Postnatal Depression in Fathers

Postnatal Depression is not a mother only disorder. 10% of men will experience depression and anxiety after a child is born.

Risk Factors

  • If one partner has PND the other partner is more likely to experience it also
  • A history of depression or anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Relationship problems
  • Lack of support

Symptoms

  • Tiredness, headaches and pain
  • Irritability, anxiety and anger
  • Loss of libido
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed, out of control and unable to cope
  • Increased risk taking
  • Changes to sleep patterns, especially a lack of sleep
  • Feelings of isolation and disconnection from partner, friends or family
  • Increased hours of work as a part of the withdrawal from family
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol instead of seeking treatment for depression.

 

Men may feel increased stress after a baby is born thinking they have to provide for the child and mother and worrying about financial issues.

Relationships change after having a child and a father may feel left out or excluded by the mother. He may feel as though he is not important to her anymore.

Men are less likely to talk about their feelings and admit to having worries and anxiety. This stems from the culture of “Men Don’t Cry”, something that needs to change.

 

If the mother of his child has PND the father may not show symptoms until after the mother starts to get better. Especially if he has been her main support throughout her illness.

 

Ask for help from your GP, your partner’s midwife, a friend or family member.

 

Links to more useful information

 

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