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Men are at higher risk of suffering from depression once they become fathers, according to a new study in the US. The study shows that it’s not just mothers who are at risk.
Symptoms of depression increased by 68 percent over the first five years of fatherhood in the study participants, who were all around 25 when they became fathers and lived in the same house as their child.
“This is a wake-up call for anyone who knows a young man who has recently become a new father. Be aware of how he is doing during his transition into fatherhood. If he is feeling extreme anxiety or blues, or not able to enjoy things in life as he previously did, encourage him to get help,” says study leader Craig Garfield.
Previous studies have shown that children whose parents suffer from depression, are at risk of having poorer language and reading skills, and are more inclined towards behavioral problems when compared to children, whose parents do not suffer from depression. Studies also show that fathers who suffer from depression, are more likely to interact and read less to their children, and are also more likely to use corporal punishment.
The study used data obtained from 10,623 young men enrolled in a longitudinal study.
Interestingly men who became fathers, but did not live in the same house as their child, did not experience the same dramatic increase in the symptoms of depression after the birth of their child.