Fatherhood can lead to depression
Men can get depressed after a baby is born too.
Research published today shows that 21% of fathers – that’s one in five – and 39% of women – experience at least one episode of depression in the first 12 years of their children’s lives: 3% of fathers had depression in the first year, 10% by the time their offspring was four, 16% by the age of eight and 21% by 12.
It should be stressed that this is not strictly postnatal depression which usually refers to the six week period after the baby is born. Depression when your child is 11 cannot really be called postnatal. However, the findings do show that the challenges of parenthood – juggling work and home responsibilities, a changed relationship with your partner – affect men emotionally too. The father’s emotions will also have a knock on effect on the child.
Rob Williams, chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute, told The Guardian: ‘For too long there's been the assumption that it's depression and other mental health problems in mothers that has an impact on children. But in reality, the impact of a father's poor mental health on his children is also powerful.
‘The study is likely to have underestimated the numbers of fathers who experience depression, because we know fathers are less likely than mothers to seek help with depression.'
Page created on September 7th, 2010
Page updated on September 7th, 2010