Pregnancy

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression in Men

Like women, some men experience depression after a baby is born. If left untreated it could lead to severe consequences and can even affect the baby as well. James F. Paulson, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk has stated that nearly ten percent of fathers experience depression after the arrival of the baby.

Some of the signs and symptoms are:Symptoms of Postpartum Depression in Men

There are many symptoms of postpartum depression in men. Some of the common symptoms of postpartum depression in men are sad mood, oversleeping, restlessness, feelings of worthlessness, impaired concentration and suicidal tendencies. Depressed fathers are also more likely to show destructive behaviors including: use of drugs or alcohol, anger, conflicts, reckless driving, extramarital relationships and working extra long hours.

Here’s a list of things to look for in a new father who may be suffering from post-partum depression. If these signs are seen or thought to be present, talk to a doctor as soon as possible.

  • Anger and fights with others
  • Excessive use of drugs and alcohol
  • Easily irritated or frustrated
  • Violent behavior
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Isolating oneself from friends and family
  • Getting stressed easily
  • Taking unnecessary risks and developing an impulsive behavior
  • Completely dejected and discouraged
  • Increase in physical problems – not feeling well for no apparent reason
  • Digestion problems
  • Headaches
  • Problems concentrating
  • Lack of motivation and interest in hobbies, work and sex
  • Works constantly
  • Misuse of prescribed medications
  • Increased problems at work or school
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Extremely low self-esteem
  • Suicidal tendencies and destructive behavior

There are a number of factors that play a role in depression after a baby is born. Irine Levine, a psychiatry professor at the New York University School of Medicine has stated that there are many culprits: the hormonal changes after a new baby, lack of sleep, economic stress, not feeling connected to the wife or baby and other added responsibilities. Levine says that in some cases, the father becomes gloomy after his wife gets depressed. One thing that can be done is screening new dads for depression especially in cases where the new mothers are suffering as well. Joint therapy is recommended and the success rates are high.

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