Washington D.C.: People are almost twice more likely to identify signs of postnatal depression in women than in men, recent findings suggest. The involved 406 British adults aged between 18 and 70. The participants were presented with case studies of a man and a woman both displaying symptoms of postnatal depression, a mental health issue which affects as many as 13% of new parents.

This study, published in the Journal of Mental Health, found that participants of both sexes were less likely to say that there was something wrong with the male (76%) compared to the female (97%).

Of the participants who did identify a problem, they were significantly more likely to diagnose postnatal depression in the female case study than the male case study. The study found that 90% of participants correctly described the female case study as suffering from postnatal depression but only 46% said the male had postnatal depression.

The participants commonly believed that the man was suffering from stress or tiredness. In fact, stress was chosen 21% of the time for the man compared to only 0.5% for the woman, despite identical symptoms. Overall the study found that attitudes were significantly more negative towards the male case study compared to the female.

It found that participants reported lower perceived distress towards the male case study’s condition, believed that the male’s condition would be easier to treat, expressed less sympathy for the male and were less likely to suggest that the male seek help.

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