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  • Postpartum Depression In Men

    I remember going to the Women’s Health Group with my wife for our first pregnancy. It’s an interesting place to observe behavior. It can be a very happy place, anxious, or sad. The environment uproots many emotions in both parents, I am sure, but ultimately it is catered towards the mother, who justifiably so, is the one giving birth. But what about fathers? What are his worries that he is putting on the shelf for the sake of his partner? 
    It can all be so strange for men. We display vulnerability horribly in the first place now; add in the fact we’re supposed to express how we’re feeling in this moment when our partner is the one carrying an actual human in her belly. Let’s be honest, fellas. We park that emotion. Some of it is out of love. Why should we be a burden when she is already going through enough? All this and more is why men need to recognize the signs of postpartum depression. Yes, that is correct. Fellas, this still affects us. Which, if ignored, could ultimately affect her and that little one on the way. 
    Postpartum depression (PPD) is often defined as an episode of major depressive disorder (MDD) occurring soon after the birth of a child. It is frequently reported in mothers but can also occur in fathers. There are no established criteria for PPD in men, although it could present over the course of a year, with symptoms of irritability, restricted emotions, and depression. Risk factors include a history of depression in either parent, poverty, and hormonal changes (Scarff, 2019). 
    It might be associated with anxiety disorders and can adversely affect the father, family unit, and developing child. Treatment includes psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Clinicians are encouraged to screen for depression in men during the first year postpartum and to offer treatment or treatment referral if depression is present. 
    Scarff J. R. (2019). Postpartum Depression in Men. Innovations in clinical neuroscience, 16(5-6), 11–14.

    Author: Tyrone Townsend MA, LPC, NCC