According to the Fatherhood Institute, one in every 10 fathers experience depression before and after the birth of their baby. Though most new fathers may put on a facade of being fine, many are actually struggling to come to terms with the big life changes they have experienced.
From lack of sleep through to fluctuating hormones and an increase in stress and responsibility, fatherhood is not a role which is easy to slide into. As well as trying to deal with the changes to their own lives, men are also more susceptible to depression if their partner is a sufferer.
A fathers depression can begin to materialise during pregnancy when certain changes begin to effect their relationships. During pregnancy the focus is usually automatically placed upon the mother, a move which could mean fathers-to-be feel left out and ignored.
It is also not uncommon for fathers not to be invited to antenatal appointments, meaning not only do they feel out of the loop, but also it means doctors miss a valuable opportunity to spot vulnerable men.
When the baby actually arrives, women tend to feel as though they can do things such as nappy changing and feeding best, so they take over without considering how it may undermine their partner. In the end partners will simply stop offering to help, something which mothers will be sure to pick up on during a difficult day which will lead to further miscommunication and resentment from both parties.
According to Phillip Hodson, fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Men are better at bullying the world around then when they are unhappy, whereas women tend to internalise.
“If you’re really seriously, clinically depressed you care about nothing,” added Mr Hodson.
In order to combat this growing problem support must be accessed at the earliest opportunity.
Recommended treatments include counselling, psychotherapy, massage, cranial osteopathy, rest and writing down any feelings in a journal.
The National Childbirth Trust recommends that dads don’t bottle up their problems, but instead talk to their partners, family and friends and their issues as well as seeking help from a professional.
View the original BBC News article.