Not many of us would believe the fact that even men could suffer from depression post-delivery (postpartum) of his baby. Researchers are just beginning to understand how a man feels after depression. Such depression is called PPND or Paternal Postnatal Depression. Though research has begun, there is a lot of ground to be covered before we are able to understand it better.
The biggest problem with PPND with men is that they have a feeling of hiding it unlike women who try and share it with others. This is dangerous because it only goes to worsen the symptoms. While women suffer from PPND immediately after the birth of the child in case of men the depression happens more gradually and in many cases after one year or so.
Further researchers are also discovering that the symptoms associated with PPND as far as men are concerned are quite different from those of women. Men also try to cope with this problem in different ways when compared to women. Many research findings also point out to the fact that quite often even health professionals fail in their effort to diagnose people suffering from depression. If you are keen on understanding PPND in men better, it is important to have a look at the classic symptoms vis-à-vis symptoms specific to men in case of PPND.
Common Symptoms Associated With Classic Cases of Depression.
• Sad mood, depressed state, loss of interest or pleasure.
• Unexplained yet significant loss or gain in weight, difficulty in sleeping or over-sleeping.
• Feeling of restlessness.
• Loss of energy, fatigue or feeling tired at all times.
• Feel of guilt and worthlessness.
• Difficulty in concentrating and not being able to take decisions.
• Thoughts of suicide or death
If you wish to classify a man as one suffering from depression, he must be suffering five or more of the above symptoms for a period of 2 weeks. Such symptoms must be pronounced and must be causing a lot of distress and must also be interfering with his social, academic and regular work. The biggest problem with diagnosis of classic symptoms is that men often do not acknowledge that they suffer from these symptoms. Researchers are also trying to recognize symptoms of depression that are unique to men.
Classic Symptoms of Men’s Postpartum Depression
• Increased anger and conflict
• Increased levels of alcohol and drug usage.
• Being frustrated and irritated all the time
• Violent behavior
• Unexplained weight loss
• Staying away from kids, friends and family
• Acting impulsively and taking risks without any logic or reason
• Feeling of discouragement, physical problems such as headaches, digestion problem, etc.
• Not being able to concentrate and lacking in motivation
• Loss of interest in sex, work and hobbies
• Overworking without any rhyme or reason
• Misusing prescription medicine
• Unexplained fear or concern about productivity
• Thoughts of suicide.
The above are just a broad list of men’s depression symptoms. While some men may experience a few of them other could have many of them. The intensity of these symptoms varies from person to person and it usually worsens over a period of time.
The most important thing we should be aware is that men’s depression is treatable and they need not continue to suffer from it. Though many cases of men’s depression could be life threatening and serious, full recovery is always possible. The secret to recovering fully is to seek help immediately.