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Friday 28th October 2016

Male depression often missed

19th May 2010

The mental health charity Mind has warned that while parenthood is a major change facing men and women, very little is understood about how it impacts on mental health.


That follows findings from experts that many new fathers experience post-natal depression, yet most cases go undetected and untreated.

The findings have been based on 43 studies involving 28,004 parents from 16 different countries including the UK and the US by a team from the Eastern Virginia Medical School team.

Triggers include lack of sleep, new responsibilities and supporting a wife with post-natal depression.

Mind’s Bridget O'Connell said: "Becoming a parent is one of the biggest changes that both men and women can go through, yet there is still very little understood about how it impacts on mental health, and how many people will experience a perinatal mental health problem.

"New parents can be faced with sleep deprivation, changes in lifestyle, changes in their relationship and new responsibilities all at once, and we don't always remember that this is going to be an issue for men as well as for women."

However, Kent University social policy lecturer Ellie Lee said it was also important not to medicalise normal emotions.

The Eastern Virginia Medical School found new fathers were generally happiest in the early weeks after the birth of their baby, with depression kicking in after three to six months and that at least 10% and up to 25% had post-natal depression.

They also warned that depression in one parent should prompt clinical attention to the other.


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