How Fathers Can Cope With Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Disorders

You probably assume at least some things about fatherhood—perhaps that it’s filled with joy and love and, at least at first, sleep deprivation. What you likely don’t know? That one in 10 dads experience a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD)—that’s postpartum depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), for example—after becoming a father.

Makes sense. The lessons we teach boys and men about vulnerability go something like this: Don’t be vulnerable; it’s an antithesis to strength, explains Daniel Singley, Ph.D., a San Diego-based board-certified psychologist and director of The Center for Men’s Excellence, who studies postpartum mood disorders in men. The short version of what society teaches men about fatherhood? That it’s all about providing and protecting.

“Part of the damage we’re doing to men is training them that mental health difficulty and vulnerability are not okay; that they are weakening,” Singley says.

We also often

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Lifetime Experiences Help Older Adults Build Resilience to Pandemic Trauma

Older adults are especially vulnerable physically during the coronavirus pandemic. But they’re also notably resilient psychologically, calling upon a lifetime of experience and perspective to help them through difficult times.

New research calls attention to this little-remarked-upon resilience as well as significant challenges for older adults as the pandemic stretches on. It shows that many seniors have changed behaviors — reaching out to family and friends, pursuing hobbies, exercising, participating in faith communities — as they strive to stay safe from the coronavirus.

“There are some older adults who are doing quite well during the pandemic and have actually expanded their social networks and activities,” said Brian Carpenter, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. “But you don’t hear about them because the pandemic narrative reinforces stereotypes of older adults as frail, disabled and dependent.”

Whether those coping strategies will prove effective as

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