Men and Post Natal Depression
Most people believe that Men are not emotional. However this is not true in any case. It would be right to say that reason in men is stronger and dominant while emotions are subtle. But for the emotions man would not be a husband, father or a son and play all the roles successfully. Women are no doubt far more emotionally sensitive when compared to men. When we talk about the mental and emotional health, women are generally more prone to depressions, anxiety attacks and nervousness etc. However men too are susceptible to various kinds of depression and other psychological as well as behavioral problems similar to that faced by women but perhaps in different degree or intensity.
One may be surprised to know that men too are susceptible to post natal depression similar to the ones faced by the mothers of new born babies. It was believed that the PND in men was a fall out or result of the PND faced by the mother in the post natal period. However studies indicate that PND in fathers can be independent of the condition of the mother. Doctors believe that PND begins soon after the birth of the child and the father comes to terms with the changed circumstances and can increase if left unchecked.
PND in men can be attributed to several factors including physical, social as well as emotional factors. Some of the triggers may be common between men and women while some may be particularly applicable to men. In many men, the realization of the responsibility can weigh them down especially if one lacks self esteem or is a weak character. In other cases, economic situation, the relationship between the couples as well as the material quality of life has an impact on the psyche of the man. Those who have had traumatic childhood and carry their grief or pain might find themselves reliving their fears and pains and get into PND.
The above are few of the causes attributable to PND in fathers. There can be many more causes or contributing factors that can be listed herein. Many men are not ready to sign on the dotted line and get married. They tend to suffer from a fear of commitment. Similarly there are men who are not ready psychologically to become fathers and if they happen to father a child when they are not mentally prepared to should the responsibility, it is quite possible that they sink into PND. Sometimes witnessing the entire process of child birth can be overwhelming and affect the father emotionally. If the couple’s relationship is strained, it is quite likely that the father might head for depression soon after the birth of the child, not wanting to face the trauma and pain once again.
Men who have PND often exhibit a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. They tend to have a bleak picture of the future and can be disappointed with life. It is possible to sense the underlying anger and frustration as well as fear and a feeling to want to break away from the role.
It is essential for every man to be mentally prepared to become a father. If not, it is advisable to seek psychiatric counseling and medical assistance immediately. The wellbeing of the father is important not only for himself but for the wellbeing of the child as well as the entire family too.