How Common Is Postpartum Depression in Dads?



Today's episode was brought to you by the new Capital One saver card with which you can earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment. That means four percent on checking out that new restaurant everyone's talking about and four percent on watching your team win at home. You'll also earn two percent cashback at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you cash in what's in your wallet? Welcome to brain stuff from how stuff works. Hey, brain stuff, Lauren Vogel bomb here for some time. Researchers and mental health experts have known the postpartum depression is not something solely experienced by new mothers new fathers to make spurious depression. We spoke with Brandon Eddie an assistant professor in the couple and family therapy program at the university of Nevada Las Vegas. He learned a little about postpartum, depression when his wife experienced it after the couple's first child and a studied how postpartum depression affects men to he wrote about it for a paper in the ury twenty nineteen edition of the journal of family issues. It's titled forgotten fathers postpartum depression in men. Already at ease hearing for many who applaud his efforts to force this illness more into the open Eddie said, I had a former co worker who read it and sent me a message. He said, I really appreciated your study. I could really relate with it. He said everyone asks how's your wife? How's the baby? And it ends there. I desperately want someone to ask. How are you doing? Many parents of new babies go through the baby blues mood swings anxiety. Trouble sleeping, and general sadness are all symptoms. But when those moods become more intense and last longer when overpowering fatigue sets in when a parent has problems bonding with a newborn or has that's suicide or if harming the baby those are all signs, the postpartum depression has set in postpartum depression can be especially difficult for men because of a widely held belief that it's a woman only illness much of the available information on postpartum depression is still aimed exclusively toward women. Even the National Institute for mental health defines the condition as quote a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth yet, a twenty ten study shows that somewhere around ten percent of dads and twenty five percent in the three to six month period after birth experience postpartum depression, at ease research sites, another study that says that between twenty four and fifty percent of men whose partners have postpartum depression, also experience it, and of course as. Any serious depression? It can impact all aspects of men's lives their work, friendships and relationship with their partner and children. With the stigma that surrounds paternal postpartum, depression, the idea that it's for women only men don't get it. You didn't carry a baby for nine months? Just suck it up and be strong. Finding men willing to talk openly about their depression was not going to be easy. So any in his fellow? Researchers went to a source where anonymity rules and fathers felt free to speak their mind the internet after conducting searches for phrases like depression in new fathers, Eddie and his co authors, scoured chat, boards, blogs and other. Forums like read it to pull information from twenty-seven, new dads. Eddie said no one knows who they are. So there's not the same sense of shame. It's not like all eyeballs are upon you. So sometimes that makes it a lot easier to share their experiences. These people were in a safe place where they were able to express themselves. Eddie's research uncovered six main themes from those online comments first fathers need education, it became clear that although they may not have known what to call it. Many of the commenters were living with paternal postpartum depression. The second men experiencing because part of depression were anxious about adhering to gender expectations. One commenter said I wanted to cry and give up being a father. But I was afraid to acknowledge those thoughts and feelings and myself, it wasn't becoming of a man and father to feel those things third the fathers were repressing their feelings. For example, one said she's with the kids all day every day, and I'm home to help for six hours and can't handle it. Forth. The men felt overwhelmed. One said, I have the feeling that I'm constantly on the edge of bursting into tears fifth their own negative feelings lead to some resentment of their babies one said baby cries can unearth some darkness in me. I found. And sixth the fathers themselves felt neglected one said, I blamed both my wife and my son for my feelings of loss and insignificance. My wife seemed to consider me selfish and irresponsible. These were the common threads. And although of course, it sucks to have these feelings. They're completely valid these feelings are real recognized by scientists and caused some experts believe at least in part by chemical changes in men's bodies, postpartum, depression and women has been tied to a dip in the hormone estrogen, but women aren't alone in dealing with falling hormone levels men, experienced drop testosterone from early to late pregnancy. And that's been linked depression to. Most importantly fathers need to know that help is available a talk with the health practitioner, maybe the first step towards shaking postpartum depression. If seeing a psychologist is intimidating a family, doctor can help you reach diagnosis prescribed medications that may help and put you in touch with a mental health practitioner that you'd be comfortable with Eddie said, the sooner you get helped the better if you put this off you're going to have more distance grow between you and your partner you're going to is late yourself and you're going to put yourself in a bad situation. So seeking out help as soon as he recognized something off is really the way to go and the way to limit how much impacts you and your family. Today's episode was written by John Donovan and produced by Tyler clean, brain stuff is a production of iheartmedia. House two forks for more on this and lots of other mental health topics. Visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com. And for more podcasts from iheartradio. Visit the iheartradio app. Apple podcasts are wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Today's episode is brought to you by the new Capital One saver card. Earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment two percent at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you can cash in what's in your wallet.

Coming up next