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Experiencing the symptoms of depression after having a child? The cause could be postpartum depression (PPD), a common condition that can last for months after birth. Postpartum depression is often associated with mothers, but can men get it too? 

The answer is yes. Fathers can experience many of the same emotional and psychological challenges that can arise after the birth of their child. Dealing with depression at any point in life can be difficult. With PPD, the symptoms come while grappling with the responsibilities of caring for an infant. 

Postpartum depression often makes parents — men and women — feel like they are getting overwhelmed. If you think you may have PPD, seeking treatment is important. Finding relief from your symptoms can help you stay positive and give your child the care they need. By learning about the symptoms new parents often face, you can gain a better understanding of your own condition.

Common symptoms of postpartum depression that men can get

  • Fatigue — As a new parent, being exhausted is normal. The demands of your newborn can disrupt your sleep and cause you to feel tired during the day. While exhaustion is not uncommon, persistent and intense fatigue can be a sign of postpartum depression. Do you find it difficult to feel rested even without external disturbances? This might be a sign of PPD. 

Men who get postpartum depression may feel they lack the energy to keep up with daily tasks and responsibilities. Erratic sleep patterns and exhaustion can contribute to the low moods associated with depression. Counseling services can help identify the source of your fatigue and help you take steps to address your symptoms.

  • Difficulty bonding — Having a child is an exciting time. After birth, parents often eagerly anticipate bonding with their newborns. Unfortunately, depression can sometimes get in the way. The feelings that come with depression might lead to difficulties bonding with your child. Men can struggle with a sense of detachment from their infants as a result of postpartum depression. 

Difficulties bonding with your child might make you feel guilty. Many new parents experience feelings of inadequacy when it comes to parenting; it is important to recognize these feelings as symptoms of depression and avoid blaming yourself. If depression is making it hard to bond with your infant, seeking treatment is crucial. With the right care, you can work through the negative thoughts and behaviors affecting your bonding.

  • Feelings of sadness — Persistent sadness is a hallmark symptom of depression. PPD is no different from other kinds of depression in this respect. The high expectations that tend to come with childbirth can exacerbate feelings of disappointment and sadness. 

Expecting parents often look forward to the joyous moments that come with raising a child. While raising a child can be rewarding, it has unique challenges as well. These challenges can sometimes come as an unpleasant surprise. For men who get postpartum depression, persistent sadness can make these challenges feel more intense. Even the moments that are supposed to be happy might feel different to you. 

Feeling sad or hopeless while others are celebrating may be a clear sign of PPD. If you are experiencing persistent sadness after your child is born, it is important to communicate your feelings to people you trust. Having a support network can be integral to success when it comes to addressing your depression.

  • Persistent anxiety — Do you find yourself worrying about everything now that your child is born? Persistent anxiety can be a key sign of postpartum depression. Parents with PPD tend to worry excessively about their child’s well-being, financial concerns and other fears. 

Intense fear of not being a good parent can be an element of this anxiety. When fear and anxiety dominate your thoughts, you may find it more difficult to function in everyday life. Addressing your anxiety with professional treatment can help empower you to care for yourself and your child.

  • Irritability — Irritability and anger are common symptoms of postpartum depression. Men who have PPD can get agitated over relatively minor issues. When stressed out by parental responsibilities, you may lash out at others. By taking the steps to receive mental health care, you can work to manage your moods and help prevent strained relationships.

Treat your postpartum depression with help from Active Path Mental Health

If you are ready to address your postpartum depression, Active Path Mental Health is here to help. Our team is committed to helping each patient receive the care they need. Treatments like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and Spravato can be tailored to your condition and improvement goals. Effective treatment can lead to progress and improve your outlook on your parenting journey.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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