Everybody Hurts

According to a study by the Eastern Virginia Medical School, mothers aren’t the only ones at risk for postpartum depression. Researchers said that a ‘strikingly high’ number of fathers are also affected.

‘In a study of more than 5,000 U.S. couples that had recently had a baby, 14 percent of mothers and 10 percent of fathers were found to have significant levels of depression….

…The 10-percent rate in the current study is substantial, according to the researchers, being more than twice the rate seen among the general U.S. population of men.

Most people, including health professionals, don’t even think of fathers as having postpartum depression, said lead study author Dr. James F. Paulson….’

Read more → (CNN.com)

The focus of the study was on the effects of depression on the parenting abilities of mothers and fathers; the effect being, of course, less positive interaction between parents and their infant children.

I can’t recall experiencing any significant depression after Ian’s birth, apart from the insurmountable terror of being allowed to leave the hospital without so much as a ‘Hey, do you know what you’re doing?’ But it certainly doesn’t surprise me that fathers are quite susceptible to postpartum depression. The impact of having a child, on anyone’s life, simply cannot be overstated.

I’m a little shocked that the study found only a 4% discrepancy between mothers and fathers, a difference which, perhaps, could easily be attributed to hormones. Let alone, you know, having given birth.

Did anyone here experience depression after your child was born?

3 Responses

  1. JGS
    JGS at | | Reply

    I don’t know if I experienced depression as much as a sense of isolation and inadequacy (which can make you depressed). I remember feeling almost no connection to my Okapis and the connection with my wife was lost because she was so involved with breastfeeding our Okapis. I had to go to work everyday, which made me feel even more isolated. I thought the first six months or so – especially when you factor in the lack of sleep – were terribly difficult.

    [Now that I do remember. I recall feeling a strong connection with my son, but also feeling like a third wheel whenever I was home. That changed completely once we moved and I wasn’t working, but spent my days at home.]

  2. Mike Frizzell
    Mike Frizzell at | | Reply

    Yeah, I went through the same thing: feelings of inadequacy and isolation. I just wish some older fathers would have talked to me and told me it was normal. I guess it’s my job now (but I’m not old).

  3. Dave
    Dave at | | Reply

    I don’t think my daughter’s birth caused my depression. I think aspects of it exacerbated it. Kids bring on weighty issues indeed and you’ll never be the same person because of them. And, that’s good and bad, obviously. I think the social aspects hurt me the most. It seems the only socialization you get is playgroups. And, face it, some playgroups aren’t the most enjoyable events; they can be a bit hectic. After 3 years though, I think I see signs of things getting better. I’ve learned a lot recently (from askdrsears.com) about how to communicate with her and it’s made LOTS of difference. We’re getting along better than we ever have.

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