Can men get Post Natal Depression?

I recently had a baby (7 weeks old), and I'm noticing more and more how moody and unhappy my husband has become. I don't think it's just tiredness, because the baby is sleeping through the night, and this morning for example, I brought the baby downstairs when she woke up, and he stayed in bed for another 3 hours, but it didn't help, he's still been unhappy and withdrawn all day.

We've been arguing quite a bit over the last couple of weeks, because I feel so unsupported (we also have a 6 year old boy with some behavioural difficulties - possible adhd and asd), because he wont chat to me or the little ones, just sits in silence watching tv most of the time. When he does engage with the children, he hugs them really close, as if he's overwhelmed with emotion, and often looks close to tears, but again, if I ask him what's wrong, he says nothing.

I've tried to talk to him about it, but he just fobs me off and says he's fine. I've broached the subject of maybe having a chat to the doctor about how he's feeling, but he wont even consider the idea.

I know a lot of women suffer with PND, but can men get it too? I don't know what to do to help him. I love him to bits, but I feel like this is tearing our relationship apart at the moment. :(

I'm not asking for medical advice by the way, just wondering if others have had similar experiences, and how they handled it.

Thanks very much.
"I wasn't wrong, I just wasn't right enough."
:smileyhea
9780007258925
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Replies

  • TheWaltons_3TheWaltons_3 Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Definitely yes!!!

    My hubby was like that after the birth of all our of children and wasn't interested in my eldest until she became 'fun'... could do more, could laugh... could eat better... basically, when she became less demanding and her personality developed!
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
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    Men, just like women, can react to circumstances by becoming depressed.
    Why not coax him into agreeing a time when you'll both sit down and talk about how unhappy you feel at the moment?
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • When I read your title, I was going to say yes in a slightly different way, not necessarily the hormone inbalance that women go through which often brings on PND but more of an adaption to the change in life.

    But having read that you have an older child, and that this isn't just a change over the last few weeks with the new little addition, I would say it sounds more like depression in general than a postnatal link. It is just maybe showing itself even more, because you are probably going through tiredness, and needing more support and he isn't stepping up to the role.

    It is difficult to get someone to the doctors if they are in denial, and men are notoriously less inclined to seek counselling than women.

    It might be a case that you need to sit down with him when you are feeling as calm as you can and say what you are feeling. As I put in a post recently, to avoid inflaming a situation you need to start with 'I feel...' as opposed to 'you aren't doing.....'

    Say what it is you feel you need to help you cope, say you do feel he is depressed, if that is how you feel, and say that you need him to step up to his role as a dad and become more involved in day to day life, not just the odd overwhelming cuddle which could affect the children in the long run. Say you need to talk things through.

    Good luck
  • SnagglesSnaggles Forumite
    19.5K Posts
    The thing is, just occasionally he seems to come out of it and we get on well for a little while, but then he withdraws again, and I'm left wondering what I've done to upset him.
    "I wasn't wrong, I just wasn't right enough."
    :smileyhea
    9780007258925
  • Snaggles wrote: »
    The thing is, just occasionally he seems to come out of it and we get on well for a little while, but then he withdraws again, and I'm left wondering what I've done to upset him.


    I think that sounds like classic depression
  • spud30spud30 Forumite
    16.9K Posts
    My hubby was awful after the birth of our son.

    At the time, I thought he was jealous of the baby getting all of my attention, but I suppose it could have been a touch of depression
    Is it better to aim for the stars and hit a tree or aim for a tree and land in its branches :think:
    Loves being a Wonderbra friend :kisses3:
  • SnagglesSnaggles Forumite
    19.5K Posts
    Thanks for the replies, it may be that he has had depression for a number of years - he's always been sort of....not sure what the right word is....emotionally unavailable somehow?

    He finds it difficult to express any kind of emotion. He can make friends easily, but doesn't really have 'close' friends who know him inside out, because he tends to keep people at arms length.

    He lost his Dad as a teenager, arguably the most difficult time to cope with the death of a parent (not that there's a good time, I know), and I wonder if this could have been the start of it.

    I wish I knew how to help him, I don't want us to split up, I want to spend the rest of my life with him....I just wish I knew the right thing to do.

    Sorry, I'm probably babbling and not making a lot of sense.
    "I wasn't wrong, I just wasn't right enough."
    :smileyhea
    9780007258925
  • missilemissile Forumite
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    Forumite
    My kids are 22 and 25 and I am still suffering
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home :iloveyou:
  • LorianLorian Forumite
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    Snaggles wrote: »
    When he does engage with the children, he hugs them really close, as if he's overwhelmed with emotion, and often looks close to tears, but again, if I ask him what's wrong, he says nothing.

    Maybe he's feeling his own mortality. When I behaved like that I was suffering with existential crisis. I hope this isn't the case as I guess it would be catagorised as a form of depression. You'd need to ask a doctor.

    I've managed to control my feelings and used my new perspective on life to make me a better person. Religion or TV are two other methods of coping.

    Of course it could be other things, like lack of sex, money etc. Much easier things to deal with IMvHO.
  • Snaggles wrote: »
    I wish I knew how to help him, I don't want us to split up, I want to spend the rest of my life with him....I just wish I knew the right thing to do.


    Sorry, you could probably do with out me keep butting in with my opinion, but I think the only way you can help yourself and him is to speak out to him about it, how you feel and what you feel you need out of this relationship.

    You don't want to get to 30 years of marriage and find the emotional unavailability has just increased. You have needs too and this is a demanding time for you and the whole family, and sometimes a very good heart to heart is what is needed to clear the air and get feelings on the table.

    It might be that he feels he has a raw deal with the problems you have with your older one, and feels he needs to be arms length to them both, instead of giving them consistent love and attention. Unless you get it out in the open it is going to become an issue which will increasingly divide you and the family as years go on.

    It is early days with baby number two and maybe your feelings are heightened, but it is always best out than in.

    hth (I'll stop keep giving my two pennies!)
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