It's true that postpartum depression or PPD is something that is still mostly associated with mothers and their state of mental well-being after a new baby arrives home. Researches indicate that 1 in 5 new mothers suffer from severe depression or anxiety right after giving birth.
And they're significantly more likely to suffer from these conditions during their first year as a mother, in comparison to any other time of her life. However, sadly, even after all these, postpartum anxiety disorder is something that is still woefully under-recognized and under-researched, as well.
But what gets even more unnoticed and unacknowledged is the fact that daily more and more dads are experiencing postpartum depression too. Multiple studies have surfaced facts like postpartum depression has impacted 10 per cent of new fathers and another 25 per cent during the first year of their baby's life. Not grave enough?
Well, you should know that these numbers doubled when respective partners were also prey to postpartum depression. Yes, it's much much more common than you even think!The Definition
It's an irony how there's still a major gap in the understanding of PPD. And that exists because there are no common diagnostic criteria for paternal PPD.
Sadly, the mostly used diagnostic definition has been cribbed from the definition that identifies postpartum depression in women. It is diagnosed as one of the major depressive episodes with an onset in the first month after birth.What Causes PPD?
There is not really a single answer to why some dads are affected by depression, and not everyone. Usually, PPD is triggered by the emotional, stressful and unsettling experience that having a baby can be.
Adding up to this is increased pressures of fatherhood, that includes but are not limited to financial responsibilities, lifestyle changes, dearth of sleep and increased workload at home-all combined affects a new dad's mental well being to a great extent.What Symptoms Should You Look For?
Individual dads experience PPD differently. Sometimes there might be common symptoms of PPD among you and your partner experiencing depression; look for them and try creating a symbiotic relationship wherein both of you help each other come out of it effectively.
We have listed some of the typical symptoms of PPD here below. Some may not be listed here but if you don't feel quite "right" within yourself, feel free to consult an expert about it.
If you want to be a good dad, you need to take care of your problems, including PPD. There are a few ways to do this:
If you feel you're suffering from PPD, do not hold yourself back from reaching out to experts who deal with depression. You can even share your feelings in the comments section below; we'll try our best to help you out in this condition. Remember, we're listening!