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    Study shows people fail to recognize male postnatal depression



    Summary: People are more likely to diagnose symptoms of postnatal depression in women over men, new findings report. When presented with information relating to the mental health of new parents, people associated postnatal depression symptoms in men with stress and tiredness. Researchers state the need for greater awareness of paternal postnatal depression.

    Source: Journal of Mental health.

    A recent study reveals that people are almost twice as likely to correctly recognize signs of postnatal depression in women than in men.

    The research involved 406 British adults aged between 18 and 70. The participants were introduced with case studies of a man and a woman both showing symptoms of postnatal depression, a mental health issue which affects as many as 13% of new parents.

    This study observed that participants of both genders were less likely to say that there was something wrong with the male (76%) compared to the female (97%).

    Of the participants who indicated a problem, they were notably more likely to diagnose postnatal depression in the female case study than the male case study. The study observed that 90% of participants correctly described the female case study as suffering from postnatal depression but only 46% said the male had postnatal depression.

    The participants commonly believed that the man was undergoing stress or tiredness. In fact, stress was chosen 21% of the time for the man compared to only 0.5% for the woman, despite there being identical symptoms.

    Overall the study found that attitudes were remarkably more negative towards the male case study compared to the female. It found that participants reported lower perceived suffering towards the male case study’s condition, they believed that the male’s condition would be simpler to treat, expressed less sympathy for the male and were less likely to suggest that the male look for help.

    Published: Journal of Mental health.

    Contact: Viren Swami, Anglia Ruskin University.

    Details: Image source IStock


    Hi, I’m Aarti, My Psychoanalytical approach towards my clients is to empower them to better their lives through improving their relationship with themselves. I believe shame and guilt is a common barrier to change. I aim to guide my clients through re authoring their narratives where shame, guilt, and other problems have less power and take up less space.

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