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Fathers and post-natal depression

Becoming a dad is one of the most exciting things in life. However, fatherhood is often associated with many difficulties in coping with the new situation. Postnatal depression is typically understood as a form of clinical depression that affects women after childbirth. However, men can also suffer from this health issue. According to contemporary researches on this subject, about ten percent of dads may also suffer from postnatal depression. Postnatal depression can be even more disabling for dads, since they usually have nowhere to turn for support. In most cases, this problem is not widely recognized as something that also affects men.

Postnatal depression

Postnatal depression, also known as postpartum depression is a common condition among women. It is estimated that between 5% to 25% women suffer from this type of clinical depression after they deliver a child. Even though scientists know that it also affects men, it is very hard to determine the exact rates among them. According to different studies, the rates among men can vary from 1.2% and 25.5%. Postnatal depression typically occurs in a first couple of months after childbirths, and it usually lasts for up to a year. Postnatal depression is diagnosed using a standardized questionnaire known as The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

Symptoms of postnatal depression

The huge change in life that occurs with a birth of a child may be very hard for both partners. The incidence of postnatal depression in men is on the rise since most of the men find it hard to combine their profession and care-giving role in their children’s lives. A lot of men will also be under pressure to earn even more money while their partner is not able to work. In most cases, men will feel like the focus of their attention is shifted, as they are overwhelmed, confused by their feelings, and pretty much isolated. Sufferers are usually irritable, aggressive, and even hostile. They are also negative towards the future, and they often feel like things will never get better.

Management

It is important not to ignore these feelings and unusual behaviors. Close friends and relatives should encourage a man suffering from postnatal depression to seek practical help or consult a general practitioner. Unfortunately, most of the men will seek alcohol and even drugs, in order to cope with the situation. These just temporary solutions can do more harm than good.  Fathers’ health is not only important for themselves but also for their partners and their child.

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