Male postnatal depression

(334 Posts)
Foxysoxy01 Wed 25-Oct-17 10:52:22

Just caught a bit of This Morning with my coffee and they are talking about male postnatal depression.

Now I understand it is a massive change to both parents with a new baby and can quite believe that it could cause stress and worry, even depression for the non birthing partner but why would it have to be postnatal depression which feels more female and is a term used for women who have given birth?

The thing I have an issue with (maybe I'm an unreasonable cynical cow) does it not seem another thing that men have to take away from women?
It feels a little bit like taking away a real horrible issue that women who have given birth sometimes face and making it all about men again and how very hard they have it.

My AIBU is I'm I being a real in empathetic bitch or is this just another case of men having to take over women's experiences and issues? Or is it just a word I'm getting hung up on and technically it is actually correct that they may have postnatal depression?

OP’s posts: |
katmarie Wed 25-Oct-17 13:16:06

If you're talking purely technical terms then 'postnatal depression' refers to depression associated with the period of time after a baby is born, postnatal being the time after childbirth. So in strictly technical terms the label is correct, and has no gender reference within it, it's strictly referencing a medical phenomenon at a certain point in time.

I do get what you're saying though, as postnatal depression is very much a female issue in a lot of people's eyes. Some of the articles I've read use the term paternal depression or parental depression to try and differentiate, I would imagine for that very reason.

I will say that it's good this is being researched and talked about. I rather suspect that male postnatal depression is even more well hidden than the studies suggest, and must be really hard for the families experiencing it, on top of everything that the mum is gong through as well. Anything that helps new parents to cope better in those early days has got to be a good thing.

VladmirsPoutine Wed 25-Oct-17 13:24:13

I do see the point you're making but I really don't think it should become a politicised or indeed polarised issue. Post natal depression is an observed medical term. It can affect anyone involved in the process. I don't think this is another case of 'what about the menz'.

As it stands there's a huge stigma surrounding MH issues, indeed more so the guilt carried especially when it's neonatal-related. So any awareness surrounding this issue is very much welcome in my book.

funkyDrunk Wed 25-Oct-17 13:31:28

"My AIBU is I'm I being a real in empathetic bitch"


DH is bi-polar. He became very depressed after the birth of our first child. It was post-natal depression.


messyjessy17 Wed 25-Oct-17 13:39:44

It's not post natal depression: which refers to actual chemical and hormonal changes and depression.

Do men have to take fucking everything?

funkyDrunk Wed 25-Oct-17 13:43:18


"Do men have to take fucking everything?"

Yes, men and their high suicide rates and MH issues. We want them! Grrr!

I wonder how some of you function from day to day.

Binglesplodge Wed 25-Oct-17 13:50:30

I can see why the term postnatal depression feels like it should belong to women but I'm another coming to say that whether you want to call it paternal depression or anything else it's a real issue. My dh was badly affected after the birth of my DS, at the same time that I was suffering from postnatal depression. The pregnancy/birth hormones didn't seem to be the only factor and I feel strongly that men who experience this are not told it's only for the women. In this country we are good enough at stigmatising mental health without making it any harder for fathers to seek help or talk about what's happening to them.


grandioseOtter Wed 25-Oct-17 13:53:43

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KoalaD Wed 25-Oct-17 13:57:33

Well, that escalated quickly. hmm

Can nobody have a civil conversation round here?

MayFayner Wed 25-Oct-17 13:58:52

Of course men don't get post-natal depression. They could be depressed after the birth of their child, it's not the same thing.

This is just another way to minimise women's experiences.

AngelsSins Wed 25-Oct-17 14:01:09

I agree with you OP, why can't they just call it depression? They haven't given birth and gone through the associated hormone changes. I feel it minimises what women go through, as in the actual birthing experience, not the life changes which both parents can experience.

FunkyDrunk, women attempt suicide at the same rate as men, men just pick more violent methods so are more likely to actually die, so can we quit it with the poor menz crap please? Just for once, could women be the focus when bringing a child into the world?

KoalaD Wed 25-Oct-17 14:01:44

Isn't depression a predominantly male issue?

No, actually. Nice try, though.

Cornettoninja Wed 25-Oct-17 14:02:48

I can see why some women would find it galling but I can also appreciate that the circumstances around a new baby could trigger depression.

I found it incredibly hard when dd was a newborn up till about soxteen months. Physical factors were definitely a contributor but circumstances also played a part.

Looking back now I can see dp was suffering as a helpless bystander for a lot of it (from the actual birth onwards) and despite doing his best didn't feel like it was enough.

It's a tough one, but much like female pnd no good comes from ignoring or dismissing it. People are much better equipped if they can prepare themselves or recognise what's happening at the time.

Bunnyhipsdontliegrl Wed 25-Oct-17 14:04:33

Mayfayner. "men don't get post-natal depression. They could be depressed after the birth of their child, it's not the same thing"

You do realise post natal depression literally means a depression after the birth..

Of course men can have it. There might be so many things in having a child that could lead to a depressive episode. Why are there so many idiots downplaying men's mental health problem.

Cornettoninja Wed 25-Oct-17 14:05:16

I wouldn't be surprised if there was an element of ptsd for some fathers, especially when the birth was particularly traumatic.

Booagain Wed 25-Oct-17 14:05:41

Men can get depression post baby! Why the hell not? It’s a life changing thing and comes with lots of worry and stress to both men and women.

I hate all this men vs women crap. We’re all people ffs.

grandioseOtter Wed 25-Oct-17 14:05:58

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KoalaD Wed 25-Oct-17 14:07:35

Hilarious. A 'doctor' who makes up facts.

Sure you are.

MayFayner Wed 25-Oct-17 14:07:36

grandiose as a random on the internet, I don't give a fuck what you think.


grandioseOtter Wed 25-Oct-17 14:09:57

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grandioseOtter Wed 25-Oct-17 14:11:20

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CheshireChat Wed 25-Oct-17 14:11:24

That's why I prefer the term post partum depression, it seems to convey better the mix of hormones and the aftermaths of giving birth more clearly.

Men cannot suffer from that.

But they can become depressed after the birth of their child.

sparechange Wed 25-Oct-17 14:12:30

I agree with messyjessy

Post-natal depression is surely because of the postpartum hormonal changes, hence suffering from severe PMS is a risk factor for PND

It's like 'male menopause' - it isn't menopause. It is men experiencing something at a vaguely-similar time to women, and appropriating the women's medical term

MessyBun247 Wed 25-Oct-17 14:14:02

I thought PND involved hormonal changes from giving birth? So technically only women could get it. Men could be depressed after their baby is born, but it wouldnt be PND. It would be depression. Willing to be corrected on this if I'm wrong!

Frouby Wed 25-Oct-17 14:14:03

My dp turned into a knobber after the birth of ds. He was stressy, angry, selfish and depressed.

I was furious with him at the time. I told him to leave, was being entirely serious as I just couldn't understand where my lovely dp had gone. I felt very vulnerable at the time and lonely and very emotional and exhausted by everything.

If we were more willing to discuss male pnd or paternal depression or whatever we wanted to call it I would have recognised his depression sooner and been more understanding. Instead of raging over the injustice of it all.

As it happens things picked up a little once it had all come to a head. He did come out of it and revert back to my lovely dp. We only survived as a couple as he spent a bit of time working away and we were able to reconnect at a weekend which helped as we weren't skitting at each other constantly.

But being able to say 'I think dp has pnd, how can we get through this' rather than 'dp is a cunt and I am almost at ltb stage' would have saved me many sleepless nights.

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