Guest Post: Can Father’s Have Postpartum Depression?

I start most of my days with mommy. I like spending time with mommy and we do a lot of fun stuff together, but what I really enjoy is when mommy, daddy, and I are together. The three of us can really get the fun going.

Spending so much time with mommy gives me plenty of opportunity to keep an eye on her and make sure she is feeling her best. My time with daddy is more limited so when we are together, I make sure that I give daddy his share of my undivided attention. He needs his Peachy time too.

Happy toddler

I’m here for you

In the past I have written about mental illness and I like to get involved with programs and initiatives that promote good mental health. In the world of parenting, we often hear about mothers suffering from issues such as postpartum depression but we rarely take time to hear from the fathers. Are daddies immune to mental health issues?

I was recently contacted by Tracey Montford with a guest post proposal that just happens to address this issue and shines a light on PPND. Tracey is a mommy of 2 boys as well as an entrepreneur and woman of business. You can learn more about Tracey at the bottom of this post.


Can fathers have Postpartum Depression?

We have all heard of Postpartum Depression, however we commonly associate it with women or new mothers. PPND (Paternal Postnatal Depression) is a condition suffered by men soon after the arrival of a child and can last for many years if left untreated. Reported cases of PPND have increased by 68% in recent years

What is Paternal Postnatal Depression?

PPND is very different from ‘Daddy Blues’. Daddy Blues can usually be easily treated with a good night sleep, a gym workout, or a bit of ‘time out’. Daddy Blues will not normally last longer than a few days at most.

PPND is a serious psychological condition and can last for extended periods of time – even years.

It is caused by hormone changes during pregnancy and after birth. Yes men’s hormones change too. The hormones decrease a man’s testosterone levels and increase the estrogen levels, which can play havoc on his emotions and stability.

Hormone changes paired with sleep deprivation, a rocky relationship, financial stress, a premature baby, a sick or colicky baby, feelings of anxiety, or even the loss of a loved one pre-pregnancy can all combine to leave him feeling lost and out of control.

What symptoms should I be looking for?

Men unfortunately are generally not as good at talking about their feelings as women are. This is why it is sometimes hard to diagnose PPND.

Can Father's Have Postpartum Depression

Symptoms:

  • Sudden increase in work hours that seem excessive
  • Extramarital affairs
  • Gambling
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Drugs
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Seeming withdrawn
  • Headaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Violent and impulsive behavior
  • Low energy levels
  • Lack of motivation
  • Sudden change in weight
  • Loss of sleep

Should your partner start acting out and exhibiting behaving that is out of the ordinary, it is likely that he is overwhelmed and needs help.

What can you do?

– First it is important to take the time to sit down with your partner and discuss the behavior you are witnessing. Listen and don’t judge. Some men find it difficult to express their emotions. His feeling might seem trivial to you, but trust me he is feeling overwhelmed and needs help.

– Encourage him to get external help from a trained professional. For some talk therapy might be enough. For others a combination of talk therapy and medication will be required.

– Be supportive during his recovery and give him the time and space to heal. Assure him that he is not alone and that you will work through it together.

Consequences if left untreated

If left untreated PPND can have devastating long term effects, not only to the person suffering through it, but for the children and partner of the sufferer. Men suffering from PPND can be very hard to live with because they are irrational and find it hard to participate in everyday life effectively. Their partners over time can be left feeling abandoned and lonely which can result in separation and even divorce.

The children, especially boys, can be left psychologically damaged. This is mainly due to a lack of bonding between father and child. These psychological problems can be carried on into their relationships later on in life.

In extreme cases a man spiraling out of control could end up harming himself or even the ones he cares for.


This was a guest posts from Tracey Montford.

Tracey Montford

Like many women out there, Tracey is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation, and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at ca.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity

Do you want to submit your own guest post to Diary of a Little Peach? We would love to hear from you!

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