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The Daddy Doldrums: Postpartum Depression And Men

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

With many a Hollywood mom making headlines and publicizing the prevalence and severity of postpartum depression (PPD), and encouraging mom to let go of guilt and get help, there are some major strides being made in taking care of moms and babies and helping moms take care of themselves.

But what about the dads? Believe it or not, statistics show that almost as many dads experience and suffer from PPD, as do moms.

According to recent studies about 10 percent of new dads (compared to about 14 percent of new moms) demonstrated signs of moderate to severe depression after the birth of their baby.

Many dads (who participated in the study) showed signs of depression, severe enough to interfere with their daily routine, interactions, and activities.

And, while, according to experts, several “small-scale” studies confirm the correlation and findings, there has yet been national attention received by or given to the situation (for dads).

Researchers however suggest that pediatricians, along with family physicians look to deal with postpartum depression in both moms and dads and dealing with it as soon as possible. And, experts were quick to point out that perhaps up until recently, doctors were slow and ambivalent about asking about or detecting postpartum depression in moms and dads, more likely than not, are completely “ignored” and “overlooked”.

They suggest that while generally dads, who spend most of the day away from baby, are ecstatic about the arrival of their bundle of joy, but that’s a feeling that can be fleeting contingent on family situations and circumstances.

Dads may lose that “loving feeling” if mom is overly protective or possessive of their newborn and not open to sharing the child or herself with her spouse, often making her mate feel unloved, unwanted, undesirable, and useless; leading dad down the road to depression.

And, depression in men usually leads to a well-known sequence of behaviors including working more, watching more TV, retreating more from social activities, drinking more, and becoming solitary.

But, it’s also hard to detect since dad’s are generally good at masking their (true) feelings and since doctors rarely observe or ask. Yet, knowing what the consequences of PPD can be, experts suggest taking the time to observe, listen, and find out.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > The Daddy Doldrums: Postpartum Depression And Men

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