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PND is a well-studied condition among women, and in recent years a higher emphasis has been placed on raising awareness of this form of depression and to educate health professionals in how to identify the symptoms.
More recent US research has found as much as 10 percent of fathers suffer from PND, generally in the first three to six months after their baby's birth and if their partner has suffered from the condition, researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association wrote.
Dr James Paulson and Dr Sharnail D Bazemore, both from the Department of Pediatrics at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, conducted a review of research on the subject of male PND between 1980 and 2009 and found that information on the condition was inconsistent and medical professionals were not aware of the prevalence of the condition.
"The observation that expecting and new fathers disproportionately experience depression suggests that more efforts should be made to improve screening and referral, particularly in light of the mounting evidence that early paternal depression may have substantial emotional, behavioural, and developmental effects on children," the researchers wrote.
Australian father Matt Boylan spoke with Pregnancy & Birth magazine about suffering from PND in the months after the birth of his first child.
"I lost confidence at work, and at home I was just drained and miserable," he said in the May-June issue of the magazine. "I started lying in bed staring at the ceiling thinking 'I can't do this'. I didn't feel anything, so I felt guilty."
Clinical psychologist and deputy CEO of the national depression initiative BeyondBlue organisation, Nicole Highet, told Pregnancy & Birth identifying and facing up to the problem are often one of the most difficult tasks for men and health professionals.
"If you suspect your man is anxious or depressed, then reassure him that talking about the problem does not make him any less of a man — and that getting help is the best solution," Nicole said. "The faster you get help for depression, the faster it can be treated."