Male postnatal depression: How can hypnotherapy help?

Male postnatal depression, also referred to as paternal postpartum depression or paternal perinatal depression, is a condition in which new fathers experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, and other emotional challenges following the birth of their child.


While postnatal depression is more commonly associated with mothers, research has shown that a significant number of fathers also experience similar emotional struggles during this period.

Symptoms of male postnatal depression

Symptoms of male postnatal depression can vary, but they often include:

  • Persistent sadness: Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness that persist for weeks or months.
  • Irritability: Becoming easily irritable, angry, or having a short temper, even over minor issues.
  • Fatigue: Constant fatigue and lack of energy, which can be exacerbated by disrupted sleep patterns common in new parents.
  • Anxiety: Experiencing excessive worry, fear, or unease, often related to the well-being of the baby and the family.
  • Changes in appetite: Significant changes in eating patterns, resulting in weight loss or gain.
  • Social withdrawal: Pulling away from friends, family, and social activities that were once enjoyed.
  • Loss of interest: Losing interest in activities or hobbies that used to be pleasurable.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Trouble focusing, making decisions, or completing tasks.
  • Physical symptoms: Experiencing physical symptoms like headaches or digestive issues without an apparent medical cause.
  • Thoughts of harm: In severe cases, having thoughts of self-harm or thoughts of harming the baby, though it's important to note that these thoughts are distressing and not necessarily indicative of a person's intentions.

There are several factors that can contribute to male postnatal depression, including hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, lifestyle adjustments, relationship stress, financial concerns, and a history of depression or anxiety. It's important to understand that these feelings are not a sign of weakness or inadequacy as a father; they are a medical condition that can be addressed and treated.

Support and treatment options

Support and treatment options for male postnatal depression include:

  • Open communication: Talking about feelings with a partner, family members, friends, or a mental health professional can provide valuable emotional support.
  • Professional help: Seeking guidance from a mental health professional, such as a hypnotherapist, who has experience in postnatal depression.
  • Couples counselling: Participating in couples counselling can help both partners understand and cope with the changes in their lives.
  • Self-care: Engaging in activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and finding time for relaxation.
  • Medication: In some cases, medication may be recommended by a healthcare professional to help alleviate symptoms.
  • Support groups: Joining support groups or online communities for new fathers experiencing similar challenges can offer a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences.

It's crucial to recognise that seeking help for male postnatal depression is not only beneficial for the father's well-being but also for the overall family dynamic and the healthy development of the child. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of postnatal depression, reaching out for help is an important step toward recovery.

How can hypnotherapy help?

As a hypnotherapist, I can offer you insights into how hypnotherapy might be used as a complementary approach to help address male postnatal depression. Please note that hypnotherapy should be considered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan and should be conducted by a qualified and experienced hypnotherapist.

Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique that uses guided relaxation, focused attention, and suggestion to help individuals enter a state of heightened awareness, known as a trance state. In this state, individuals are more open to suggestion and can explore and address underlying issues, emotions, and thought patterns. Here's how hypnotherapy might be used in treating male postnatal depression:

Relaxation and stress reduction

Hypnotherapy can help new fathers learn relaxation techniques that reduce stress and anxiety. By inducing a state of deep relaxation, hypnosis can help alleviate the physical and mental tension associated with postnatal depression.

Exploring underlying emotions

Hypnotherapy allows individuals to access their subconscious mind, where suppressed emotions or unresolved issues may reside. This can help uncover and address any emotional factors contributing to the depression.

Positive suggestions and affirmations

During the hypnotic trance, a hypnotherapist can provide positive suggestions and affirmations that counter negative thought patterns. These suggestions can help build self-esteem, confidence, and a more positive outlook.

Coping strategies

Hypnotherapy can assist in teaching new coping strategies for managing stress, emotional turmoil, and life adjustments that come with parenthood. This can empower fathers to navigate challenges more effectively.

Visualisations and imagery

Guided visualisations and imagery can help new fathers create mental images of positive experiences and outcomes. This can enhance their ability to visualise a happier and more fulfilling life, improving their overall mood.

Behavioural changes

Hypnotherapy can be used to support behavioural changes, such as adopting healthier lifestyle habits, managing sleep patterns, and engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfilment.

Empowerment and self-esteem

By addressing subconscious beliefs that may contribute to feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness, hypnotherapy can promote a sense of empowerment and boost self-esteem.

Strengthening bond with the child

Hypnotherapy can help fathers develop a deeper emotional connection with their child, fostering a sense of involvement and bonding that can be beneficial for both the father and the child's development.

It's important to note that hypnotherapy is not a standalone solution and should be integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that may include other forms of therapy, medical interventions, and social support. Additionally, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that hypnotherapy is an appropriate and safe option for addressing male postnatal depression.

Always seek a qualified hypnotherapist with experience in treating emotional and mental health issues, and consider discussing your intentions with your chosen hypnotherapist before pursuing hypnotherapy as part of your treatment approach.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, Greater London, N8
Written by Ilona Rakauskaite, BSc (Hons), Hyp. Dip. Psych.
London, Greater London, N8

Ilona Rakauskaite is a registered counsellor and hypnotherapist. Her vocation is to help people learn regulate their emotions and connect to their Inner Child. She is also an addictions counsellor and has been helping people in their recovery for three years now. She applies curiosity, direct communication, compassionate inquiry in her practice.

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