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"Keep on, keeping on" : one man's phenomenological experience of postnatal depression : a study presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Nursing at Massey University
Postnatal depression has been documented as a disease/illness exclusively linked to mothers. The dominance of biological and psychological perspectives of postnatal depression in women, have upheld the dichotomy which seems to make postnatal depression in men inexaminable. In response to the lack of research into men's experience this study offers a trilogy that firstly examines a father and then a mother's separate perspectives on postnatal depression. The third dimension of this study aims to present an integrated view from this couple of postnatal depression. In order to achieve this, this work describes one man's perspective of the phenomenon of postnatal depression employing Crotty's (1996) mainstream phenomenological approach. Although the biological and psychosocial approaches show that postnatal depression is a very real disorder in some women's lives following childbirth, the phenomenological approach has identified the equally real disequilibrium that occurs in some men's lives when living with postnatal depression. The findings provide a detailed account of the co-researchers distress as he seeks to understand the essence of his experience of postnatal depression and realize the reality of his life-world. Thus potential health risks are identified which warrant further investigation that have implications for men's health.