Having a baby can be a joyous time, but it also leads to new stresses and responsibilities in a new parent’s life. For many, this drastic life change can lead to depression also known as postpartum depression. While this is something that is commonly found in new mothers after giving birth to their child, it is now being seen in men as well. There are several reasons for why this is, and those reasons will be detailed in this article.
What is it?
While new baby stress is one reason for this depression, a chemical imbalance is also a factor in this condition. According to theweek.com, women’s estrogen levels drop and so does men’s testosterone levels when a new baby is involved. So when one combines this fact with the lack of sleep, expenses, and new responsibilities, depression can be understandable. While women are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression, this is often why men can get it as well. This is seen quite often in couples who are very close and results in the husband being depressed as well.
When does it occur?
Postpartum depression usually occurs after the baby is born, but for men, it can begin as early as the first trimester of the woman’s pregnancy. This usually goes on up until the baby’s 1st birthday. The symptoms usually peak when the baby is around 3-6 months, which is usually the breaking point with men’s sleep deprivation.
What are the symptoms?
Men’s symptoms are quite different from women’s depression symptoms. Women’s symptoms include sad, loss of interest or pleasure, significant weight-loss or gain, worthless or guilty feelings, and restless feelings. While men can also suffer from these same feelings, they tend to be more irritated and angry. More symptoms in men include violent behavior, increased use of drugs or alcohol, physical problems, isolation from family and friends, being easily stressed, and feelings of discouragement.
How to prevent it?
While these feelings may seem unavoidable to many, there are steps one can take in order to prevent postpartum depression from occurring. The first step can be to take a realization as to how different your life will be once the baby will arrive. There will be no more sleeping in or spending recklessly. A second way to prevent this from happening is by making a schedule and setting shifts between the mother and father for feedings, and checking on the baby. New parents must realize that this is a hard job for anyone, but it really helps to have a partner who can help.
As stated earlier, babies are as they say ‘a bundle of joy’, but they can be a bundle of stress as well. New parents do your research so that you know what to expect and know how to handle stressful situations without losing your head. Babies are a blessing and overtime any parent should be able to realize that. SO remember that you are not alone and that new babies are what keep the world spinning.