Postpartum depression in women is a well known condition with many studies. But what about Paternal Postpartum depression?
There aren't sufficient studies about Paternal Postpartum depression to fully understand the impact and frequency. Here is what we do know.
*About 10% of new fathers experience a form of depression. About 1 in 4 will have symptoms of Paternal Postpartum Depression.
*Symptoms include irritation, anger, relationship problems, depression, anxiety, and other problems with mood.
*Paternal Postpartum depression can lead to destructive behavior such as:
drug or alcohol abuse
avoiding the family
poor relationship with spouse
feeling highly stressed
impulsiveness and reckless behavior
poor social functioning
lack of sleep
feeling a poor sense of connection with the spouse and the baby
What can be done?
Seek help. A licensed therapist can assist in developing coping skills. It is also a good idea for the spouse to become involved in understanding the father's dilemma.
Remember one thing. There is always a phase of adjustment to any major life change. It takes about one year for a person to feel comfortable with the routine of a significant life event.
Daniel Galarza, LCSW