male post-partum depression

Post-partum depression is a form of sustained depression that occurs after the birth of a child. Because women (or those who are giving birth) are the ones more directly involved in the child-birth process, it affects them at a higher rate. So although post-partum depression is generally associated with women, around 10.4% of men experience it (Mullins), which is what I’m going to focus on. Craig Mullins, a father, experienced post-partum depression. He was highly involved with caring for his baby but it wasn’t very satisfying for him – he would feel “confused, exhausted, alone and trapped” (Mullins). After searching the internet, he discovered that it is possible for fathers to suffer from post-partum depression. Symptoms of male post-partum depression manifest themselves differently than for women. This is largely in part due to gender roles. For instance, Mullins said that while “feeling sad or crying” are typical indicators of depression, men generally don’t exhibit that. Women are expected to be more emotional; men aren’t. Because our culture pushes for men to be less emotional, it creates a differentiation wrt symptoms. I’m sure male post-partum depression is underreported as many who are probably undergoing it do not realize that they are doing so. It’s also probably being misdiagnosed. Fortunately, male post-partum depression is treatable once diagnosed.

There is definitely a connection between belief and healing. Faith and belief in a treatment can result in positive results. In the film Placebo: Cracking the Code, we saw many cases where people experienced the placebo effect and had their health ameliorate. For instance, a woman was given a placebo that she thought was an anti-depressant. After taking it, her depression considerably got better and eventually left. Even though all she had was the placebo, her belief in the treatment helped her get better.  As we saw in the placebo video in class, the placebo effect is not limited to being between a placebo drug and the actual drug. The placebo effect takes place between brands, colors, size, number, etc as well. People tend to believe that a name-brand drug will work better than the Meijer knock-off. What I found interesting from the video was the impact colors had. For instance, blue colored placebos work better as downers whereas reds work better as uppers. There is a strong positive correlation between believing and having faith in treatment leading to good results – but I think it is important to stress that it can not necessarily will.


Mullins, Craig. “Depression In Men: A Dad’s Story of Male Postpartum Depression.” Postpartum Progress. 24 Apr. 2012. Web. July 2014.

“”Placebo: Cracking the Code”” YouTube. YouTube, 5 Nov. 2011. Web. July 2014.

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