.

I always hate when studies focus on the harm to the children when mom has postpartum depression. As if hearing your children could suffer because you're depressed is going to help you to just snap out of it. But in the case of this study, hopefully those dire facts will encourage both men and women to seek help if the feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anger -- or however depression manifests itself -- occur after bringing baby into the world.

 

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