A new study conducted by researchers from Anglia Ruskin University and published in the Journal of Mental Health has found that postpartum depression is not identified by people when it happens to men compared to women. Overall awareness regarding postnatal depression is already low but as per this study people are even less likely to notice depressive symptoms in new fathers.
For this research, investigators involved 406 British people who were between the ages of 18 and 70. These participants were presented two case studies. Of these, one was the case study of a new mother going through postnatal depression while the other study was of a new father with the condition. While 90% of the participants were able to recognize postpartum depression symptoms in the female case study, only 46% were able to identify depressive symptoms in the male case study.
21% of the time, the male’s depressive symptoms were mistaken for stress which only happened 0.5% of times with the female’s case study. Moreover, overall people were less sympathetic to the male going through postnatal depression. Most didn’t think the male’s condition was as difficult to treat and many didn’t recommend that the male should seek help.
Experts think this is because there is even less awareness regarding postnatal depression that men face even though 1 in 10 new dads go through this type of depression. What’s more, men are not confident enough to speak up about the matter and the general public associates postnatal depression to be a problem linked solely to females since they are the ones who go through obvious and more intense physical and hormonal changes.
However, the condition is just as bad for men as it is for women. It can even have an impact on the baby’s upbringing. In this regard, it is necessary to spread more awareness about the mental ailment. Overall twice more women have depression than men.