At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Are the Symptoms of Male Post-Natal Depression?

Jacob Queen
Jacob Queen

Some experts question whether male post-natal depression is even a real medical disorder, but among experts who believe it exists, the symptoms are thought to be fairly similar to most other forms of depression. Men might experience sadness and gloominess, along with other negative feelings, such as being trapped or feeling anger toward their new children. Some men might also exhibit behaviors that seem abnormal, such as attempting to drastically change their lifestyles. These symptoms seem to appear more commonly during the first year of a child’s life, and men whose wives suffer from post-natal depression are more likely to suffer from it themselves.

The symptoms of male post-natal depression supposedly are very similar to any other kind of depression. This means that some men might experience an overall decline in mood. Things that normally would make them feel bad might make them feel worse. Their productivity might suffer, and they might find that they spend more time sleeping than they previously did.

Men may experience post-natal depression due to a hightened sense of responsibility.
Men may experience post-natal depression due to a hightened sense of responsibility.

For many men, the feelings they experience during male post-natal depression make them start to behave very differently. For example, a man might suddenly change his job or lose interest in his marriage. Some men might become desperate pleasure seekers, looking for anything that can help them feel a little bit better.

The reasons for male post-natal depression are not clear, but some of them are thought to be fairly obvious. For example, some men become depressed because they feel a great weight of responsibility to which they are not accustomed. They might feel like their lives have changed forever, and they want to escape but don’t see a way out. Others might suffer from depression simply because their wives are depressed, and the dark mood of their spouses makes it makes it more difficult for the men on a day-to-day basis. There also is a thought that hormones might play some role, because studies have shown that men do have a slight shift in their balance between testosterone and estrogen when their wives become pregnant, but the mechanism behind this had not been studied thoroughly as of early 2011.

Some experts argue that because most of these feelings are grounded in real-world experiences and are explainable on a logical way, they shouldn’t be treated as a medical disorder. These experts think that it’s relatively normal for someone to feel some level of sadness when his life changes drastically, and the experts don’t think it’s helpful to view these feelings as an abnormality. Some of these experts also are somewhat skeptical of the significance of any hormonal changes that occur in men when women are pregnant, at least in terms of their ability to cause depression.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Men may experience post-natal depression due to a hightened sense of responsibility.
      By: theartofphoto
      Men may experience post-natal depression due to a hightened sense of responsibility.