Is male postpartum depression real

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

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No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

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Last Updated: 08/30/2022

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

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Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.

The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. NSDUH estimates allow researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the general public to better understand and improve the nation’s behavioral health. These reports and detailed tables present estimates from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).



  • Among the 133.1 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older in 2021, 60.0 million people (or 45.1%) were past month binge drinkers. The percentage of people who were past month binge drinkers was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (29.2% or 9.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (22.4% or 49.3 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (3.8% or 995,000 people). (2021 NSDUH)
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 15.1% (or 5.9 million people) were past month alcohol users. Estimates of binge alcohol use and heavy alcohol use in the past month among underage people were 8.3% (or 3.2 million people) and 1.6% (or 613,000 people), respectively. (2021 NSDUH)
  • In 2020, 50.0% of people aged 12 or older (or 138.5 million people) used alcohol in the past month (i.e., current alcohol users) (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among the 138.5 million people who were current alcohol users, 61.6 million people (or 44.4%) were classified as binge drinkers and 17.7 million people (28.8% of current binge drinkers and 12.8% of current alcohol users) were classified as heavy drinkers (2020 NSDUH)
  • The percentage of people who were past month binge alcohol users was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (31. 4%) compared with 22.9% of adults aged 26 or older and 4.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • Excessive alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of stroke, liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, cancer, and other serious health conditions
  • Excessive alcohol use can also lead to risk-taking behavior, including driving while impaired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver daily


  • STOP Underage Drinking interagency portal - Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Talk. They Hear You.
  • Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts
  • Talking with your College-Bound Young Adult About Alcohol

Relevant links:

  • National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
  • Department of Transportation Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance
  • Alcohol Policy Information Systems Database (APIS)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism



  • In 2020, 20. 7% of people aged 12 or older (or 57.3 million people) used nicotine products (i.e., used tobacco products or vaped nicotine) in the past month (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among past month users of nicotine products, nearly two thirds of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (63.1%) vaped nicotine but did not use tobacco products. In contrast, 88.9% of past month nicotine product users aged 26 or older used only tobacco products (2020 NSDUH)
  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, often leading to lung cancer, respiratory disorders, heart disease, stroke, and other serious illnesses. The CDC reports that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States
  • The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health reports that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking cigarettes

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use data:

  • In 2021, 13.2 million people aged 12 or older (or 4.7%) used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. The percentage of people who vaped nicotine was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (14.1% or 4.7 million people), followed by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (5.2% or 1.4 million people), then by adults aged 26 or older (3.2% or 7.1 million people).
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 11.0% (or 4.3 million people) used tobacco products or used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. Among people in this age group, 8.1% (or 3.1 million people) vaped nicotine, 5.4% (or 2.1 million people) used tobacco products, and 3.4% (or 1.3 million people) smoked cigarettes in the past month. (2021 NSDUH)
  • Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Among both middle and high school students, current use of e-cigarettes declined from 2019 to 2020, reversing previous trends and returning current e-cigarette use to levels similar to those observed in 2018
  • E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, or pregnant women, especially because they contain nicotine and other chemicals


  • Tips for Teens: Tobacco
  • Tips for Teens: E-cigarettes
  • Implementing Tobacco Cessation Programs in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings
  • Synar Amendment Program


  • Truth Initiative
  • FDA Center for Tobacco Products
  • CDC Office on Smoking and Health
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Tobacco, Nicotine, and E-Cigarettes
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: E-Cigarettes



  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 3. 3% (or 9.2 million people) misused opioids (heroin or prescription pain relievers) in the past year. Among the 9.2 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 8.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers compared with 1.1 million people who used heroin. These numbers include 574,000 people who both misused prescription pain relievers and used heroin in the past year. (2021 NSDUH)
  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 3.4% (or 9.5 million people) misused opioids in the past year. Among the 9.5 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 9.3 million people misused prescription pain relievers and 902,000 people used heroin (2020 NSDUH)
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Understanding the Epidemic, an average of 128 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose


  • Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
  • TIP 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Criminal Justice Settings
  • Opioid Use Disorder and Pregnancy
  • Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants
  • The Facts about Buprenorphine for Treatment of Opioid Addiction
  • Pregnancy Planning for Women Being Treated for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Tips for Teens: Opioids
  • Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants
  • Tribal Opioid Response Grants
  • Provider’s Clinical Support System - Medication Assisted Treatment Grant Program


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Opioids
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Heroin
  • HHS Prevent Opioid Abuse
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network
  • Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network



  • In 2021, marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug, with 18. 7% of people aged 12 or older (or 52.5 million people) using it in the past year. The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (35.4% or 11.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (17.2% or 37.9 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (10.5% or 2.7 million people).
  • The percentage of people who used marijuana in the past year was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (34.5%) compared with 16.3% of adults aged 26 or older and 10.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • Marijuana can impair judgment and distort perception in the short term and can lead to memory impairment in the long term
  • Marijuana can have significant health effects on youth and pregnant women.


  • Know the Risks of Marijuana
  • Marijuana and Pregnancy
  • Tips for Teens: Marijuana

Relevant links:

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Marijuana
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Centers on Marijuana
  • CDC Marijuana and Public Health

Emerging Trends in Substance Misuse:

  • Methamphetamine—In 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Data shows that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • Cocaine—In 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
  • Kratom—In 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.


  • Tips for Teens: Methamphetamine
  • Tips for Teens: Cocaine
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse

More SAMHSA publications on substance use prevention and treatment.

Last Updated: 01/05/2023

Postpartum depression in men: why it occurs and how to deal with it

Despite the fact that only women are diagnosed with postpartum depression, men are also characterized by longing, apathy, and anxiety after the birth of children. We talked about this with a young father, and also discussed the topic with clinical and social psychologists - we found out how depression can manifest itself in fathers and why this problem is so rarely talked about.

“When I found out that my wife was pregnant, I wept with joy. I wanted nothing more than to be a father. But sometimes our dreams do not match our expectations. When my wife first handed over our daughter Isabelle to me, I looked at this weak, swollen child and did not know what to do - I did not even want to hold her. I didn't feel anything. I expected a rush of emotions that parents and the media talk about so much, but there was none. Only emptiness. It seemed to me that it was caused by lack of sleep and the chaos associated with the birth of a child, but when a few days later I still did not feel anything, I realized that something was wrong. The numbness turned into indignation and hostility. Isabelle was constantly crying with me and wanted to be with her mother. I felt jealous: my daughter took all the time and attention of my wife, which, no matter how selfish it may sound, she used to give me.

I even began to regret the birth of my daughter, which led to feelings of guilt. It was hard, but I told my wife about my experiences. Because I felt like I hated my own daughter.

At first I wanted to leave my family — it sincerely seemed that they would be better off without me. On my anniversary, I even wrote a letter to my wife about it. It was painful for her to watch how I did not want to be the father of the daughter I dreamed of, and it was painful for me to feel this.

This is how a British postman named Ross Hunt remembers the first months of fatherhood - for several years now he has been talking on his blog about the postpartum depression he faced.

Despite the fact that there is no official diagnosis of "postpartum depression in men", manifestations of this phenomenon are common. According to statistics, approximately 10% of fathers suffer from this disorder. However, it is much more difficult to establish the exact number of depressive episodes in men after the birth of a child than in women.

Men are less likely to talk about their emotions, even if they think something is going wrong everything that is stereotypically perceived as "feminine". Talking about feelings falls under this category. Traditional masculinity "allows" men to show only certain emotions (for example, aggression) and "forbids" others (empathy, kindness): "According to traditional masculinity, a man should cope with problems on his own. If you can’t deal with depression (which, by the way, is often perceived as “just a bad mood”), then what kind of man are you?

A man may not uphold the norms of traditional masculinity, but if he thinks that those around him approve of him, then he will adhere to these requirements. Moreover, sociological studies show that men, in principle, are less likely than women to turn to specialists if they have health problems - physical or mental. And they do not always speak honestly about their condition because of embarrassment or fear of changing their lifestyle on the advice of a doctor.

Vlad Krivoshchekov notes that the field of health in Russia is, in principle, very feminized: in heterosexual families, women are more often responsible for the health of all family members, and most of the advertising about medicines and doctors is addressed to mothers. As a result, many men have a poorly developed skill of contacting doctors for help. Often men go to the clinic only when their wives, mothers or sisters send them there.

How does postpartum depression manifest itself in men

Postpartum depression can manifest itself in completely different ways and affect both a person’s emotions and his physical condition. The father may experience depression, apathy, guilt, jealousy. He is characterized by manifestations of aggression. He can move away from the family and behave irrationally, get annoyed for any reason. A man with postpartum depression, says clinical psychologist Anastasia Tretyakova, does everything mechanically. He loses the initiative to do something. He wants to isolate himself from society, withdraws into himself, does not joke, does not go anywhere, does not think logically, does not show empathy. It is difficult for him to accept the point of view of another person. A person with a psychological disorder loses appetite, sleep problems appear, and libido decreases.

Causes of postpartum depression in men

Causes of postpartum depression in men are very similar to factors of depression in women. Firstly, after the birth of a child, men can also change their hormonal levels. Modern research claims that new fathers, for example, have reduced testosterone levels.

Robin Edelstein, psychologist and director of the Personality, Relationships, and Hormones Laboratory at the University of Michigan, says these changes have a positive effect on the development of empathy and attachment to children: men with lower testosterone levels devote more time to children and family.

The second possible reason is additional responsibility and stress. “It can be difficult for men to cope with the burden of responsibility that they have placed on themselves. From now on, they have to work much more and earn more - this causes lack of sleep and chronic fatigue, ”says Anastasia Tretyakova.

Piotr, 37 :

“When our daughter was born, I was incredibly happy. I remember that I just jokingly thought: "Goodbye, that's it!" In fact, after that day, I almost completely said goodbye to music, writing and everything except work and home. There was almost never more time for this, no matter how I tried to find it. After the birth of the child, my wife and I began to sleep little. Our daughter was restless, often waking up and screaming. We rocked her for hours. Sometimes she would not stop yelling from morning to evening. Life was chaos, we literally survived. I worked in fits and starts when I could: during daytime sleep or walks with a stroller, at night in between awakenings from colic. Credit obligations began to put more pressure on my brain: my thoughts were only occupied by the question of how to provide for my family. Due to lack of sleep, I did everything automatically, not really thinking about how I felt. Apparently, this was my way of dealing with emotions - not connecting them. No one helped me deal with stress. It was I who had to help my wife and fight with my mother-in-law, who constantly prevented me from taking care of my daughter. There were no other options. I realized that I did not have the option to say that I could not carry a screaming child at night - who then could? There was no option not to make money. The concept of “tired” basically ceased to exist for me.”

How to distinguish depression from a depressive episode?

Full-blown depression differs from a depressive episode in duration and intensity. If the episode is repeated several times, it is worth thinking about the external causes of the disorder and ways to eliminate them. If the state of depression, apathy and irritation lasts for more than a month, this may be a sign of depression. When experiences last from three to six months, this is a serious reason to turn to a specialist - a psychotherapist or clinical psychologist. If necessary, he will refer the patient to another doctor - a neurologist or an endocrinologist.

Stigmatization of the problem and its consequences

According to WHO statistics, Russia has been leading the international ranking of male suicide for several years. Vlad Krivoshchekov is sure that this is a natural consequence of the stigmatization of depression and the hushing up of mental problems: “If a person does not have any mechanisms to demonstrate that he is not in order, except through his body, then sooner or later he may resort to this. The good news is that well-chosen psychotherapy and timely seeking help really help to cope with negative emotions.

Hooray! Now we have another Instagram: Chalk from 0 to 6. If your child is still a preschooler, you have been dreaming of a good sleep for a long time and google everything about breastfeeding, vaccinations and overalls - subscribe, we have a lot of interesting things!

Do men have postpartum depression?

It turns out that every tenth young father faces this problem.

Vera Ermakova





How to get out of depression

Pregnancy and childbirth


Not only young mothers complain of depression after childbirth, new fathers can also have such an unpleasant condition. Let's figure out what to do with it.

Contents of the article

According to the most optimistic estimates, one in five new mothers experience postpartum depression. What about young fathers? Until recently, it was believed that since the male body does not undergo any hormonal changes, there is nowhere to come from depression. But several studies refute this assumption, and experts warn that up to 10% of men become victims of postnatal depression. We tell you why this happens and how not to miss a dangerous disease in yourself.

Is testosterone to blame?

149 couples took part in the study, published in Hormones and Behavior. Researchers followed the condition of men and women for 15 months after the birth of their children. As a result, every tenth man who participated in the experiment complained of certain symptoms of depression. These figures are twice as high as the prevalence of ordinary depression in men, which usually only one in twenty complains. However, researchers are sure that in fact, many more men experience symptoms of depression, including postpartum depression, just because of the peculiarities of socialization that prohibits the stronger sex from showing weakness, many find it impossible to recognize the existence of such an “unmanly” problem.

Why do men develop postpartum depression? The authors of the study believe that the cause may be a decrease in testosterone levels. The increased stress and lack of sleep that most new parents face negatively affects the levels of this important male hormone. Another lowering factor is the hormone oxytocin, which is overproduced when a parent, male or female, takes care of and communicates with an infant. Oxytocin is a kind of natural testosterone neutralizer, if its level is increased, then the content of the “aggression hormone” drops sharply.

However, the authors of another study published in 2016 believe that the cause of depression may be associated not with biological, but with social factors. After the birth of a child, life changes radically, the workload increases dramatically, the usual joys and ways to have fun become inaccessible - temporarily or permanently, and finally, a sharply increased level of responsibility also becomes an additional stress factor. If you add to this lack of sleep and increased physical activity, then one can only wonder why depression gets only to every tenth young father.

However, the authors of both studies cited believe that in fact the prevalence of the disease is much higher, just not all men who have recently become parents are ready to admit that they have a problem.

How to recognize postpartum depression in men?

If you recently became a dad, it's worth checking your postpartum depression checklist from time to time - even if neither you nor your loved ones notice any warning signs. Depression is an insidious disease that can masquerade as fatigue or overwork or “just” a bad mood for a long time. If you have experienced at least half of these symptoms more than five times in the past two weeks, you may need to seek help:

  • increased irritability and conflict, especially in situations that were previously perceived calmly;
  • constant voltage;
  • aggressive behavior, which in extreme cases is expressed in physical violence;
  • avoidance of family and friends, social isolation;
  • depression, melancholy, feeling of loneliness;
  • pain of various origins, problems with the gastrointestinal tract;
  • decreased concentration, distraction, forgetfulness;
  • decreased motivation, unwillingness to do what used to bring pleasure, loss of interest in hobbies;
  • a man prefers to spend most of the day at work, thereby being less at home;
  • fatigue, fatigue.

How to treat postpartum depression in men?

Depression is a dangerous disease that, in severe cases, can end in death, so the worst thing you can do when you discover its symptoms is to wait for the disease to go away on its own.

Learn more