Both men and women experience postnatal depression—but men are more likely to go undiagnosed. This, according to researchers at Anglia Ruskin University.

Researchers presented 406 adult participants with two case studies: one of a man and one of a woman, both displaying symptoms of postnatal depression, a condition that affects 13% of new parents. The research team saw that 97% of participants correctly identified a problem with the woman, while only 76% identified something was wrong with the man.

Furthermore, of those who recognized a problem, 90% diagnosed the female with postnatal depression while only 46% diagnosed the man with the illness. The participants believed the man was suffering from mere stress or exhaustion, instead.

This study demonstrates a gender difference in our perception of postnatal depression. Researchers say we need to improve our awareness for postnatal depression in men.


Swami, V., Barron, D., Smith, L., & Furnham, A. (2019, March 7). Mental health literacy of maternal and paternal postnatal (postpartum) depression in British adults. Retrieved from