Men experiencing pregnancy or childbirth related depression

men and depressionThere is widespread belief that antenatal and postnatal depression is only experienced by women. Evidence based research suggests that this is not the case.

Men who are experiencing depression, anxiety, or loss may not recognise the risk factors or symptoms of how they feel. These feelings can affect men of all ages, personality types and economic status.

Research shows that men experience depression as a result of or in conjunction with their partner’s depression. While maternal postnatal depression is the strongest predictor of paternal postnatal depression it is not always the cause, men can experience antenatal and postnatal depression independently from their partners.

New fathers are generally not as open as mothers and find it very difficult to express how they are feeling.

Causes

  • Lack of emotional and social support
  • Their partner experiencing postnatal depression, depression in pregnancy, trauma, loss or postpartum psychosis
  • Varying changes in the relationship with their partner
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Financial difficulties or worries
  • Marital and family problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loss and grief issues if there was a loss of a baby
  • Various difficulties with the changes associated with the transition into parenthood
  • Different expectations of pregnancy and childbirth
  • Experiencing a traumatic birth both with the mother and/or baby
  • Feelings of incompetence in parenting role
  • First time father
  • Infant irritability

Symptoms

  • Tiredness, headaches and pain
  • Irritability, anxiety and anger
  • Loss of libido
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed, out of control and unable to cope
  • Engaging in risk taking behaviour
  • Feelings of isolation and disconnection from their partner, friends or family
  • Withdrawal from intimate relationships
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol instead of seeking treatment for depression

You are not alone and it really is okay to talk about it

Struggling with these symptoms can be very isolating.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please click here to see how to contact us.