Mental Health


Whereas postpartum depression (PPD) is mostly perceived be experienced by women, research evidence by Bergstrom (2013) reveals that the period of transition into fatherhood can cause depression and anxiety, exposing men to the risk for mental illness which can have negative ramifications on their personal and family lives. This section of the essay aims to evaluate various ways through which practitioners can participate in promoting postnatal mental health in men. It will give a hawk eye on complex mental health interventions and how these interventions can be individual-based for quick recovery. Moreover, the paper intends to perform a comparison between various specialist interventions for paternal PPD (PPPD).

The Prevalence of PPPD

Worryingly, there exists little evidence on the diagnosis PPPD despite evidence from several countries such as the UK (Ramchandani et al 2005), US Paulson et al (2006) and Brazil Pinhiero et al (2005) showing that at least 5% of new fathers experience symptoms of depression after their child’s birth. However, because there is a poor recognition of PPPD (Stadtlander 2015), these statistics may have been underreported. Moreover, according to Edward et al (2015), men tend to be resistant to seeking health care services and therefore reports may not give an accurate account of PPPD’s prevalence.


Risk Factors for PPPD

Existing research studies cite financial constraints, poor work-life balance, negative emotions, lack of knowledge and skills in infant care, and marital problems as some of the risk factors for PPPD (Gagnon & Oliffr 2015; Giallo et al 2014). These factors contribute to depressions, anxiety and other mental issues that collectively lead to PPPD. For instance, whereas Chin et al (2011) found that lack of knowledge in infant care contributed to high anxiety levels among first-time fathers, these anxiety levels reduced significantly after the fathers had received postnatal support and were now more confident of their infant care skills. Studies by Serhan et al (2013) also revealed that unemployed fathers facing financial instability were at a higher risk of depression than their employed and financially stable counterparts – as indicated by the study’s results of the Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) which compared the PPD of employed fathers versus that of unemployed fathers.

Interventions for PPPD

Based on the understanding of PPPD and the risk factors associated with it, several academic inquiries have suggested various individual-based interventions targeting fathers with PPD both within the community and in the hospital setting. Other scholars have also expressed the important roles that practitioners, especially nurse practitioners (NP) in facilitating and lobbying for fathers to be involved in these programs. For instance, Kowlessar et al (2015) suggest that there should be postnatal programs that offer periodic training (e.g. monthly) for first-time fathers within time-frames that favour working fathers (e.g. evening and weekend sessions). These sessions would ideally be baby-and-father only sessions that are targeted at enhancing the relationship between fathers and their children. A typical example of such programs is the Sure Start Children’s Centres (SSC) in England that delivers father-child targeted programs for children of age 5 years and below (Coleman et al, 2016). While evaluating this program, Potter & Carpenter (2010) reported that the sessions helped fathers to build a stronger attachment with their children while helped in reducing the levels of social isolation experienced by fathers with newly born children.

Another individually-focused intervention for PPPD is the delivery of programs that address the learning gaps identified by the fathers themselves or by existing literature. For instance, research by Golding (2005) indicates that men prefer to learn in less formal and more practical environments. Therefore addressing such gender-specific preferences for learning environments can be effective in delivering training programs on fathering roles, infant care skills and challenges associated with being a new father (Edward et al, 2015). Such environments can also be effective platforms for launching other learning activities for men such as toddler’s play, meal preparation, infant massage, and first aid treatment skills.

NPs can also promote the reduction of PPPD especially when their roles are optimized. This is especially so because the fathers’ need for personalized and gender-specific interventions that guide them in transitioning to fatherhood can be achieved when practitioners take advantage of fatherhood as an opportunity for promoting mental health (Chin et al, 2011). Moreover, according to Coleman et al (2016), NPs can bridge the connection between fathers and primary healthcare aimed at improving father-tailored postnatal programs. This is because the roles played by NPs are well suited for screening, assessing and managing PPPD. Besides, according to Musser et al (2013), NPs have access to various tools such as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) which has been highly validated as an effective tool for detecting and measuring PPD both in fathers and mothers. Other tools such as the Male Depression Risk Scale (MDRS) can also be used by NPs to keep an eye on new fathers in regards to their sensitivity to depression symptoms such as anger, risk behaviours and drug misuse (Stadtlander, 2015). However, Potter & Carpenter (2010) argue that there is a need for further research on the accuracy of such tools in predicting depression. Musser et al (2013) also assert that there are male sensitive depression measurement tools that are emerging and that NPs should be aware of them.

To conclude, it has been established herein that despite being believed to be prevalent in women, PPD can also occur in men, a phenomenon most scholars have not given much attention. It has been highlighted that PPPD is prevalent and may be caused by various risk factors such as lack of infant care skills, financial constraints, work-life balance, and negative emotions. The paper has also established that there are various individual-based interventions targeting fathers that can be implemented to reduce or prevent PPPD. For example, the fathers can be enrolled in postnatal programs that offer periodic training (e.g. monthly) within time-frames that favour them. It has also been found that interventions that address gender-specific preferences for learning environments can be effective in delivering training programs on fathering roles, thus reducing new fatherhood anxiety. Last but not least, this paper has established that NPs can play a major role in providing person-centred interventions for PPPD especially through the use of various tools for predicting and managing PPPD.


This section aims to evaluate “the association between culture and the development of abnormal personality functions”. Existing literature reveals that abnormal personality functioning may be in various forms and caused by various factors. However, this paper considers abnormal personal behaviour as a mental disorder. The discussion of the topic will be selective and limited because culture may touch literally all aspects of human life. Hence, the paper will make reference to previous research studies in an attempt to identify any relationship between culture and mental disorder.

This section aims to evaluate “the association between culture and the development of abnormal personality functions”. Existing literature reveals that abnormal personality functioning may be in various forms and caused by various factors. However, this paper considers abnormal personal behaviour as a mental disorder. The discussion of the topic will be selective and limited because culture may touch literally all aspects of human life. Hence, the paper will make reference to previous research studies in an attempt to identify any relationship between culture and mental disorder.

Defining Culture

There are many ways of defining culture but herein, culture is defined as a concept that includes technology, orientation to physical environment and history – but the paper will pay keen attention to culture as the shared patterns of feelings, belief, and what people perceive as their guide to defining reality and character (Lasebikan, 2016). It includes the patterns of interdependencies and interconnections.

Mental Disorder

The numerously existing literature on mental disorder makes defining it a little easier. In the field of psychiatry, it is believed to culminate all behaviours, attitudes, emotions, and beliefs (Kim et al, 2017). Hence, based on this definition, it encompasses all the psychological disorders, sociopathic disorders, and psychoses. According to Laura et al (2015), it can also include all forms of mental retardation and brain syndromes, conditions that may be subject to cultural influences through practices such as diet and drug abuse.

There are many ways in which culture can be thought to affect or influence mental disorder. For instance, culture has been though to influence various personality types some of which are susceptible to the mental disorder. According to Laura et al (2015), anthropologists developed concepts such as “basic personality types”, “national character” and “modal personality” based on the fact that some personality traits are and psychiatric symptoms are associated to living in certain cultures. For example, having an origin in middle-class England exposes one to certain symptoms. According to Yun-Jung (2015), through this conceptualization, personality and culture were perceived as aspects of the same phenomenon, thus personality was studied through cultural data rather than personal behaviour.

Basic personality was seen as a fundamental element of attitudes and values related to one’s culture – a common factor underlying a person’s explanation of life experience. Upon describing a personality type, it could be evaluated from a psychiatric perspective. Hence if a group of people’s beliefs was found to have certain psychiatric, it could be construed that people from that culture had a particular mental disorder (Chiao & Blinzinsky, 2013).
Because almost all clinical definition of the psychiatric disorder has an element of deviation from the expected behaviour of the group to which the individual belongs, there is an inherent contradiction of the terms used to refer to conforming group-related behaviours. According to Parvaneh et al (2017), this involves the use of unclear terms to refer to various behavioural patterns in a particular society. For instance, to say that referring to a group as “paranoid” may be inadmissible if this was meant to refer to a hostile or suspicious behaviour. However, if the term was meant to refer to make an explanation referring to human psychology, then one may make unsound references and prejudgments from individual behaviour to group behaviour (Tse et al, 2015).
However, taking a more direct evaluation of the correlation between culture and mental disorder, various social and cultural factors have had a major contribution to certain mental categories of mental disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to Djamaludin (2016), PTSD is a mental disorder that results from severe trauma such as war combat, genocide, extreme injury or torture. An association between these traumatic experiences and later development of psychiatric symptoms have been revealed by several scientific studies such as (Lasebikan, 2016 and Yun-Jung 2015). Certain populations such as war veterans and immigrants from war-torn countries are commonly associated with traumatic experiences (Lasebikan, 2016).

Laura et al (2015) also assert that some Hispanic and Asian Americans are under alarming rates of PTSD as a result of long-term exposure to pre-immigration traumatic wars.
Family factors have also been considered to have a relationship with mental illness and mental health. For instance, Djamaludin (2016) illustrates that the development of mental illness can be contributed by or prevented by family factors. Supportive families are associated with lower levels of mental illness onsets while families with social disadvantages, marital problem and other forms of social disadvantages are such as child abuse or neglect can contribute to high risk of mental illness (Lasebikan, 2016).
A majorly developed line of research linking family factors to mental disorders involves relapse of schizophrenia. According to Chiao & Blinzinsky, (2013), studies conducted in Britain indicate that in families that deeply criticized, hostile against schizophrenia, and expressed high emotional discontent with the condition, patients were more likely to experience a relapse of the condition after returning from the hospital than in a case where families expressed positive emotions towards the condition. However, it is worth noting that Chiao & Blinzinsky, (2013) does not explore evidence explaining the underlying psychological or mental health reasons for these findings. Another phenomenon that reveals the relationship between culture and mental disorder is stigma, which is considered one of the most prominent deterrents to mental well-being. According to

Yun-Jung (2015), stigma entails the negative beliefs and attitudes that contribute to the rejection, avoidance, and fear against mentally ill people. As a result of social stigma, mentally ill individuals avoid seeking medical attention in an attempt to conceal their conditions, and this leads to an escalation of their illness. Moreover, Djamaludin (2016) argues that stigma reduces the chances of the mentally ill individuals to access opportunities such as jobs, and this contributes to lower self-esteem, desperation and ultimately leads to a deterioration of their condition. break In conclusion, this paper has established a relationship between culture and mental illness as a form of abnormal personality functioning. It has been established that cultural aspects such as societal stigma, negative response towards certain mental health conditions e.g. schizophrenia, and traumatic events related to certain groups of people contribute to mental disorders which are expressed in abnormal personality behaviours.

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