Dr. Shoshana Bennett (Dr. Shosh )answers an important uncommonly asked question, "Can A Father Get Postpartum Depression / PPD?" Dr. Bennett is a licensed psychologist who founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987 after her second undiagnosed postpartum illness. Dr. Bennett is the Immediate Past President of Postpartum Support International and a past president of California’s state organization Postpartum Health Alliance.
Actually yes, yes, fathers can get depressed postpartum. It is not due to of course the reproductive hormones, the estrogen or progesterone plummeting, like it might be in the woman, but fathers do get depressed at a lower rate, but they are at highest risk when their partners, in other words, when the women have postpartum depression. If they have a history of depression or another mood disorder, they are at risk also. Sometimes if they have had obsessive-compulsive disorder in the past, they might get a bout of intense, serious obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression or anxiety. With men, it manifests mainly as anger and short temperedness. Sometimes rage. This could also be due to sleep deprivation that the father is incurring as well as the mom, but yes, absolutely, men can be depressed. I often receive calls from women who may or may not have postpartum depression, but she is worried about her spouse. "Is it possible, Dr. Bennett?" and I will say, "Absolutely, yes," and guide the men in the right direction. Either I work with them directly or make sure they get the help that they need.
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