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post partum depression

Truth About Postpartum Depression in Men

Guest Post

Did you know that approximately 1 in 10 men experience paternal postpartum depression (PPD) after the birth of their children?

On average, new dads more or less expect a lot of sleepless nights, diaper duty, and other typical joys of being a new parent. However, paternal postpartum depression, is certainly something that new fathers don’t expect or are prepared for the arrival of their newborn. The wave of paternal postpartum depression can hit at any time, so it is essential for new dads to keep a wary eye out for its common symptoms.

The Symptoms of Paternal Postpartum Depression

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), parental postpartum depression can affect anywhere from 4 to 25 percent of new fathers. Unfortunately, PPD can go undetected and untreated, as most men aren’t familiar with the signs and symptoms associated with this debilitating form of depression.

Here are a few signs of PPD in men to look out for:

●                   Inability to sleep

●                   Sleeping too much

●                   Severe fluctuations in weight

●                   Frequent episodes of unexplained anger

●                   Feelings of hopelessness

●                   Inability to concentrate

●                   Fatigue

●                   Thoughts of death and suicide

During these bouts of depression, men are more likely to become aggressive, irritable, and even hostile toward their family, and can even display little desire to engage with their newborn child.

While first-time dads have the greatest risk for developing PPD, they are even more susceptible if their partner is also experiencing postpartum depression. In fact, another study published by the NIH shows that the likelihood of postpartum depression in dads whose partner is also suffering from PPD increases by 2.5 times.

Causes of Paternal Postpartum Depression

While the research on postpartum depression in men is still ongoing, doctors see a significant dip in male testosterone levels and an increase in estrogen, prolactin and cortisol levels around the time of their child’s birth. Furthermore, there’s typically a spike in PPD in men around the 3-6-month mark, as this is generally the time when working moms return to the workforce. As dads become more involved with raising their children, the rise in PPD becomes more pronounced.

Solutions

The best way to tackle postpartum depression in both men and women is by seeking the help of a professional. Men are notorious for their reluctance to acknowledge their mental pain, which can often lead to greater negative consequences in the long run.

However, simple talk therapy can truly work wonders when utilized with consistency. A licensed therapist can help new fathers work through their negative thoughts and find productive ways to manage their anger. And if they are not comfortable or don’t have the time to visit a therapist in person, there are plenty of tele-therapy options available that can help fathers in need to speak with a licensed therapist online and in the comfort of their home.

One such option is LARKR, a company that I and my wife Christianne Kernes co-founded. LARKR is a convenient mobile platform that provides professional, affordable, and private talk therapy via video chat. With time, talk therapy can help new fathers and new mothers heal, so they can be the best possible parents to their newborn children.

infographic about postpartum depression

About Shawn Kernes

Shawn Kernes is the Co-Founder and CEO of LARKR On-Demand Behavioral Health, which aims to make mental, emotional, and behavioral health care immediate, accessible and affordable for all.

Adele Expounds On her Post Partum Depression During Grammy Acceptance Speech

 

adele-mom

During an award acceptance speech at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, singer/songwriter Adele gave new insight on the post partum depression she struggled with after giving birth to her now 4-year old son, Angelo.

The multiple-Grammy winning artist had previously shared during a candid interview with Vanity Fair magazine last October that she suffered from the condition though didn’t know what she was going through.

“I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” she told the interviewer, adding that in lieu of taking medication or talking with a professional to help her cope, she took consult from other moms.

At Sunday’s show, she recounted becoming pregnant after her last album 21 and how the experience and  having PPD made her feel disconnected from the world and all the things she knew as normal.

She credited her team for helping her bound back.

“As you can see it took an army to make me strong and willing again to do it. And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart,”

“And in my pregnancy and becoming a mother I lost a lot of myself and I’ve struggled and I still do struggle being a mum,” the platinum-selling artist said. “It’s really hard. But tonight winning this really feels full circle and like a bit of me has come back to myself.”

Nice!!

She also gave credit to her “husband” Simon Konecki for being her inspiration. It was the first time she had confirmed that she had gotten married.

“Grammys, I appreciate it. The Academy, I love you. My manager, my husband and my son — you’re the only reason I do it,” she said while accepting the award for Album of the Year.

She and Konecki  have been together for five years  and were introduced to one another by fellow British singer Ed Sheeran.

Before, in the Vanity Fair, piece, she talked about how then-boyfriend encouraged her to get out of her funk and to get help.

 

“My boyfriend said I should talk to other women who were pregnant, and I said, ‘Fk that, I ain’t hanging around with a fking bunch of mothers (sic)’,” she tells the publication. “Then, without realising it, I was gravitating towards pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they’re a bit more patient. You’ll be talking to someone, but you’re not really listening, because you’re so f**king tired.”

But while her non-mom friends didn’t get it, her friends with kids totally did.

“My friends who didn’t have kids would get annoyed with me,” she continues. “Whereas I knew I could just sit there and chat absolute mush with my friends who had children, and we wouldn’t judge each other. One day I said to a friend, ‘I fking hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I fking hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted.”

She added that she had a tough time self-diagnosing her condition because she wasn’t educated as to what it is.

“My knowledge of postpartum-or post-natal, as we call it in England, is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job,” she explains. “But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life… It can come in many different forms.”

She confided that spending time alone helped.

“I just said, I’m going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the f**k I want without my baby,” she says. “A friend of mine said, ‘Really? Don’t you feel bad?’ I said, ‘I do, but not as bad as I’d feel if I didn’t do it.’ Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it;

At the end of the North America leg of her tour, Adele announced plans to try to get pregnant again, and is “off to have a baby.”

“I’ll see you on the other side,” she told fans in Phoenix. “In a couple of years I’ll be back [to the States]. You won’t be able to get rid of me.”

While she’s enjoyed spending a few months at home with her family, Adele will soon be headed back to work. She’s kicking off the next leg of her world tour in Australia and New Zealand later this month.