The birth of a child is most often a moment that leaves parents feeling overjoyed. But in some cases, the change in hormones, coupled with the weight of responsibilities, can leave parents lost and empty.
This is known as post-partum depression.
This depression, which follows the birth of a child, is not exclusive to mothers, but affects fathers as well, according to the German Professional Association of Psychiatrists.
The symptoms, especially for men, manifest slowly: They are irritable, feel empty and find themselves exhausted, regardless of whether the baby is sleeping through the night.
This does not occur immediately after the child’s birth, but three to six months later.
Some fathers will even find it difficult to love their child, similar to how mothers feel when affected by post-partum depression.
Anyone who observes these feelings should speak openly to their partner, the psychiatrists recommend. This allows the partners to better support one another.
If reaching out does not help, seek the assistance of a psychotherapist or psychiatrist early on.
When one partner is depressed, the other partner is at a higher risk of developing depression as well, the association warns.
A parent’s mental state can also negatively impact the child. – dpa