Most of us are aware that postnatal depression (PND) is a form of depression that affects women after they have given birth, however PND can also affect dads.
PND in dads is sometimes referred to as paternal depression and recent research carried out by NCT found that around 1 in 3 fathers worry about their mental health. Studies have shown that 1 in 10 dads suffer from paternal depression generally three to six months after the baby is born.
Common symptoms include
- feeling down and low
- being tired all the time
- feeling inadequate and unable to cope
- being very irritable and quick to anger
- crying / being on the verge of tears often
- loss of appetite
- comfort eating
- panic attacks
- feeling anxious
- inability to concentrate
- having thoughts about death or harming themselves or the baby
Every man will experience this type of depression differently and your symptoms may not be listed. However, if you’re feeling down and not quite right in yourself, talk to someone about it.
Research shows that there are 2 main factors involved in this type of paternal depression, they include:
- Relationship concerns
If the relationship with their partner is strained or under pressure dads are more likely to experience this type of depression
- PND in partner
If their partner is experiencing PND the father is also more likely to suffer depression
Other important factors include:
- age; with younger dads being more prone to depression
- finances; dads on a low income are also more vulnerable
If you are concerned that you or your partner may be suffering, don’t suffer alone. There are many different types of support, help and treatment available including counselling and therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and medication.