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Postpartum Depression & Anxiety in Men

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  • #6137

    I’m very glad to see that GreatDad has provided some information about men’s postpartum depression, in the article “Know more about postpartum depression in dads.” I want to add some more information that I’ve found is helpful for new dads to know. I’m the founder of a web site for men with postpartum depression, called PostpartumMen.

    I think it’s important new dads who are depressed know that they’re not alone. Every day, more than 1,000 new dads in the United States become depressed. And according to some studies, that number is as high as 2,700. That’s as many as 1 in 4 new dads who have postpartum depression. Whatever the exact number, we know that a lot of fathers are suffering from this painful condition.

    Another thing that’s useful for new dads to know is that – like their partners – their bodies are going through changes too. Men experience physiological changes both during their partner’s pregnancy and early in the postpartum period. And it’s a double whammy; not only do our testosterone levels go down, but our estrogen levels go up. This can certainly wreak havoc on a man’s functioning. I’ve found that it’s very reassuring for men to know this, and to know that this can explain some of unusual things they’re experiencing. These hormonal changes may also contribute to triggering depression. There is some evidence linking low levels of testosterone and depression in men.

    The article listed a few possible causes of men’s postpartum depression. There are many more. Some of the important ones include:

    • sleep deprivation
    • a history of depression
    • a rocky relationship with his partner
    • anxiety or stress about becoming a father
    • a sick or colicky baby
    • a lack of support from others.

    It’s important for men to be aware of these possible causes in order to try do what they can to prevent depression before it occurs. For example, joining a new dads group if a man’s anxious about becoming a father or seeing a relationship counselor with his partner if the two have relationship problems. Doing this BEFORE his child is born is ideal.

    Most importantly, I want your readers to know that postpartum depression and anxiety are very treatable conditions. For most men, the biggest problem is NOT the depression itself, but the fact that think they should try to go it alone and not get help – and that’s the worst thing they can do. Left untreated, postpartum depression often worsens and can lead to other serious consequences for a man and his family. It’s important a man muster the courage he needs to get help – as soon as he can.

    I thought GreatDad visitors and members might like to know about the web site I founded for men with postpartum depression: http://www.SadDaddy.com. It’s the only Internet site specifically for new dads with depression, and includes lots of information, an assessment for new fathers to complete, and an online forum for dads to talk with each other.

    Thanks again, and keep up the “Great” work!

    Warm wishes,

    Dr. Will Courtenay

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