Male Post-Partum Depression

Male post-partum depression is not commonly talked about in the American culture. Most people associate post- partum depression with women who have just given birth in the past year. Post-partum depression is when parents worry about their abilities to be able to take care of their new child, have lack of sleep, and sometimes down right dislike their child. Culturally speaking males are not know to have post-partum depression because they are not the ones who physically gave birth to the child and their bodies are not physically going through all the  changes a women’s body goes through. The fact of the matter is males have just as much pressure to be a good supportive parent as mothers do, plus they have the culture bias to hold a good job and bring in money to support a family. All of this can get overwhelming. Bio-medicine has influenced post-partum depression in several ways. The medical field is stating to look at post-partum depression has an excuse for being lazier parents. Seeing there is no way to test for post-partum depression doctors have to go by the symptoms parents are experiencing in order to prescribe them medication. When mothers experience post-partum depression it is usually blamed on hormone changes, but that can not be said for fathers. I think because of this stereotype men are scared to come forward with their issues of post-partum and many suffer without trying to seek treatment. One reason men have lower rates of post-partum depression than women is because our culture thinks only women can have this illness, so men do not mentally think that they could ever obtain it. This deals with similar things that were in “Placebo: Cracking the Code” and the connection between healing and belief. If one belief they have been healed their mind will make their body seem healed, like the knee surgery’s showed in the film. If one is told they are healed or can not get an illness their mind will convince the body that this is true. The film also talked about cancer patients getting placebos which I was shocked by, but the fact that a man died because he was told he did not have very long to live not because of the cancer shows how powerful believing is. My mom had breast cancer two years ago and she truly believed she was going to come out stronger after her treatment and that she did, she is now cancer free. I think that believing things will be alright is truly a self healer.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. charet22 says:

    To be quite honest, I had no idea that male postpartum depression even existed. I’d heard of postpartum depression before but only ever in the context of new mothers. I found it quite intriguing that men could feel the same thing, although it seemed to be for different reasons than the mother. My own perceptions of this illness are that it is completely logical and understandable. Think of it like this: have you ever bought an object such as a car or committed to an activity such as dancing or self-defense classes? You no doubt had certain expectations going into these situations. Some of them were met, other probably weren’t and then there was everything else that falls under the “unexpected category”. It is that unexpectedness that can make that new situation lose its luster or even demolish the motivation one had when first embarking on this new path. Fatherhood is not so different. You find that there are more unexpected things associated with the situation than originally thought and originally that you would have committed to. So I would imagine that the man would have felt deceived or, “lied to” from all the extra time and energy than he was previously not anticipating on putting forth.

    My perceptions of this disease are very “accepting”. My family is a very emotionally open setting and so talks of this kind are not knew or difficult to accept. All of my friends are in medical school with me, so the social influence on my perceptions are really null. We all look at disease for what they are: absence of health. It’s not a medical professional’s place to forms judgments about the patient, but to rather assess the best treatment available to help the patient along their path in accordance with their wishes in as safe a manner as possible.

  2. Hannah Weiss says:

    Before taking this class I honestly did not know that male post partum depression was an issue. Unlike womens illness of post partum depression, men are not known for having this illness because they are not the ones giving birth. This means their hormones are a lot more stable then a mother who has just given birth. However, there are very interesting studies showing that male post partum depression is an issue with new fathers. Before taking this class I thought only women were able to get post partum depression because they were the ones giving birth but in actuality having a baby is stressful on both of the parents. My perception of this illness is that being a parent is very hard and this is an obstacle that some people have to overcome whether they are male or female. I learned that my mother had post partum depression with me which has influenced me before to look into this disorder, but I never heard my dad talk about him having post partum depression. Although I do suspect he did feel some of the same emotions and worries about having children and being a father. Bio-medical culture I think maybe pushes pills onto people too often when trying to treat depression when instead these illnesses maybe able to be solved using different methods.

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