It’s often believed Postpartum Depression is something only moms go through, but up to 10% of men will experience it too. Here’s how you can recognize the signs.
Becoming a parent is an exciting time in a person’s life, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. In the U.S. alone, there are three million diagnosed cases of Postpartum Depression per year. You may have heard of how this affects women, however, Postpartum Depression in men is something that is rarely mentioned.
Who is most at risk?
Studies have shown that fathers who are young, have a history of depression, experienced relationship problems, or are struggling financially are most likely to experience postpartum depression. Symptoms can occur just weeks after the baby is born, but can develop over the course of a year.
“Being a dad, especially for the first time or even the second or third, is a huge adjustment," said Alex Gonzalez. "It’s a huge change of life. You try to hold everything together and sometimes you just can’t.”
A few symptoms of Postpartum Depression include:
Hypersomnia: being excessively sleepy even though you had a full night’s sleep
Insomnia: having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
Appetite changes: eating significantly less or more than what is usual for you
Intense feelings of guilt or worthlessness
Some may experience some of these symptoms, but not all.
“Those recurring thoughts of ‘I’m not good enough and they would be better without me.' Or, being easily upset over small things. Granted, lack of sleep with having a child is one thing that can contribute to irritability, but if it becomes in excess of what would normally be expected, those are the really big things to look out for.”