It is well known that maternal depression, both prenatal and postpartum, is common and can harm both Mom, the family and the child's development. Less is known about the prevalence, risk factors and effects of depression among new fathers.
To find out more, James Paulson and Sharnail Bazemore of the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., reviewed 43 studies involving 28,004 participants looking at depression in fathers between the first trimester and the first year after the birth of a child, when parents may feel disconnected from the newborn and overwhelmed.
The findings included:
The prevalence finding "suggests that paternal prenatal and postpartum depression represents a significant public health concern," the study's authors concluded.
The research suggests dads also experience the stressors of having children — and also lie awake at night helping to care for the infant, said Cindy-Lee Dennis, a professor of nursing at the University of Toronto who studies the prevention and treatment of postpartum depression in women.
Fathers may also feel lonely and depressed in the postpartum period, a challenging time for many parents, Dennis said.
Dennis said typical symptoms occur almost every day for almost two weeks, such as :
Depression is often associated with anxiety, such as worry over the care of the infant, she added.
"Fathers need to start looking at themselves in the postpartum period and understand that the symptoms that they're experiencing are not necessarily normal," Dennis said.
"The observation that expecting and new fathers disproportionately experience depression suggests that more efforts should be made to improve screening and referral, particularly in light of the mounting evidence that early paternal depression may have substantial emotional, behavioural and developmental effects on children," the study's authors concluded.
The researchers suggested that depression in one parent should alert health-care professionals to pay attention to the other parent.
Prevention and treatment efforts for depressed parents might focus on the couple and family rather than the individual, Paulson added.
There will be a stigma associated with having depression in the postpartum period, and researchers need to look at how to overcome these barriers and target interventions specifically for fathers, Dennis agreed.
Focusing on new parents together could help to identify parental depression earlier and increase understanding of how the condition conveys risk to infants and young children, the team concluded.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
What a load of Bull. PPD is really a name given to
depression, recognized "after child-birth" without any consideration as to the
fact that there was a previous problem.
Child birth is an extremely stressful time for parents, the most common cause of depression is "sleep deprivation". Those who have an underlying mental health problem are going to be most susceptible, their common symptoms exist prior to childbirth and a check list, honestly completed will expose 95% of those individuals at risk.
Women are affected by mental health problems at a vastly larger rate than men, child birth is generally nearly always more stressful for women than men. It is those women who have an underlying mental health problem and or personality disorder that at the gravest risk of getting the very worst forms of depression after child birth.
The same applies to PMS, there is NO such thing as "bad PMS", its an underlying mental health problem. The sufferers will become totally convinced that HE must be responsible for their "mood", He must be an abuser, he must be the worst person on earth who should be eliminated.. and that is what many men have to put up with not just 3 days before their period but up to 27 other days of the month with an exception of those few days that somehow have less of a hormone imbalance.
Ovulation is another time that some women "have needs" that means a sudden increase in verbal abuse is just another symptom that "She wants sex".
When women have an underlying mental health problem and or personality disorder that they don't understand or comprehend, who ever is around them can be at grave risk which includes husbands and children.