PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Every year, more than a 500,000 women battle postpartum depression.
For decades, they lived in the shadows, afraid to speak up about their condition. Lately, there’s been an increased awareness.
Now, new research shows postpartum depression also affects men.
“Yeah, it’s a big adjustment for dads as well as moms,” Jared Hefter said.
Hefter believes plenty of new fathers also suffer from postpartum depression.
“It could be a combination of that and then just the huge adjustment of having to take care of somebody besides the husband and wife,” he said.
A new study shows there’s actually science behind it.
“Men have about twice the risk of depression in the first months following the birth of a child than at other times in their life span,” Darby Saxbe, a psychologist, said.
Saxbe was part of the research team that found hormones are linked to depression.
“Men who had lower testosterone also reported higher levels of depressive symptoms,” Saxbe said.
But, she says they also found that men with lower testosterone spent more time with their children, which, in turn, made the moms happier.
“I think it’s true, but I don’t think it necessarily takes away from the mom having less of the postpartum depression,” Rosario Hefter said.
Some symptoms for postpartum depression in men include aggressive behavior, irritability, working more and, in some cases, drinking more.
Men are also less likely to admit they have a problem, which is why it’s important to keep an eye out for the warning signs and encourage them to seek help.