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People are familiar with postpartum depression (PPD) as an extreme mood disorder or form of depression that can occur in new moms.
PPD is a more persistent and severe version of the “baby blues,” which includes mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulties sleeping. While this condition is frequently recorded in new moms, men can actually get it, too. Our mental health facility in Boca Raton is going into the causes and signs of postpartum depression in men.
Do Men Get Postpartum Depression?
Yes, men can get postpartum depression, and it’s pretty common. A study conducted on the prevalence of PPD among fathers showed that 10.4% of new dads experience postpartum depression, with the highest rates of depression having occurred between three and six months after their child’s birth.1 But what causes postpartum depression in men? For starters, the challenges of a new baby can overwhelm any parent. The fussing, crying, sleepless nights, constant changes, and frequent feedings can all contribute to anxiety, frustration, and other symptoms of PPD.
Other risk factors of postpartum depression in men include:
- Age (younger fathers are at higher risk)
- History of depression
- Hormonal changes
- Relationship problems with their spouse
- Relationship problems with their parents or in-laws
- High-stress job
- Financial struggles
- Lack of family support
Signs of Postpartum Depression in Men
Not only can men have postpartum depression, but they may also exhibit symptoms just as severe as those of PPD in women. Fathers with postpartum depression may feel extremely anxious or terrified about the health of their babies or even grow to hate their babies. In addition, new fathers may feel replaced by their children in their relationships with their spouses. They may feel crushed by the pressure to be a good dad or become frustrated with the lack of sleep, sex, and time to do other things.
Some common symptoms of postpartum depression in men include:
- Increased anger or frustration with others or towards your baby
- Depressed mood or severe mood swings
- Feeling like a “third wheel” or feeling left out from the relationship between your baby and their mother
- Difficulties bonding with your baby
- Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
- Difficulties sleeping or sleeping too much
- Decreased interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Anxiety or extreme fear about being a good father
- Extreme fear that your baby is sick or doesn’t like you
- Feelings of hopelessness, shame, worthlessness, or guilt
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Unfortunately, men laugh at the idea of PPD. Even if they accept it as a reality, they may be hesitant to talk about their struggles. Many men believe that they’ll seem weak if they express their symptoms or may be separated from their babies. Untreated postpartum depression can result in self-harm or harm to the baby. Relationship problems can also occur or become more severe if the individual does not receive residential mental health treatment.
You should never be ashamed about getting help for your mental health. At Banyan Mental Health, we pride ourselves on providing patients with a judgment-free zone where they can receive the most effective mental health care possible. If you or a loved one is battling a mental disorder, call us now at 888-280-4763 for more information about our mental health treatment programs in Florida.