When most people think of postpartum depression, they usually assume
that it only affects mothers. But a new study has found that fathers can
also suffer from postpartum depression at a very similar rate to
mothers, proving that parenting can drive pretty much anyone bonkers!
The study found that 9.7% of dads suffer from postpartum depression during their child's first year, whereas 9.4% of mothers do. And it seems younger fathers are the most affected, with those under 30 facing a 40% chance of having depression.
Jan Nicholson, a co-author of the study, says that fathers are more susceptible to mental health problems as they take on a more active role in parenting. From the Telegraph:
"Increasingly there is a recognition that fathers are a key support for women with children," Professor Nicholson told ABC Online.
"This study shows, however, men are vulnerable too, because they are also lacking in sleep and juggling roles and responsibilities ... We need to be detecting at-risk fathers early and responding early, because we know [mental health issues] are harder to treat if they are prolonged."
These findings not only prove that postpartum depression in dads is a real thing, but confirms that new fathers should also be screened for any mental health difficulties so that they can get the help they need as soon as possible.