Helping New Dads Understand that they can be affected by Postpartum Depression

New father, Mark Maslak holds son for the very first time. (photo credit, Danielle Viens)

Do you remember that feeling you had when you first saw your baby enter this world? Was it love, joy, happiness, and hope? For any father who watches this miracle of life, he can be easily distracted by those emotions. Once reality truly sets in, is when those emotions turn to fear, anxiety, worry, and possibly resentment. For new moms, they call this the baby blues which can quickly become something worse called postpartum depression. What people fail to realize however, is that new dads can suffer as well.

Every day over one thousand new dads become depressed. Stressful new routines, sleepless nights, the overwhelming thought of being a sole provider becomes a new normal. With the number being as high as possibly 2,700, studies show that 1 in 10 to as high as 1 in 4 new dads will experience postpartum depression.

The term for postpartum in men is called Paternal Postnatal Depression or PPND and is a serious condition in men. If a new dad does not seek proper treatment and support, it can possibly result in long-term, damaging consequences for his family and himself. A new dad can recover from this if he is willing to accept the help and support from the appropriate sources.

Social media is a great source for support for women but it is very rare to find support pages for men. Facebook is one of the most used social sites in the world. Facebook is used by millions of users every single day. It is important to find the right kind of support pages. Identifying the support needs of Fathers affected by Postpartum Depression is a page on Facebook dedicated to supporting dads and helping them to understand that it is not just depression that is getting to them, but postpartum depression. Though there are not many followers, there is plenty of information on this page.

New dad, Mark Maslak rocks son to sleep while battling sleep himself. (photo credit, Danielle Viens)

Twitter is another viable source for men to gain information on PPND. Supporting Mamas is a page that typically supports women, however, there are articles that can show new dads that they are not alone. With 644 followers and 812 tweets all involving postpartum depression, a new dad is likely to find an article in there to help him understand what he is going through.

According to expert Psychotherapist, Will Courtenay, PhD., postpartum depression in men are not easy to spot. He produces a video on YouTube for PPND called “Signs of Male Postpartum Depression.” In this video, he discusses how a new dad can discover he too is also suffering from postpartum depression. Courtenay goes on to talk about how depression may not always look like typical depression in men. He says this type of depression can be irritability, anger, or withdrawing himself from other. Men cope with depression much differently than women do which can be a direct problem in spotting PPND.

Social media, whether it be support pages from Twitter and Facebook, or videos from YouTube are valued and recommended to help these new dads understand that what they are feeling is normal and can be treated. They need to see they are not alone and going to any lengths for support is appreciated and helpful.

For more information on paternal perinatal depression, please visit Dads get Postpartum Depression, Too.


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