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Postpartum Depression... in Dads

Posted by Vincent DiCaro

This is from today's Wall Street Journal: "More than one in 10 fathers become depressed after the birth of their child, and their postpartum depression is linked to greater risk of the mother developing depression in that period as well, according to a study published Tuesday." And "...a growing body of evidence suggests that depression in either parent is linked to long-term behavioral and psychiatric problems in the child."

While I certainly was not depressed when my son was born 4 months ago, there were certainly a great deal of new pressures on me both at work (provide) and home (nurture and guide). I can easily see how these pressures, along with the strong emotions that come with the arrival of a new child, could lead to depression.

What I found particularly disturbing about the article were the reader comments attached to it. One person said he did not understand why the Wall Street Journal would even print the article, especially in the business section.

Why wouldn't they!?

First, when fathers or mothers are depressed, it has a profound impact on their child's development, which in turn, effects just about everything that child does in the future, such as doing well in school, getting into college, thriving in a career, etc.

Second, fathers are whole people. When they are depressed at home it has an impact on how they do at work. Thus, business can suffer. This is the fundamental premise behind work-family balance programs. If dads are working too much, they are not paying enough attention to their kids, who desperately need it. And if they are depressed about what is happening at home, they don't pay enough attention at work.

It is all linked.

Finally, you have to hand it to the guys in the article who admitted to being depressed. That is not easy for guys to do, especially publicly.

Were you depressed or maybe just sad after the birth of your baby?

Topics: new dads, postpartum depression, wall street journal

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