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Postnatal Depression In Men

How To Spot PND In Men...

Postnatal depression in men is understandably not as common as it is in women. However, statistics suggest that postnatal depression in men can affect one in ten new fathers and can jump to one in four with babies in the three to six month age range! Whether you are struggling as a new dad or if you're reading this on behalf of a partner or loved one - we can help. Postnatal depression in men can be simply treated, often without the need for medication. You'll find all the information you need here or if you'd prefer to discuss things with us by phone you can reach us 11am to 9pm, seven days a week on 01782 855585. Our advice is free and is given without obligation.



Signs Of Postnatal Depression In Men...

postnatal depression help for men

Signs of postnatal depression in men are not always what you'd expect. The truth is that men are very good at concealing the 'normal signs' of depression - they are conditioned throughout life to hide pain and emotional distress. However, even though men are generally very good concealers of their feelings, their behaviours can give away clues that there is an underlying problem such as postnatal depression.

Here is a list of potential signs of postnatal depression in men:

  • Withdrawal from the baby
  • Withdrawal from partner
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Frustration and irritability
  • Short temper
  • Problems with focus and motivation
  • Fatigue
  • Drinking or drug use
  • Impulsive risk taking
  • Suicidal thoughts

Withdrawal is a hardwired instinct for most men. They are designed to withdraw in order to give themselves time and space to 'sort out' their problem. However, as a baby ideally needs both parents present, withdrawal isn't a good way to deal with this problem. Furthermore, men already tend to have far smaller social support networks than women - so withdrawing from a partner, friends and family can reduce social support to almost nil. Cutting off resources is perhaps the worst course of action to take when trying to sort out a problem.

Although most men look forward to the birth of their baby, few are prepared for the inevitable attention the baby will demand from its mother. As most mothers are instinctively drawn to paying all their attention to their baby, a huge slice of the fathers social support network is taken away. Remember that men are far more reliant upon their partners for support than women, as they lack the wider networks (friends) that most women have.

In losing his partners attention, a father can easily come to resent the baby. He can also come to resent his partner for 'choosing the baby over him'. Yes, sure it sounds childish but a man is writing this and I can assure you it's common for men to think this way. Hence frustration, irritability, a short temper and possibly even abuse or violence can result as the father sees what he perceives to be as his partner being taken away or abandoning him for a baby.

As the father spirals into ever more intense (and frequent) emotional states he will experience problems with focus and motivation. As most men perceive themselves as protectors and providers, when they struggle with their focus and motivation they feel like they're failing - which in turn creates more anxiety.

postnatal depression men

Anxiety, particularly when coupled with a lack of sleep tends to lead to fatigue. This in turn feeds the cycle of the father struggling with focus and motivation, further increasing anxiety levels. When you break postnatal depression in men down this way, it's easy to see how the cycle self-perpetuates and locks a man in.

As men are fixers by their nature, they look for something to get them out of the 'bad feelings'. The most common (and by far the worst) method of changing how he feels is through drink or drugs. Of course this isn't a long term solution, but for a man trapped in postnatal depression it may seem like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately one drink leads to another and before you know it alcohol (or drugs) have become as much of a problem as postnatal depression was to start with.

Another less common trait of postnatal depression in men is that of impulsive risk taking. The rush of adrenalin from taking risks (or being reckless) gives the man a reminder he's alive and free to make HIS choices. Many men see a new baby as taking away his partner, stability and freedom yet 'risk taking' gives him the sense he can still make some choices himself. No, it's not a good idea to be reckless, it doesn't serve any long term beneficial purpose but unfortunately that's how some men decide to deal with it.

For a minority of men there seems to be no way out. Their options seem to be to escape by leaving the situation (partner and baby) and moving away - or to end it through suicide. Yes, it does happen. Postnatal depression in men is no less serious than it is in women. It's important to get it treated as soon as possible.

Remember that you don't need to suffer all the above signs in order to have postnatal depression - the majority of men with postnatal depression may only show three of four of the signs we've described. There's no reason why a man can't assess himself using the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale - so why not give it a try now. The brief test will open in a new window so you wont lose your place here.

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The Importance Of Treating Postnatal Depression In Men...

postnatal depression treatment men

The treatment of postnatal depression in men is no less important than in women - and for exactly the same reasons.

All forms of depression (postnatal or otherwise) run in cycles. This is why many people, without the correct specialised treatment seem to suffer for extended periods. As long as the cycle runs - the person stays depressed. Unfortunately, simply feeling depressed is only part of the problem...

There are always knock-on effects from depression. The most obvious example would be 'feeling bad' although there's also irritability, short temper and problems with thinking, rationalising or focusing. A further knock-on effect from this can result in poor decision making leading to problems at work, problems with relationships and a skewed view of reality. Unfortunately, whilst suffering from depression we rarely realise that our view of reality has become blurred - which again stems from our inability to think clearly and make good decisions.

However, if you feel things are falling apart and you can't seem to sort them out it's probable that your perspective has become clouded by depression. The good news is that it can be easily and quickly treated by the right specialist BUT you have to take the step of recognising the real problem and decide to take action to sort it. Depression isn't something you can sort out yourself and the sooner you realise that getting the right help is a sign of strength and common sense (rather than weakness) - the sooner you're going to feel better and get back to your old self.

Let's now consider some other reasons (beyond yourself) why you should take action and get help now. The first reason is you have a baby, and your baby needs you. Nobody can deny the importance of having a good dad as a role model. This is precisely why your baby needs you sorted and thinking straight. So not only do you need to recover so that YOU can feel better, you also need to recover because you owe it to your baby to not only be there but also to be the best you can be in terms of a protector, provider and role model.

Now let's look at your wife or partner. Rather than feeling shut out, helpless or like a fifth wheel isn't it time you got your head and priorities right? If she's carried and given birth to your baby you owe it to her to tow the line and be there for them both. Sure she's giving the baby lots of her time and attention - that's how women are wired to work and that's why the human race prospers. However, not only will you see things differently when the postnatal depression is gone, you'll also realise that this shift in your relationship is only temporary. It's OK and you can be a great dad and a great partner.

If you're just speculating or trawling the internet looking for information or a magic bullet you're not only going to be disappointed - you'll also be setting yourself up for more of the same. This is one thing in your life which you have to accept you can't fix on your own and perhaps just as important - it's not your fault. Any man can get depression and any father can get postnatal depression. That's just the way it is and suffering with depression has no bearing whatsoever on how worthy, strong or competent you are.

What does matter is how you respond to it. If your pride means you flat refuse to seek out the help you need then perhaps you should consider that one day your baby will be grown up having learned from you not to ask for help when they need it. Is that the example you want to set?

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How To Treat Postnatal Depression In Men...

postnatal depression help treatment

There are two areas within postnatal depression treatment that we need to address.

The first area is that of the things you can't actually change, such as your baby waking up at all hours, crying and disturbing your sleep. Obviously a lack of sleep leads to tiredness, which leads to problems focusing, which leads to irritability... etc.

All new parents go through this - that's just how babies are. However, tiring as it may be, this in itself isn't enough to cause or maintain postnatal depression. If it were, then every new parent would have postnatal depression. So, for issues that you can't change (such as your baby crying at night), we need to set up a structure to manage those things - which frankly is no big deal.

However, the vast majority of what creates and maintains postnatal depression is well within your capacity to change once approached with our expertise. The truth is that your baby only has minimal influence upon postnatal depression. The main influence is driven by your perception of what's going on and what the future may hold. So even though we can't wave a magic wand to stop your baby from crying, what we can do is shift your perception so that you no longer feel the huge stress and pressure you've been going through recently.

Postnatal depression is caused and maintained by 'thought process' - not babies. It is the response (in your head) to the new addition to your family which has caused the postnatal depression - not your baby. It is your thoughts and perspective which creates your stress and anxiety and this is where our specialised expertise comes into play. Interesting? So, be honest and think for a moment how much of each and every day you spend dwelling on stuff that makes you feel uncomfortable? How much time do you spend talking to yourself in your head, going around and around trying to come up with some kind of solution? We know what we're talking about. We work with this sort of thing every day and we FIX it.

So treatment from a private Clinic is going to be expensive right? No, not at all. All our fees are fixed rate and depending on where you live we can either work with you face to face at our established Clinic in Stoke on Trent or online / by phone nationwide. Here are our fixed rate fees:

Face to face Consultation (Stoke on Trent Clinic) - 90 Minute Session / £95.00

Online / Phone Consultation (Nationwide) - 60 Minute Session / £69.00

We would suggest that if at all possible you can make it for face to face consultations at our Clinic - that is the best option. However, if you simply don't live in our region then online or telephone consultations are your next best option. We also offer a zero risk guarantee meaning that if for any reason you decide during your first session you don't want to continue working with us, we'll part company on good terms and you wont owe us a single penny. You really can't lose.

Your next step is to give us a call (11am to 9pm seven days a week) and discuss your case with one of our Consultants. You can ask any questions you like and we'll explain in more detail how we work free of charge and without obligation. Then if following your informal chat you'd like to book an appointment we'll make the arrangements. We can normally offer your first session within two or three days of your initial contact.

Be everything you can be for your baby and partner. Our number is 01782 855585.

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