It originates about 2 months after birth, and boys don’t seem to be affected in the same way.
Postnatal depression isn’t just for women. Up to an estimated 25% of new dads experience postpartum depression in the United States, each year. Men can suffer the same feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety and anger that new moms do when an infant lands in their life, and it can be something that impacts the whole family.
In fact, depression following birth in dads can have a long lasting effect.
A new study conducted by researchers in the UK at Imperial College London, University College London, the University of Oxford and the University of Bristol looked at families with fathers who experienced depression eight weeks after the birth of a daughter.
It was found that over time, these daughters were slightly more likely to experience depression when they reached 18 years of age.
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This wasn’t found to be true for boys whose fathers were depressed following their births. And why the difference exists isn’t certain. But the depression is real.
“It appears that depression in fathers is linked with an increased level of stress in the whole family” said the study’s co-author Professor Paul Ramchandani to CTV News in Canada.
“Whilst many children will not be affected by parental depression in this way, the findings of this study highlight the importance of providing appropriate help to fathers, as well as mothers, who may experience depression.”
Feeling overwhelmed? Talk to your doctor. More help is available online for dads at PostPartumMen.com.