Fathers are not much behind mothers when it comes to getting the blues, especially after a baby's birth. By the time their first child is 12, some 21 per cent of dads will have suffered at least one bout of depression, says a new study.
The depression is caused by the extra pressures after childbirth, thanks to loss of sleep and heavier responsibilities, said researchers led by the Medical Research Council's (MRC) Professor Irwin Nazareth, reports the
Researchers examined nearly 87,000 families treated for depression between 1993 and 2007 or prescribed anti-depressants.
Within a year of having their first child, three per cent of fathers were found to have suffered from depression. This rose to 10 per cent by the time their first child was four, 16 per cent by eight and 21 per cent by 12.
Meanwhile, some 13 per cent of women suffered from depression by the time their first child was a year old - a figure that reached 24 per cent by four, 33 per cent by eight and 39 per cent by the time their first child was 12, the study found.
Steve Field, leader of the British 44,000 family doctors, said: "This should raise awareness of the stresses and potential problems ahead for dads and dads-to-be."