Now that more and more mothers are coming forward and sharing their horrendous experiences with postpartum depression, a better understanding of the disorder is slowing being gained.
But did you know that this inherently maternal disorder happens to fathers, too?
They suffer from stress and anxiety wrought on by pregnancy. In fact, according to a new study, one in ten new fathers experience depression after giving birth.
Meanwhile, a Mama Mia story said that in 2012 alone the total number of Australians with perinatal depression was estimated to be 96,156, including 71,177 new mothers and 24,979 new fathers.
If fathers are afflicted with postpartum depression, why are we only noticing it now?
The same Mama Mia report postulated that while mothers are open to discussing their troubles, fathers—males in general—are less so.
“I don’t know about you but I struggle to get my husband to go to the GP for anything, let alone to a psychologist or similar to chat about how he’s feeling,” said Siobhan Rennie, the article’s author. “In a Beyond Blue survey around 40 per cent of fathers said they didn’t seek help even when stressed.”
Much of the triggers behind maternal postpartum depression are the same for paternal postpartum depression, but certain factors are peculiar to fathers.
Some of these include: “A change in family dynamics, feeling excluded from the parenting role, having unrealistic expectations about sex post partum, feeling like they’re not getting as much attention (and therefore resenting the baby), worries about extra responsibilities and the financial burden and more.”
“It made me wonder—if I’m experiencing postnatal depression and anxiety, what are my husband’s chances of experiencing either?” said Siobhan.
According to her research, there is a correlation between a father’s PND and his partner’s PND. However, “paternal postnatal depression can also occur independent of how the mum is feeling.”
Men are reluctant to seek help for their troubles and try to solve their problem on their own. That’s just how they are.
But paternal postpartum depression is a disease. It’s a chemical imbalance and something that is beyond one’s control, and just like any other disease it needs to be treated with the help of a medical professional.
READ: Is Kanye West suffering from postpartum depression?
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