Can expecting fathers suffer from depression? While maternal depression is a widespread public health issue, paternal depression was not given much attention until recent years.
According to a new study, paternal depression that includes sadness, loss of sleep, restlessness and low energy, may result from external factors such as unplanned pregnancy, stress, poor health, domestic issues, unemployment, lack of financial support, relationship feuds and a history of depression.
Though previous studies have shown that as many as 20 per cent of women suffer from prenatal or postnatal depression, researchers found that 2.3% of the men in New Zealand had prenatal depression and 4.3% had post-natal depression.
Dr. Nitika Sobti, a renowned Delhi-based gynaecologist, informs that the rate of occurrence of depression in men may be lower as compared to women, yet it can have detrimental public health consequences.
A children's overall development depends on both father and the mother. Therefore, it is essential for doctors to identify the factors that may lead to depression, recognize the symptoms of depression itself, and recommend treatment options for fathers as they are increasingly doing for mothers.