We usually think of postpartum depression as the domain solely of mothers, since they're, you know, the ones who are literally post-partum. But a new study has found that, in fact, fathers suffer from postpartum depression at a very similar rate to mothers. Whoa. It's like how dads get sympathy cravings while their partner is pregnant, except it's totally miserable. The study found that 9.7 percent of dads suffer from postpartum depression during their child's first year, whereas 9.4 percent of mothers do. It seems younger fathers are more apt to suffer. Men under 30 face a 40 percent chance of having depression.
So, since it can't actually be postpartum hormones that are responsible, why is this happening so much to men? Jan Nicholson, a co-author of the study, says that fathers are more susceptible to mental health problems as they take on a more active role in parenting. Further proof that parenting is literally enough to drive anyone crazy. But seriously, these days dads often suffer from just as much sleep deprivation and loss of autonomy and frightening new responsibilities as new mothers do. Sure, they may not fall into a state where they're weeping at the slightest provocation, but that doesn't mean they're not suffering from something serious. That's why it's especially important to get the word out that postpartum depression in dads is a thing, and, as the study recommends, new fathers also need to be screened for mental health difficulties in order to get them help as soon as possible.
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