Removing the Stigma of Postpartum Depression in Men
Dr. David Levine, Pediatrician at Summit Medical Group and Dad Coordinator, Postpartum Support International, discusses postpartum depression in men. Dr. Levine shares his personal experience and how he wants to help remove the stigma of men with postpartum depression.
"Welcome folks. I'm Steve Adubato. A subject that very rarely, if ever, gets talked about, is postpartum depression for... dads? Well, the gentleman we have right now knows an awful lot about it. He is Doctor David Levine, Pediatrician at Summit Medical Group and Dad Coordinator for Postpartum Support International. Good to see you Doctor. Good to see you. What exactly are we talking about when we say postpartum depression for dads versus moms? Not versus. So postpartum depression falls under what's called perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, which just encompasses any psychological or mental health problem that occurs during... prior to, during, and after the birth of a child. So it can occur with men or with women. It's much more common in women. How much more? It's one in five women will have some form of postpartum mood or anxiety. Men? One in ten. That's assumed. It's probably more than that. But men are not very big about talking... I was gonna say reporting... Yes. Right. ...statistics could be sketchy? Yes. So that's our best case. How do you know you have it? Well, I can tell you how I knew I had it. You experienced this? Yes. I experienced depression with my birth of my first child, and more anxiety with the birth of my second child. Hmm. Describe it. So with the birth of my first child, I had anxiousness very early about there being something the matter with him. But the depression more took the form of anger, avoidance, I wouldn't... I didn't want to partake in the care of my son. I thought my son did not like me. Every time I held him, I thought he cried more than if he was held by others. Did you think it was you? Oh absolutely I did. You really thought it was you? I took it... I thought it... I took it personally. Yes. And it eventually led to what I didn't realize until much later, where... I was having thoughts of hurting him and hurting myself. Really? Yes. So... What do you mean you didn't realize it until later? Well, what I mean by that is it was about... so I went through all this during the first three to four months of my son's life, and it wasn't until about a year later that I spoke about my experiences on another program, and it... A lesser program? But go ahead. Of course. [laughter] But during that time, I spoke with a physician over at Columbia University who deals with postpartum depression, and I had explained more detail about my story. I had... my wife knew a little bit. I didn't..."