HOME
view counter
0

A Father’s Depression

by Maxine
Posted August 4 2011 12:23pm
Filed under:

We've all heard about women who suffer from postpartum depression or who go through “the baby blues,” but few of us realize that dads often develop postpartum depression too.

"If a woman suffers from postpartum depression her partner is more likely to suffer too,” says Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. "His symptoms frequently appear after mom has already developed symptoms."

Depression is also more common if a new dad has experienced his own previous depression or any of the following circumstances:

  • He has been very anxious during Mom's pregnancy.
  • He has grave concern about Mom's well-being.
  • The couple relationship is strained.
  • He feels so inadequate at baby care that he has trouble bonding with his baby.
  • He has not had a good relationship with his own parents.
  • Or if Mom is also experiencing postnatal depression.

The following list includes signs of depression:

  • Feeling worthless, helpless or without hope
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Feelings of anxiousness, guilt, sadness or grief
  • Preoccupation with finances
  • Withdrawal from the family
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleep—either insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Change in eating habits—eating more or less than normal
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Cynicism
  • Indecisiveness
  • Aggression

If Dad experiences more than three of these symptoms, he should talk to his doctor or therapist who will help him with proper treatment.

Treatment for depression includes:

  • Social support: more emotional and practical support from Mom and others; and increased social support from friends, relatives, peers (for example support groups) or self help groups
  • Individual or couple therapy: family counselling and psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy
  • Medication such as antidepressants and or other treatments

There are other strategies that can help both parents when they are dealing with postpartum depression.

  • Support: Both Mom and Dad should talk about the changes in their lives and how they feel. They should support each other as they adjust to their new roles as parents.
  • Encouragement: Mom, family and friends should offer encouragement as Dad adjusts to his new role. Mom can encourage him to talk to his doctor or therapist if he shows signs of depression.
  • Reassurance: With treatment, Dad’s mood will improve.
  • Discussion: Talk to other new Fathers and parents who can provide support.
  • Being physically active and eating a nutritious diet with good sources of omega 3 fatty acids may also help. Exercise often helps to elevate mood and there is some science that shows omega 3 may help to moderate mood.

Parents can use resources, such as support groups for Fathers with postpartum depression, if they are available in their community.

Here are some helpful websites:
Mood Disorders Association of Ontario - http://www.mooddisorderscanada.ca/
Postpartum Dads - www.postpartumdads.org
Pacific Postpartum Support Society - http://www.postpartum.org

0 comment(s)
Login or register to post comments
www.WelcometoParenting.com
view counter

MOST POPULAR STORIES

One of our temperament traits, our innate reaction to the world, is First Reaction. Some people love novelty and change while others react with caution to new situations.
Read More »
You can use a variety of Comfort, Play & Teach strategies that are tailored to different temperament traits.
Read More »
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase Positive Parenting? Positive Parenting is the approach to parenting that we believe best supports all aspects of healthy child development.
Read More »

POLL

This week's poll
Do you “drop everything” if a friend calls and invites you over for a play-date?
 

parents2parents
syndicated content powered by FeedBurner

 

FeedBurner makes it easy to receive content updates in My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Bloglines, and other news readers.
Learn more about syndication and Feedburner »

http://feeds.feedburner.com/parents2parents