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Post Partum Depression in Men

Leah Sarich | posted Wednesday, Nov 6th, 2013

Ten to 25 percent of new moms will suffer from post partum depression. And now new research shows 10 to 13 percent of dads are suffering too.

And the biggest risk factor for dad developing PPD is if his partner has PPD. So, you end up with both parents in a major depressive episode which can have a devastating effect on the child.

Nicole Letourneau, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Chair in Parent Infant Mental Health, says symptoms of PPD are very similar in both men and women… they’ll be depressed for at least two weeks, it will interfere with their daily activity causing irritability, fatigue and mood changes. PPD will interfere with their ability to care for and nuture their baby. But men with PPD, moreso than women,  are prone to anger and violent episodes. Men are also more likely to to use drugs and alcohol to cope.

Research shows when two parents are suffering from PPD, the child is more likely to develop mental health problems like anxiety and depression. And cutting edge research shows the child is also more likely to develop biological problems such as inflammatory disorders, heart disease and obesity.

Letourneau says all new moms need to be screened for PPD. And not just asked, but actually given a screening tool like a questionaire. She says moms will often lie when asked because they feel admitting to PPD means they’re a bad mother. However, these same moms will answer a questionaire honestly. Letourneau suggests if mom screens high for PPD, their partners should be screened too. We also need more supports and services for moms  and we need to create them for dads.

Letourneau says we need to support families because they’re the ones producing the children that will be our future leaders, innovators and thinkers. Supporting families means creating a more prosperous society in the future.

For more information on this topic visit Troy Media for Letourneau’s article, or visit her website.

 

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