If you are a new dad who is feeling strangely out of sorts, you are not alone – apparently new dads are as likely as new moms to become depressed following the arrival of their bundle of joy.
A new study has shown that men are as much at risk of post natal depression as women are.
Why fathers get postnatal depression too
An Australian study conducted by The Parenting Research Center in Melbourne found that there were equal chances of moms and dads getting depressed in the 12 months following the birth of a baby.
According to study co-author Jan Nicholson, there can be very profound life changes following the birth of a baby. There are changes in sleep patterns, recreation and lifestyle.
There are also changes in the terms of personal identity as well as the way that couples relate to each other in their relationship. This is a period of adjustment that may be quite difficult for new fathers.
This is a problem that probably doesn’t get as much interest as it deserves. In recent times the contribution that a father makes towards child rearing and support has changed significantly.
As men are seen to take up more of the parental responsibilities, they have to juggle roles a lot more than before and are becoming as vulnerable to sleep deprivation and other problems of new parenthood.
This study highlights the fact that men need post natal psychological support just the same as women. Just like women, if the symptoms are ignored or remain untreated for a longer period of time, these mental health issues can before exacerbated.
Celebrities get the baby blues too
And it isn’t just us common folk who suffer from post natal depression. Celebrities with their names in the arc lights do so too. Recent reports of Gwyneth Paltrow suffering from postnatal depression ought to give women with the baby blues some solace that they are not alone.
The actress had started to suffer the symptoms following the birth of her son Moses in 2006. This was a second child after the birth of her daughter Apple in 2004. Whereas after Apple’s birth, she was happy, she couldn’t understand why she felt so strange after the arrival of her second child. Paltrow speaks of feeling disconnected and detached from others – feeling like a zombie.
The 39-year-old actress realizes now that what she underwent was in fact post natal depression. She hopes that by speaking out about it she can help raise awareness of the issue.