According to new research by Eastern Virginia Medical School, one in ten new Dads may be suffering from symptoms of depression and anxiety as well.
According to James F Paulson, PhD who conducted the research, roughly 10% of new dads show symptoms of postpartum depression after the birth of a child. The research shows that men may suffer from both prenatal and postpartum depression; with an alarming number of men (over 25%) showing increased symptoms between 3 to 6 months after their child is born.
The results are especially alarming for dads in the United States, who the research shows are about 6% more likely to show symptoms of postpartum depression than the global average.
PPND (Paternal Postnatal Depression) is the driving focus behind www.postpartummen.com, a site started by Dr. Will Courtenay to raise awareness of postpartum depression in men. The site urges men to understand that they are not the only Dad on the block submerged in the overwhelming emotions and stress of having a newborn, and offers tips on how to get help and manage symptoms of postpartum depression. Recognizing that men are less likely to identify and work through their emotions than women, Dr. Courtenay’s site also offers men the opportunity to take part in a study that both helps the user to identify if they are suffering from postpartum depression and collects data to be used to delve deeper into what causes PPND in men.
While the concept and diagnoses of postpartum depression in men may just now be at the forefront of men’s health professionals, there is no doubt that the stress and responsibility that comes with the arrival of an infant can easily wear on a parent regardless of gender. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the following symptoms after the birth of a child, please discuss them with a healthcare professional:
Symptoms of Depression:
Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
Difficulty concentrating or completing projects
Feelings of helplessness
Overwhelming negative thoughts
Weight gain or weight loss
Irritability, uncontrollable anger
Thoughts of injuring yourself or others
Thoughts of suicide
The research and resulting treatment of both prenatal and postpartum depression in men is an exciting breakthrough for new fathers or expectant Dad-to-be’s. Finally, men can give a sigh of relief that it is becoming socially acceptable to admit that parenting is a lot harder than it looks.
Sad dads research: fathers also experience postpartum depression
JAMA Clinician’s corner: Prenatal and Postpartum Depression in Fathers and its Association With Maternal Depression
Wall Street Journal: New Dads, Too, Can Suffer Depression