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Men's experience of their partners' postpartum psychiatric disorders: narratives from the internet
University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
Institute of Health and Caring Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
2011 (English)In: Mental Health in Family Medicine, ISSN 1756-834X, Vol. 8, no 3, 137-146 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: Postpartum psychiatric disorders (PPPD) can be serious and disabling, and may lead to long-term adverse consequences. Partners of women with PPPD are also affected by the illness, but their experiences are seldom described. The aim of this study was to explore men's experience of women with PPPD.

Methods: Eleven written narratives from the internet were used to analyse men's perceived experience of their partner's PPPDs. Data were analysed using content analysis.

Results: The men revealed a major disruption in their lives. They expressed fear, confusion and anger; they were also extremely concerned about their partners, and felt unable to help in overcoming the disorder. Most of the men described making sacrifices in order to hold the relationship and the family together. Although the disorder improved over time, they were left to face an uncertain future with a woman who seemed to be very different from the person they had known previously. Most of the men gained maturity and increased self-esteem, but for some the result was divorce, custody disputes and loneliness.

Conclusions: The men in this study experienced the woman's PPPD as a difficult time, when everything familiar was turned upside down. Health professionals should pay more attention to men's mental health in the postpartum period. Furthermore, information regarding the possibility of these disorders should be given to expectant couples in prenatal classes. Further research is needed to ascertain how and to what extent this should be included in the education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Radcliffe Publishing, 2011. Vol. 8, no 3, 137-146 p.
Keyword [en]
men, narratives, postpartum psychiatric disorders
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medical sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-5887PubMedID: 22942895Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84859720446OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-5887DiVA: diva2:527509
Available from: 2012-05-21 Created: 2012-05-21 Last updated: 2015-12-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf