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Description: If I told you that a parent of a newborn infant was struggling with depression, but told you nothing else, what sort of person would come to mind? With your image of that person in mind, think about what their presenting symptoms would include. OK, now, did it even occur to you as an option that the person you were being asked to bring to mind was male? We tend to think of post-partum depression as an exclusively female and given that would it surprise you to hear that the female clients at a clinic specifically involved in providing assistance to women at high risk for post-partum depression find that over half of the women they see ask that their husband be seen as well as the birth of their child seemed to be negatively influencing their behavior? Why might that be and what sort of symptom profile might characterize a male version of post-partum depression? Think about tat and then read the article linked below for a clinician’s perspective and, perhaps., have a look at a couple of the articles linked in the Further Reading section further down to see what clinical experience and research is suggesting.

Source: The Dangerous Pattern One Therapist Sees in New Fathers, Aymann Ismail,

Date: December 12, 2021

Image by 1899441 from Pixabay

Article Link:

Does is surprise you to read that involved fathers might have significant uncertainties about how to be what they have just become … fathers? There has been a lot of work done lately suggesting that our working definitions of many things (like the typical symptoms of a heart attack) are preponderantly based on the male experience or typical male symptoms. The opposite is the case with post-partum issues. Post-partum fathers are supposed to be stalwart and supportive, and they do not, typically, present with the typical female symptoms of weepiness and depression. So how are father’s doing in the post-partum period of new fatherhood? We better find out because it may be much different than we assume, and we need to be able to provide the right sorts of support and assistance to those that need it even if they are not directly asking for it.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What is post-partum depression?
  2. Can males experience post-partum depression?
  3. What sorts of possibly problematic symptoms do new fathers experience after the birth of a child and how might we recognize them and assist with them?

References (Read Further):

Cameron, E. E., Hunter, D., Sedov, I. D., & Tomfohr-Madsen, L. M. (2017). What do dads want? Treatment preferences for paternal postpartum depression. Journal of affective disorders, 215, 62-70. Abstract Link

Scarff, J. R. (2019). Postpartum depression in men. Innovations in clinical neuroscience, 16(5-6), 11. Link

Duffett-Leger, L. (2010). Identifying the Support Needs of Fathers Affected by Postpartum Depression: A Pilot Study. Link

Eddy, B., Poll, V., Whiting, J., & Clevesy, M. (2019). Forgotten fathers: Postpartum depression in men. Journal of family issues, 40(8), 1001-1017. Link

Tarsuslu, B., Durat, G., & Altinkaynak, S. (2020). Postpartum Depression in Fathers and Associated Risk Factors: A Systematic Review. Link

Magovcevic, M., & Addis, M. E. (2008). The Masculine Depression Scale: development and psychometric evaluation. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 9(3), 117. Link

Rice, S. M., Fallon, B. J., Aucote, H. M., & Möller-Leimkühler, A. M. (2013). Development and preliminary validation of the male depression risk scale: Furthering the assessment of depression in men. Journal of affective disorders, 151(3), 950-958. Link

Martin, L. A., Neighbors, H. W., & Griffith, D. M. (2013). The experience of symptoms of depression in men vs women: analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. JAMA psychiatry, 70(10), 1100-1106. Link