Fathers get the baby blues too

A new survey suggests that one in five fathers suffers from depression by the time their child is twelve.

The researchers say the stresses of having a child trigger the depression – such as too little sleep, changed responsibilities and extra pressures being placed on the parents’ relationship.

It’s not the same as post-natal depression, of course, but parenthood can be hard on new dads too. If you’re used to being on two incomes, the drop in salary makes a big difference and makes work much more stressful. Sleep deprivation is used by torturers for very good reasons. And there are all kinds of fears and worries thrown into the mix. Given all that, if you don’t go a bit daft you’re perhaps underestimating the seriousness of the situation.

6 thoughts on “Fathers get the baby blues too

  1. Tony Kiernan says:

    Not wanting to denigrate anyone’s experience, but “one in five people suffer from depression at some point over a 12 year period” kinda seems likely too.

  2. gary says:

    I thought that too, but I’ve just done some digging, and according to NICE the prevalence of depression in the general population is 17 per 1000 men and 25 per 1000 women, rising to 71 and 124 if you also include anxiety. Numbers are bigger in high risk groups, so for example separated men hit 111 per 1000. So 1 in 5 turns out to be a pretty big number.

  3. Squander Two says:

    On a related note — related to the statistics, not becoming a parent (though, come to think of it…) — have you noticed the Viagra marketing? “40% of men over 40 may have suffered some degree of erectile dysfunction at some time.” A decent sub would have tightened that up: “60% of men are liars.”

  4. rutty says:

    We’re so lucky with ours. She sleeps from 6:30 in the evening until 7 the next morning normally, with only a bit of coughing in the night to wake us up.

    Even so, I can imagine why so many fathers would get depressed. Lots of pressure on the dads too. Like, when she starts beating me at Wii Tennis – that’s going to kill me :(

  5. Squander Two says:

    Don’t get too cocky. We were dead lucky with ours: slept through the night from seven weeks old. Great. And now she’s nearly four and won’t go to bed till past ten some nights and then gets stroppy with us half the next day cause she’s knackered.

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