Postpartum Depression For Men??

Thankfully, there are certain things which only the female gender is afflicted with.  Formerly on that list was postpartum depression.  However, a recent study has shown that up to 10% of men suffer from this phenomenon as well.  A research team from the Eastern Virginia Medical School just published a review of 28,000 men which quantified that 10% of them suffered from previously absent depression immediately subsequent to the birth of their child.  Now, one might think this depression emanates from the realization that nights out with the guys are banished for at least 5 years — but the scientists believe there is more to it.

The typical depression rate for men is just over 4.6%.  Consequently, the 10% figure as associated with men who’s wives just gave birth is definitely of note.  However, it pales to the number of women who suffer from post-partum depression — many studies have pegged this figure as being north of 25%.  The study notes that post-partum depression manifests itself in men differently than it does in women.  Whereas women tend to become sad and withdrawn, men tend to become aggressive and hostile.

The researchers theorized that male post-partum depression may be responsible for sleeplessness, poor job performance and relationship difficulties.  However, one again must assume that some of those things naturally flow from having a new baby in the house crying throughout the night.  Anecdotal cases have been discussed of given men becoming unusually hostile during the months immediately subsequent to a new child entering the household.  One theory to explain this could possibly be a normal male reaction to their wife’s raging case of real post-partum depression.

So what does this study mean for you?  Most probably – nothing.  However, experts now are recommending that health providers now screen male patients for potential post-partum depression.  Ideally, female-related health issues like this do not make a habit of crossing the gender boundary — or the next study you read might be about male menstrual cramps.



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