Having a baby is a thrilling, amazing time in a family’s life. Unfortunately, male postpartum depression can make caring for a new infant challenging. Because men feel like they have to be happy and excited, they can feel ashamed or guilty because of their depression. With the right mental health treatment, men can heal from their depression and start enjoying life again.
How Male Postpartum Depression Works
Postpartum depression in men is widespread. Right now, scientists think that about one out of four dads experiences postpartum depression. With the added stress and a lack of sleep of a new child, becoming a parent can be an extremely difficult time.
Currently, scientists are still trying to figure out what causes male postpartum depression. They think that changes in hormones, a lack of social support and poor sleep contribute to the condition. Someone may be more likely to have postpartum depression if they are dealing with relationship, parenting or financial stress. A personal history of depression also makes postpartum depression more likely.
Interestingly, postpartum depression in men is more common when women have postpartum depression. When a man’s wife or girlfriend has postpartum depression, he has an almost 50 percent chance of developing it as well.
The Signs of Depression
Female and male postpartum depression can be slightly different. For some reason, men and women seem to exhibit different symptoms when they have this disease. Men are more likely to show anger, violence, frustration or irritability. When a dad has depression, he may try to work continuously or engage in substance use to distract his mind from negative feelings.
Postpartum depression in men may cause a sudden weight gain or loss. The man may feel sad for no reason or unusually tired all of the time. He may also lose interest in work, school, sex or hobbies that he previously loved. Men are also more likely to complain about a physical problem when they have postpartum depression.
Sometimes, men may use drugs or alcohol to feel normal and happy again. This can, unfortunately, lead to a substance use disorder. Whether the man needs help for an addiction or depression, young adult rehab programs can help.
Discovering Treatment for Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders
Whether someone needs treatment for male postpartum depression or addiction, there are options available. At a depression treatment center for men, individuals can get the gender-specific therapy and counseling they need. In this kind of environment, men can open up, share their experiences and gain support from their peers.
Depending on the treatment center, clients can find therapy options and programs such as:
- Grief and trauma therapy
- Outdoor and wilderness therapy
- Depression and anxiety treatment
- Dual diagnosis programs
- Individual, group and family counseling
- Behavioral therapy and psychotherapy
Substance use and postpartum depression in men can be difficult to live with, but no one has to suffer alone. At Red Oak Recovery, men can take the first step in overcoming their mental illness or addiction. Discover more information about how we can support your recovery by calling us at 828.382.9699.