While countless celebrities-turned-new-moms have been candid about their struggles with postpartum depression, Adam Busby from OutDaughtered recently shed light on something many people don’t know a lot about — male postpaturm depression, known officially paternal postnatal depression, after sharing his struggle with the condition on the hit reality show. The father-of-six shared his battle with his fans on not only the show, but also social media; he later gave interviews in hopes of shedding light on the condition, which is said to affect 10 percent of new dads.
“After coming face-to-face with postpartum depression following the birth of our five daughters, I quickly learned that this is a very real struggle that dads all around the world go through, yet you rarely ever hear it talked about. I’d be doing an extreme disservice to our fans if I hid this from the public and wasn’t honest with them,” he explained of his decision to share his diagnosis. “I have a big responsibility with the platform that I have been given. I want to make sure that I bring awareness to the realities of postpartum depression and other mental health issues. Why? Because I know I’m not alone and I want others to know they aren’t either.”
As Adam and many other new dads know, that’s far from the case; In Touch recently spoke to Scott Doherty, LCSW-C, Executive Director at Maryland House Detox, Delphi Behavioral Health about the realities of paternal postnatal depression, adding that it’s far more common than many people realize.
“[Paternal postnatal depression] is caused by the changing hormones the male experiences during pregnancy and after childbirth,” he told In Touch, exclusively. “Fathers experience fluctuations in estrogen and testosterone. Women experience changes in estrogen and progesterone.” As Doherty explained, one of the major differences between clinical depression and PPND is a lack of sleep.
“The main difference is the trigger of sleep deprivation. Most new parents are severely sleep deprived, which significantly impacts mood,” Doherty said. “Combine this with the stress of a new child, perhaps some differing opinions on childcare, and the deviation from typical routine such as exercise and relation. This can all combine and trigger and exacerbate and underlying depression.”
According to Doherty, PPND is treated similarly to PPD — with medication (assuming the mother isn’t breastfeeding) and therapy, something that Adam appears to be exploring on OutDaughtered. As Adam has come to understand, people aren’t nearly as understanding when it comes to PPND — which he experienced firsthand when he was told to “man up” — but that’s hoping Doherty said he hopes to see change.
These 6 beautiful souls bring me more joy than I could have ever dreamed would be possible. Sometimes I sit and wonder what God was thinking when he trusted me with this great responsibility as being Daddy to these girls. It's not always easy, but being a dad to girls we are responsible for setting the standard for the spouse that they will marry some day. Live every day to show them to love Jesus and to show them how much I love their mother @dbusby and that they should never settle for someone that will give them any less than that. #fathersday #bethestandard #outdaughtered
“With PPD, we must remember that with every coming generation, we are seeing more involved fathers, so the impact is greater. We are also more open about mental health and the impact it can have on our lives and our family,” he told In Touch. “When we think of childbirth and a new baby, we think of the mother. Postpartum depression has been known about for years. The knowledge that fathers also experienced these hormone and mood changes is relatively new, but the evidence is solid and the numbers are significant.”