In the past, most of the research concerning postnatal depression has focussed mainly on women and its impact on them. However, there is now mounting evidence which suggests that men are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the post baby blues.
According to a recent study conducted by the University of Michigan, 40 per cent of ‘sad’ dads also ‘spanked’ their children, compared to just 13 per cent of dads who were not depressed.
The study, which was published in the online journal Pediatrics, found that 7 per cent of new fathers had recently suffered major depression, and though a large percentage of them were in contact with their child’s doctor, very few took the opportunity to get help.
Author of the study Dr Neal Davies believes that the topic of postnatal depression within men is extremely relevant in todays society, especially as depression among fathers is linked to unemployment rates which have recently seen an increase during the recession.
Experts have said that though some men are likely to have been screened for depression in the past, for many, depressive symptoms will only appear after the birth of a child.
In order to combat and deal with the growing number of men with post-natal depression, experts are calling for improvements to be made to screening procedures and referrals to mental health services.
If you believe you are suffering with postnatal depression and you would like to find out about how counselling could help, please view our fact sheet for more information.