Postpartum Depression

  • How many ladies out there have a husband or fiance ect.. who are suffering from postpartum depression. Recently my fiance has been extremely irritable with everything from his shoes falling over to the baby crying.... I did my research last night and learned the signs of depression in men and learned that 10.4% of men especially new fathers suffer from paternal postpartum depression. I also learned that babies of fathers who suffer from depression and anxiety have delayed development.. My question to all of you is how did you help him through it? I have talked to him about seeing someone for help, but he doesn't seem interested in help... so my other question is How do you help someone who doesn't seem to want it? 

  • That is a really good question! I think that this is an area that is relatively new and really being talked about for the first time. It really wasn't that long ago that it became normal for WOMEN to talk about postpartum depression, so imagine how hard it would be for a guy to admit he has it. Guys are supposedly supposed to be so "tough and strong", although we all know that someone who really is in tune with his emotions and feelings is a truly strong man. Perhaps you could find some little tools and exercises he can do at home or some conversation starters to help him figure out the things he is struggling with. I'm hoping you get some replies on here from women who have dealt with this more than myself. I'll keep my eyes and ears open for some tools for you. Hang in there!

  • My husband suffered from something similar but I didn't know it was attributed to the new babies...I just thought he was going through a rough patch. He was open to going to see someone, so he saw a counselor and got some medication to help him with his depression. Now he is great and I think that he really benefited from this. Just make sure he gets the help he needs...too many men are ashamed to think they can't "handle" things on their own. Let him know that he is not alone!

  • This is a great post and I appreciate the replies. As a father, I don't think I have suffered from the form of depression described above, but I have had some "rough patches." I agree that if it is to the point that you have addressed it with him and he doesn't want help, you need to point to the evidence regarding delayed development in children and say if he isn't going to do it for himself, maybe he should for the sake of the baby. Many men (myself included) don't feel comfortable dealing with their feelings with anyone, let alone a stranger but you need to continue to support him and make him understand that it's OK to have these feelings, but it's not OK to not deal with them. It's delicate, but hopefully you can make some progress.

  • I talked to him last night and he agreed to go talk to someone, but he's skeptical about whether it will help or not. He's afraid of being prescribed medication because his mom was on some anti-depressants that made her loose touch with reality and bonkers the majority of the time. He failed to realize that she was prescribed the medication through her family doctor and not a trained therapist. then claimed all was ok to the doctor when in reality she was being noticeably CRAZY! Anyway it's a small step towards getting better and we'll take care of the medication worries at a later date if needed.

     

  • Brinny-

    OUTSTANDING TOPIC!  Kudos to you!!  My best friend has been trying to support her husband through this and I know for her being supportive, listening, encouraging him to talk, encouraging him to spend time with friends outside the house, getting help from a physician and some antidepressants, and finally exercise (joining gym) has really helped.  With depression of any kind it's usually not any one thing that makes the difference but a combination of several.  Be persistant things do get better.

    -Jess 

  • How wonderful that you were able to talk and your husband is open to getting some help! It's always good to get to the root of things and I can see where his experience with his mother would make him fear medications and any kind of pysch help. Hopefully he will be able to see someone who really makes a difference. Keep us posted!

  • Make sure he mentions his fear of medications to his doctor...they can usually alleviate his fears and let him know that there are many different types of medications out there. If he doesn't like one, he can always try others...make sure he knows to be vigilant about communicating his feelings with the doctor and letting him know what medications are and aren't working for him.

  • Thank you guys so much... All of you give such great advice and support. This place is like my safe haven! I'm certain once he starts to open up about what's bothering him so much he'll start to get better. He's starting, but we still have a long way to go.

  • Brinny-I'm glad that you have found strongmom's a helpful place to come for support and advice.  I think that you are on the right track.  A  progression (at any rate) in a positive direction is just perfect!

    -Jessica

  • UPDATE: This morning i get a text from my fiance saying "I think I know what's wrong. I'm bored with life"... Totally different insight than i had before. Ever since we moved from Oregon to Indiana he had been a bit off. When Hazel was born it got worse by a thousand times. He made the point that in Oregon we did stuff all the time like digging thunder eggs out of the side of mountains and hiking, and canoeing, camping, hunting, you name it. We were always outside doing stuff when we weren't at work. You see our old job had us work for about 8 to 10 weeks then we'd have about 4 off. When we were working we'd explore whatever area work had us in on the weekends (anywhere from northern Washington to the Austin, TX to Utah... They even sent us as far as Pennsylvania, and Alaska and when we went home he had fun with friends. When we moved to Indiana it was all work and no play and we failed to get back into our routine of enjoying life and everything it had to offer. I Was so blind to it before, but now that he has mentioned it I can see exactly what he's talking about! What a relief!

  • Brinny, so glad that you have found some insight into the situation.  Do keep us posted!

    -Jess

  • Ah, interesting! I can see where such a lifestyle shift would be really hard on dad. The "couple" stage of life certainly comes with a lot more room for spontaneous trips, activities, etc. Sounds like maybe you could work on incorporating a few of those "mini activities" into your lives. Of course, taking off for the mountains for days and weeks at a time won't be too easy but you could buy a good hiking pack and take some weekend hikes and maybe grab a baby sitter for some things that baby can't do too well like canoeing. My  husband occasionally has a day where I encourage to go do something fun just for him and he does the same for me sometimes. Anyway - glad you got some insight and had that light bulb moment!! Hope it helps!

  • Great that you at least have some reasons that can help explain your concerns with your husband's state. Good luck and keep us posted.