Does fatherhood increase risk for depression?
The number of males suffering from depression due to fatherhood is noticeably increasing. According to a research published by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in April 2013, young fathers have 10% more chances of coming down with paternal depression within the first five years of fatherhood when compared to those who became fathers during their middle adulthood or late-adult life.
What is behind paternal depression?
- History of Depression
Men who were diagnosed with depression earlier or have relatives with depressive behavior are more likely to express paternal depression.
- Psychological changes to parenthood
Becoming a father forces a man to act like a man. He has to acquire mental skills that would be necessary in raising a child.
- Lifestyle changes
Having a child requires a man to adjust his activities. Luxuries may have to be cut down for the baby’s health and education. Activities with friends would be less frequent and sleeping patterns would be adjusted. These are only some of the dramatic changes that could lead to depression, especially if the pregnancy was unplanned.
Fathers may experiences hormonal changes too. Testosterone level may drop which could make them more emotional.
- Low socioeconomic status
Raising a child could cost a fortune and if the father has a low socioeconomic status, he may feel depressed for not being able to provide the basics for the child.
How is paternal depression managed?
- Seek the support of your wife/partner, family and friends
- Take a break
- Enjoy taking care of the baby.
- Spend quality time with your wife/partner
Photo By Ray Dumas [CC-BY-2.0 (https://flic.kr/p/5wL9E5)]