Male postpartum depression is real. Men get the baby blues too.
It is common for many new mums to experience some form of depression before or after birth. Many people call this the “baby blues”. Few people realise that it is also common with new fathers.
There is such a stigma around mental health and postpartum depression for women. We fail to get the conversation moving around men and postnatal depression. But men are also affected by the baby blues too.
Men don’t particularly experience the baby blues in the same effect as women do. It could be considered an emotional rollercoaster for women. Men on the other hand show signs of aggression, hostility and irritability.
Depression for first time dads can often lead to social detachment. They may become withdrawn from social activities and less likely to have any solid footing of social support to lean on.
Unlike a mother whom goes the through physical changes of bearing a child, men experience hormonal changes. It may be weird to think of men experiencing hormonal changes, but they do. The most typical change are low testosterone levels. These changes can affect the way men perceive their partners.
Men typically fear losing their partners interest and attention. These mental fears can lead to detachment from their partners. New dads experiencing this detachment may be less inclined to help out with mum and bub.
When new fathers are going through depression, they often will withdraw from their children as well. New dads may fail to develop a relationship with their young children when they experience these feelings. Young children also appear to be at risk of higher behavioural issues when they have a parent who is depressed.
If dads are experiencing these mental health issues, they may like to try some coping mechanisms that can help improve their mental state:
It is important for new dads experiencing some form of postpartum depression to seek help. It is important for partners to ask questions and offer support. It is important to understand that men can experience signs of vulnerability, just like women.
At the Counselling and Wellbeing Centre (CWC), our team of psychologists work closely with male clients who suffer with mental health illnesses, especially new fathers whom may be experiencing some form of postpartum depression. CWC provides depression counselling for anyone whom may be struggling these thoughts and feelings, please contact us at www.cwcqld.com