Fatherhood can Trigger Depression
A study carried out by the Medical Research Council (MRC) has shown that one in five men become depressed after becoming fathers. The research followed 86,957 families who received medical care between 1993 and 2007, looking at the diagnosis of their condition and the prescription of anti depressants. They found that 3% of fathers suffered from depression in the first year of their child’s life, 10% by the time it was four, 16% by the age of eight and 21% by twelve years.
These finding provide strong evidence of the existence of post natal depression in men as they struggle to juggle the lack of sleep, new responsibilities and change of identity within the family structure. The mother/baby relationship can often feel excluding to a father who may feel he is not able to intrude upon the intimacy of this new relationship.
The stress of all this juggling and the depression that the father may feel can also lead to relationship difficulties between the father and the child, which could damage the child’s wellbeing and development.
These feelings of depression due to the life changing event of becoming a father may seem overwhelming. It may be hard to talk to anyone close to you as you may feel they would not understand how you could feel down at what should be a happy time of life. However talking about these feelings with a professional psychotherapist (such as the therapists found at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice on Harley Street in London) can allow you to explore the meaning behind your feelings and gain an understanding so that you are better able to face the new challenges that a child will bring.