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eden2eve's avatar

Study says Fathers can experience Post Partum Depression too.

Asked by eden2eve (3693points) May 19th, 2010

An article in the LA Times cites a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finding that 10.4% of new fathers experienced severe depression prior to or after the birth of their child.

The article claims that this is more than double the rate of depression for men in general. The author analyzed significant numbers of men in 43 distinct studies, from a number of developed nations.

Have you, or anyone close to you, ever experienced this phenomenon? If so, how severe was it and how long did it last?

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19 Answers

Jack79's avatar

I believe the study does make sense and yes, I’ve heard of such cases, though obviously the reasons are not physical as they are for women, and, just like women, are affected by other factors. I suspect it’s usually more of a knock-on effect because of what’s happening with the wife (and all that means to the relationship) rather than a direct result of the birth.

Also, what I noticed when my own daughter was born, was a jealousy between the child and the mother (since I was the main carer for various practical reasons), which led to the depression (among other things) of the mother in our case. I guess that it would be the other way around in most cases where the mother is the primary carer and the father feels “left out”, especially since most men don’t know what to do and how to cope with this new situation.

So yeah, 10% sounds about right. The other 90% just go and get drunk.

eden2eve's avatar

Thank you for your reply, @Jack79

That makes great sense! “The other 90% just go and get drunk.” LOL

perspicacious's avatar

No, I’ve never heard of it. I have seen men with visible disappointment over the sex of their new born.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It makes perfect sense to me. Once the baby arrives, it would be logical that the realization that you’ve joined the legion of “fathers” and are now responsible for the well-being of another person would, for some people, feel like a weight. Your decisions must now factor in not only yourself, but how your actions impact those that you’re responsible for. If you’re not prepared for fatherhood, that can hit like a tidal wave.

Blackberry's avatar

It was probably because they knew their life was over lol. I got depressed for a short time after I got married to a woman with a kid, because I knew I would never have fun ever again lol.

BoBo1946's avatar

When the reality of the awesome responsibility sinks into frontal lobe, can understand the after-effects! Like everything else, we adjust and “hitch up the pants,” and take it “head on!”

@eden2eve cannot answer your question, my son is older than most people on this board. loll My memory does not go back that far. But, in my mind, it would be a very temporary thing. As my grandfather said many times, “it so shall pass!”

ubersiren's avatar

@Blackberry Never have fun again? Lol… that’s a bit extreme. I imagine if she had two legs to walk around town, and a vagina between them, there should be some fun to be had. ;)

casheroo's avatar

I believe it. Weird…a friend just sent me a link to a support site for men with PPD, because of issues my husband has been having.

Blackberry's avatar

@ubersiren Yeah I was kidding, somewhat.

ubersiren's avatar

@Blackberry I know, that’s why I lol’ed and ;)ed

Silhouette's avatar

Everyone is my house was depressed when my second came home, he was asthmatic and not a living soul got a wink of sleep for over a year. It was awful.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

It’s true. Depression can accompany periods of protracted stress, and going through the birth of a child is very stressful for a father, especially if it’s your first. Your relationship to your wife changes, too. It’s a big deal. Toss in the 3:00 AM feedings, poopy diapers, the constant running to the store for things, poopy diapers, colic, poopy diapers, phone ringing off the hook, poopy diapers, meddlesome inlaws, poopy diapers…

You get the picture.

MissA's avatar

Whenever ANYone additional is brought into a household, there is the stress of having another person to consider. A baby insists on being the new center of its parents’ universe by virtue of its needs. I think that some degree of depression is a transitional state, for both the mother and father…and, siblings.

Everything passes…the bad AND, unfortunately…the good.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Is this a question or did you just want to share a study? I agree with it, btw and no, I haven’t known any fathers that went through this but PPD in women, even, is rarely discussed.

eden2eve's avatar

It’s a question. I wanted to hear other parent’s experience with this. How common it might be or how difficult.

Ludy's avatar

If I was a man and my wife is having postpartum depression I would be very depressed too, now if she’s not depressed, just knowing that my life is never going to be the same and that I have to grow up (must) and be responsible i would,

GrumpyGram's avatar

Just another created “illness” so the shrinks can make money. What it Really is , is jealousy.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@GrumpyGram While I do think these days a lot of illnesses are made up so that the pharmaceutical companies can make money, there is no proof that you are correct.

GrumpyGram's avatar

when our second child was born her father had nothing to do with her for about two weeks. It was so stupid to me. I just watched him to see how long he could hold out without touching her!
Then one day we were in a store and he took the baby carrier from me and kissed her on the forehead. He acted “normally” after that silly game.

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