Paternal postpartum depression (PPD) is becoming a more recognized, treatable syndrome. It involves the father’s depression and anxiety associated with the new birth of his baby. This depression and anxiety can last throughout the first year of the new baby’s life. Many are familiar with postpartum depression for the mothers, but up until recently many believed the fathers were not affected. According to the article Sad Dads, there is a relationship between maternal and paternal postpartum depression. “Most of the data on paternal PPD come from studies originally designed for investigating maternal PPD. In all of these studies, depression in one partner was significantly correlated with depression in the other. In community samples, 32.6 to 47 percent of couples included at least one partner who experienced elevated depressive symptoms during the first two months postpartum.”
In our society, men are supposed to possess strong, unemotional qualities. In the article Depression in Men: A Dad’s Story of Male Postpartum Depression the author, Craig Mullins, states, “It’s well known that men tend to avoid talking about things that might make them appear weak, and our culture tends to discourage men from disclosing their feelings, but it is not well known that men tend to display depression in ways that are uniquely male.” I believe this is why it was so difficult for many to believe there was such a thing as paternal PPD and this is why so many fathers suffered in silence. Now that it is becoming more a widely known phenomenon, these fathers can access the medical care they need.
I believe the connection between belief and healing is a very strong one. This is clearly evident when viewing the film “Placebo: Cracking the Code.” In the film, they stated that placebos can cure depression, pain, and terrible skin rashes. The woman from the film used to experience episodes of extreme emotion. She was depression and would cry uncontrollably. Her doctors prescribed her medication and told her it was a 50% chance that it could be the placebo or it could be the actual medication. After months of taking this medication she began to feel exponentially better. She was convinced that she was given the actual medication, but in all reality she was given the placebo. Believing she was taking the medication helps to heal her. Her moods became better, she wasn’t crying uncontrollably anymore. She had gotten control back of her life. This demonstrates the incredibly strong correlation between belief and healing.
Pilyoung Kim and James E. Swain. “Sad Dads Paternal Postpartum Depression.” 2007 February. Accessed July 26, 2013.