Skin health – Aug 10, 2022
Can adults catch chickenpox?
Most people catch chickenpox before the age of 10, but adults can catch it too. The symptoms tend to be more severe, so read our guide on when to get help.
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Postnatal depression can affect any parent after the birth of a child. It’s thought to affect around 10-20% of new parents, and is linked to the demands of having a new baby – from the sleep deprivation to the hormonal fluctuations as a result of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
This condition was traditionally associated with women, but there’s growing evidence that it’s common for both parents, irrespective of gender. Both parents can experience significant changes in mood and emotions when there’s a new baby around.
Welcoming a new baby is a joyful time but it’s also a huge life change that can be difficult to adjust to. Childbirth can be a stressful life event for both parents.
Some of the lifestyle changes that come with having a newborn can be contributing factors to postnatal depression in men and women. Getting less sleep can affect our mood and the anxiety of being a new parent, new financial responsibilities and even returning to work if you choose to, can also be a factor.
It’s completely natural to have anxiety about having a new baby, whether it’s your first child or third.
If the person who gave birth is struggling with their mental health, this is likely to affect the other parent and other household members.
Just like with any depression in men, male postnatal depression can show in different ways compared to women.
Behavioural signs can include:
Research shows that men are less likely to speak out and seek help for anxiety and depression. This means a lot of cases of male postnatal depression are going undiagnosed.
Children can feel the effects of a change in family or household dynamics, so having a parent who’s struggling with their mental health can be really difficult.
Generally, children know when something’s wrong even if they don’t know why. Being open and honest with children in a way that’s appropriate to their age can help them understand changes that might be confusing or distressing for them.
If you show children that parents can be unwell and recover, it might even help them feel positive about seeking their own support later in life.
Depression can be an especially difficult thing to talk about when it’s associated with something that you feel you should be happy about. With a new baby in the house, there’s a lot of pressure to look after other people – the new baby and other children in the household, as well as a partner who might also be under physical and emotional strain.
But it’s always okay to admit when you need help. Talking about the problem is a good start, and can help family members understand how you’re feeling, and why you might seem ‘off’.
If you’re worried about any of the symptoms of male postnatal depression, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. If you have suicidal thoughts or a family member might be in danger, call 999 or go to A&E straight away.
Call 111 if it’s not an emergency but you feel you need urgent medical help for your mental health.
If male postnatal depression is affecting your life, a GP can be there to talk through your situation and your symptoms, and direct you to the care you need.
Treatment for postnatal depression can include talking therapy, peer support and sometimes medication, which a GP can prescribe.
Talking therapy has been proven to help with feelings of postnatal depression – a Livi therapist can help you understand your emotions and navigate through significant life change.
This article has been medically reviewed by Dr Adenekan Oyefeso, Clinical Lead for Mental Health at Livi.