Depression in men can be difficult to recognize, both for the man and anyone close to him. With Mental Health Week coming up, I’d like to discuss depression in men and new dads, which seems to be forgotten.
As a psychotherapist, I’ve seen that men often have difficulty admitting that they’re depressed. A lot of men who are depressed don’t even recognize it as depression. If they do notice their low mood, they might see depression as a weakness, which can make them hesitant to reach out for help.
After their new baby is born, it’s even more unlikely that he will reach out for help with all of the attention on the mother and baby. An analysis by The Journal of the American Medical Association found that about 10 percent of men experience postpartum depression, with the highest rates 3 to 6 months following the birth of the child.
After birth, women can experience postpartum depression for a number of reasons. These include a combination of unbalanced hormones, physical trauma from giving birth and a loss of independence.
In my practice, I’ve noticed that men sometimes feel helpless around their newborn child. They can’t breast-feed the baby when it’s crying, and they may feel like they can’t bond while the child is so fragile and dependent on the mother. As mothers can be quite dominant in caring for newborns, buy xanax in usa fathers tend to bond more with their children later, when they’re toddlers.
Depression can look different in men as it often presents as irritability, rather than sadness. It might seem like everything sets him off. Maybe he doesn’t have the patience or easy-going nature that he used to, for example. If he spends more time watching television, drinks more than usual, or seems to feel very tired and lazy when he wasn’t this way before, he might be depressed. Rather than pointing out how his change in behaviour is irritating you, ask him how he’s doing and he may open up.
If you’re a new mother, don’t forget the man! Ask him how he’s feeling, and encourage him to help you with the baby and other tasks so that he can feel more useful. If you think you might be depressed, I urge you to care for yourself by seeking help. If you’re unwilling to see a therapist, maybe you can reach out to someone close to you to share how you’ve been feeling. Or you can start by referring to my book, 52 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally, if you’re uncomfortable sharing your feelings at this time. Your healing can start with one small step, whatever that may be for you.