When Dad Is Sad: Study Finds Postpartum Depression in Men a Growing Concern

4. Dads become overwhelmed too, and are left unsure how to handle it.

Some fathers expressed difficulties sharing their feelings of exhaustion, loneliness, or the sense that they’re trapped and have nowhere to turn. Such stress, the authors say, makes it harder to react lovingly to a baby’s cries, and instead the men grow more irritable.

5. Resenting the baby is a common PPD symptom.

Researchers found many fathers resented their new baby’s constant needs and the attention they have to pay them, and some admitted to having to fight the urge to hurt the baby or themselves.

6. New fathers feel forgotten or neglected.

Among the worst common bonds of postpartum depression in men was that new fathers often felt forgotten or neglected by their wives, doctors, and the rest of society. One person immediately recognized his own struggles with PPD — by listening to the screening questions from a clinician to his wife, and wondered why he wasn’t being probed: “I began to feel like someone should be asking me the same questions,” he said, according to a university release.

Some new fathers expressed frustration that there is no acceptable place or context where men can publicly show they’ve been challenged, let alone profoundly affected, by parenthood. While experts say women should be routinely screen for postpartum depression after giving birth, the authors say their work shows the same measures should be taken with men.

“Because men are already less likely than women to seek professional help for depression, it is vital that the stigma of PPD decreases,” the authors write. “Because paternal involvement is a significant factor in the healthy development of children, it would seem wise to make information about paternal PPD more available in order to combat its negative impact on families.”

The study was published in the Journal of Family Issues.

Ben Renner
Ben Rennerhttps://rennerb1.wixsite.com/benrenner
Ben Renner is a writer, editor, and website manager based in Denver, Colorado. He frequently writes about research studies for StudyFinds.org. To see more examples of Ben's blogging work for a variety of audiences on a variety of topics, visit his online portfolio. You can also connect with Ben on LinkedIn.

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