Monday, March 21, 2011
New Dads and Post Partum Depression
A new study suggests depression is prevalent in new fathers as well. An article in The Chicago Sun-Times discusses how depression in new fathers influences how children are disciplined (i.e. spanking). Increases in depression correlates to increased spanking, which may later leave children to become more aggressive.
The article discusses numerous factors which contribute to the new father's depression after bringing a baby home. While postpartum depression in women is often related to hormonal imbalance after childbirth, depression in new fathers seems to be related to unemployment rates.
In a time when families are becoming increasingly hard pressed financially, it is not surprising that the increased stress can lead to an episode of major depressive disorder. While postpartum depression is still more frequent in women, depression in new fathers may continue to rise as economic times remain unstable.
The article stressed the importance for doctors to remain vigilant about the health of new parents, and not solely the mother. However, I think it’s also important to emphasize self-awareness in new fathers and mothers. Although one may initially be resistant to seek help because of personal reasons (whether it be to costs or unease), it is important to address growing depression before it negatively impacts your family environment or possibly job performance.