Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Anxiety common in new fathers as well as new mothers

A third of women and nearly a fifth of men experience anxiety or depression in the first six months after their baby is born, a studyby the Jean Hailes Research Unit has found.


Participants in the study were more likely to suffer from anxiety than depression during the adjustment period to their new lifestyle.

As depression is generally the common focus of post-partum health care, these results suggest a broader approach may be needed to combat common mental disorders in new parents.  

The results of the study also demonstrate that new fathers (as well as new mothers,) are susceptible to common mental disorders, something which previous research has somewhat overlooked.  

Participants who had a previous history of mental illness were not more likely to experience post-partum anxiety or depression than those who didn’t.

The authors stressed that health care practitioners should be on the lookout for anxiety as well as depression in their treatment of new parents, and reminded them to be aware that men as well as women are likely to suffer from common mental disorders after the birth of a child. 
 
172 couples participated in the research, which was run by Dr Heather Rowe, Dr Karen Wynter and ProfJane Fisher.  

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