Shock new study finds more dads are getting post-natal depression

The numbers of mums and dads struggling after child-birth are nearly the same

August 01 2018

A new study has found that nearly as many dads as mums are suffering from post-natal depression.

The research, carried out by the Indiana University School of Medicine, has shocked many medical professionals because it shows that it isn’t just mums who are struggling with depression and anxiety after they give birth. The published results reveal that 4.4% of dads tested positive for post-natal depression compared to 5% of mums.

 "We need to drop the stigma with all mental illness, whoever it affects," said Dr Jennifer Ashton, who is the chief medical correspondent of ABC News in the US. "Obviously dads are just as vulnerable as moms are."

She also believes that the symptoms of the fathers are different to those of mums. Mothers, in general, tend to internalize symptoms of depression, men often appear to be the opposite.

"They escape through activities that you can see," said Ashton, noting that those activities may include substance abuse, anger, outburst, irritability and gambling.

Back in April, new dad Ross Hunt, spoke openly  on his blog, Isablog,  about his postnatal depression when his daughter, Isabelle, was born and last month he admitted he was still finding it a struggle.

“People often think that you can just “pull yourself together” when it comes to depression,” he writes. “But I don’t think those people realise how much it actually takes just to stay level. Yes, I do have a lot of say in how I feel – I do believe that I’m in control of whether or not I allow this to get worse. But the desire needs to be there. When you feel like you don’t care about what’s going on and even about how you feel, it’s very hard to find the energy to bring yourself back."

Ross Hunt and his daughter, Isabella. Credit: Isablog

Ross Hunt and his daughter, Isabella. Credit: Isablog

If you are struggling with post-natal depression you can call Beyond Blue on1300224636