Fathers with PND
|PND is generally perceived as a condition that affects women in those first few months after having a baby, but research suggests that up to 10% of new fathers are suffering a similar form of depression after the birth of their child.Men find it harder to recognise and accept that they might be depressed. The symptoms can be similar to those described for women but men may be particularly irritable, angry or uncommunicative. Men are likely to see these feelings as a weakness (which it is not).Fathers can feel excluded from the relationship between the mother and the baby. Two thirds of fathers may experience their own version of the ‘blues’. They can feel inadequate for the task in hand, less in control of their own lives and “on the outer” in their relationship with their partner.Fathers may feel that the birth of the baby has brought about the loss of the familiar partner that he has known. It also brings the loss of the relationship that they once shared. There is the loss of control, loss of intimacy and the loss of how things used to be.
Being a father may not come naturally to all men. How they cope depends on many factors:
It is important to remember that pregnancy is a challenging time for fathers as well. They may worry about:
Fathers adjust best if they are included in the process of pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for the baby. Fathers need to spend time developing their relationship with the baby. This will also help their mood.
Reasons why men may develop PND:
There are hundreds of reasons why depression might occur and many have nothing to do with becoming a father.