Perinatal depression in men – also known as antenatal and post-natal depression and anxiety in men is extremely under estimated and often goes unrecognised.
10-20% of men are estimated to experience perinatal depression or anxiety.
Antenatal – before bubs is born.
Post-natal – after bubs is born.
Having a child, especially for first time dads, is a time of significant life changes.
The dynamic between the couple shifts, the time available for anything other than family time dramatically decreases and men often find themselves feeling extremely irritable and wondering who they are anymore.
Most men strive to be the rock for their family which places them under immense pressure during this transition. They may also have little time for their mates or hobbies and struggle to cope with the increased financial pressures that relying on one income can bring. Add regular sleep deprivation and the pressure can begin to seem all too much.
Partners or family members often observe that the kind, easy going man experiencing perinatal is often a shell of his former self. Always seemingly grumpy, moody and simply not himself.
Many men who experience perinatal depression don’t feel that instant connection with their child and can sometimes feel incompetent as a father, especially when compared to their partner.
Often they don’t feel that overwhelming feeling of love for their child immediately. This leads to further guilt, anger and frustration, which is all further compounded if a man’s partner is also going through her own perinatal depression.