Depression in fathers can have a major impact on personal well-being and functioning as a parent, a partner, and in other life roles. In particular, paternal postpartum depression is prevalent (~8 percent), with higher rates occurring late in first year postpartum. Fathers with depression tend to experience traditional symptoms of depression along with other symptoms more commonly displayed by men. These include:
- Traditional depression symptoms of sadness, lack of pleasure in activities, changes in sleep and appetite
- At the same time, may also have generalized anxiety and obsessive compulsive symptoms pertaining to the child or childcare
- Self-doubt in ability to care for infant/child
- Increase in irritability, anger, alcohol/substance use, and risky behaviors
- Marked increase or decrease in sexual interest or activity
- Suicidal ideation
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