A new study has revealed that it's not only mothers that are affected by postpartum depression, fathers are also.
In recent years the subject has become less taboo, as an influx of celebrities is sharing their stories of postpartum depression. By talking about it, mothers are starting to not feel alone in these feelings.
Despite mothers starting to talk more about this form of depression, a new study has found that men are just as affected, and feel like they cannot talk about it. A new study in American Psychological Association has found alarming results that fathers are suffering postnatal depression rates just as high as mothers.
Women experience postnatal depression as a result of hormonal changes, lack of sleep, anxiety about protecting their child and body changes. Some may be confused about the reason the fathers develop postnatal depression, but the research as showed father have an increased fear of caring for their child, lack of sleep and uncertainty of where they belong in the family. These effects contribute to the high rates of fathers experiencing postnatal depression, even though it is not talked about as much.
Lead author Dr Dan Singley, of the Center for Men's Excellence in San Diego, said:
Much has been written about women's experiences of pregnancy and postpartum, most of it exploring negative reactions, ranging from clinical depression to postpartum psychosis, and attributing them to unique physical changes women experience during pregnancy.
The phenomenon is supposedly on the rise as fathers face the same expectations as mothers, and expected to have a perfect work balance, and while giving enough time and attention to the new baby. The reason it has gone this long without being talked about is that mothers are tested for signs of postnatal depression, whereas the fathers are nearly never tested.
As well as fathers struggling with their gender role in the family and whether they are good enough to be a father, sleep is the leading cause of anxiety. The father's lack of sleep and anxiety for caring for the infant can lead to time off work which again causes an increase in stress and a contributing factor for developing postnatal depression.
Dr Rosenquist said: 'Women are more likely to report feelings of sadness and frequent crying, whereas men are more likely to feel irritable and socially disconnected.'
Make sure if you know of new parents, ask how the father is doing, by making fathers postnatal depression talked about; it will try to eliminate the taboo subject topic.