Postnatal Depression in Men Linked to Insecurities in Relationships

by Anjanee Sharma on Jan 23 2021 6:05 PM

Postnatal Depression in Men Linked to Insecurities in Relationships
Contrary to popular opinion, postnatal depression is common in men and affects around 8 percent of new fathers. In the context of just depressive symptoms, one in five new fathers experience troublesome symptoms, according to the new study conducted by psychologists Elia Psouni and Anna Eichbichler. //

Findings showed that having a negative view of themselves and worrying about being inadequate in their intimate relationships are the reasons behind their depressive symptoms. Childhood experiences with their own parents could have played an important role in this.

Psouni comments "Having a negative view of oneself, one's characteristics and abilities, while valuing other people highly often leads to a constant worry about not being good enough, about disappointing others and - potentially - losing them.”

Results also determined that the ‘stress about not being good enough as a parent’ aspect of low self-esteem triggered the depression. "Low self-confidence in close relationships seems to trigger parental stress, which in turn triggers the symptoms of depression," adds Psouni.

Psouni and her colleagues have previously conducted another study that shows that over one in five fathers of infants (1-18 months old) experience severe symptoms of depression. The study also showed that men who had female partners suffering from postpartum depression were more in number. Very few of them were getting professional help.

She states that their study reveals that parents affect each other and also shows the importance of monitoring how parents in various relationships and family units manage and fare over a long period.

Psouni and her team are now conducting a longitudinal project that will monitor families overtime to get information on children and parents' wellbeing and development in various family units.