Paternal Postpartum Depression

Paternal Postpartum Depression is depression experienced by men or fathers after their baby has been born. Symptoms of this illness according to an article written by Katherine Stone are cynicism, impulsiveness, indecisiveness, working constantly, losing an interest in sex, and many other. The illness affects 10.4 percent of new fathers yearly. Most often when the mother of the baby experiences postpartum depression herself, so does the father. Our culture influences the experiences of paternal postpartum depression because men are taught to never show signs of weakness. Men are also taught to not share their feelings to anyone. This influences the management and treatment of paternal postpartum depression because many men live through the illness without receiving any help. The illness is misunderstood among many because it is often not treated properly due to the lack of knowledge about the illness. Another struggle of treating paternal postpartum depression is that men oftentimes do not show the typical signs of depression. Most often men will not cry or show signs of sadness, but keep their feelings all locked up inside their heads.

I think that there is a very strong connection between belief and healing. In the film, “Placebo: Cracking the Code” there are several examples of patients receiving a placebo pill, drug, or surgery and are found as becoming or feeling healthier. There was also an example from the film of a man diagnosed with cancer, believing he had cancer, and passed away. When an autopsy was performed there was no cancer found in his body. These examples demonstrate just how powerful the mind and beliefs can be when dealing with illness. I believe that if you work, physically and mentally, to get better in most cases the patient will become better. With that being said, I also believe that a patient sees themselves as doomed or forever being sick, then that patient will continue to be ill and never be healed.

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  1. Hannah Porter says:

    Before this class I perceived this condition as something that was all in a man’s head and not something that needed medical attention. I see now that this is something that is experienced by many new fathers and can be serious enough that it needs treatment. A new father should be able to enjoy the experience of having a child and be making memories not experiencing depression and other symptoms, which cause him to miss out on his child’s first experiences and all the joys of being a father. I believe my preconceptions of this illness were due partly because I come from a family of “strong men” who don’t show much emotion and nothing ever phases them. My father for instance hardly ever goes to the doctor unless his symptoms get so severe that he cannot ignore them or unless my mother or myself pester him enough that he goes so we will finally leave him alone. I also think I had this belief because I was following the cultural stigma and was skeptical because this is an illness that doesn’t have a straight forward pass fail test for, so it’s not easily measured. Also in today’s society men are portrayed as the stronger sex and it’s seen as unacceptable or unattractive for men to show weakness.

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