Postpartum depression is highly misunderstood in our culture, and is not even recognized by all medical doctors. The medical definition of postpartum depression only includes women because most of the time it occurs in women a few months are giving birth. The hormones and changes that a women’s body goes through during and after pregnancy contribute greatly to the occurrence of depression in about 15% of pregnant women. Even more taboo in the medical community is the recognition of male postpartum depression. Many medical doctors do not recognize this as a real illness because they cannot test for it. Also, men are much more likely to hide these feelings than women instead of getting treated for the illness. Our culture norms say that men have to be strong and are not encouraged to share feelings. When very few people seek treatment for the illness it is difficult to study, making it more difficult to treat and harder to recognize.
I think that belief and healing are one in the same. Our brains are strong enough to control the physical feelings of our bodies, despite illness and pain. There are many studies using placebos that prove the strength of our brains. By telling a person that a pill will affect them in some way programs our brain to apply this to our physical bodies, even if the pill is chemically ineffective. Some of the most intriguing studies in science prove this fact.
For example, if a group of men were suffering from postpartum depression and half of the group was given a placebo pill and was told it would help with his depression, studies show that many of these men would see improvement similar to the men taking the actual antidepressant. It is very important for doctors to take into account the power of our brains when medicating and treating their patients.