Anxiety, Depression More Common Than You Thought Among New Dads

First Posted: Nov 25, 2015 10:47 PM EST

Men's mental health risks sharply increase around the arrival of a new baby, according to a recent study.

Researchers at Australian National University discovered that anxiety during arrival time is just about as common as postnatal depression--with risks for men almost as high as they are in women.

"Having a new baby is a time of great adjustment for many parents, and it is normal to be nervous, but anxiety can become a problem when it persists for extended periods and interferes with every day functioning," said mental health researcher and study author Dr. Liana Leach, in a statement.

During the study, they reviewed 43 separate studies that showed how anxiety both before and after a child arrives is just about as prevalent as depression--affecting about one in 10 men, researchers say. Furthermore, some studies suggest that over 20 percent of parents suffer from anxiety or depression.

However, researchers aren't entirely certain what causes anxiety and depression during this time. However, increased risk factors for depression or anxiety may include lack of social support from a partner, financial hardships or in some cases, a history of mental illness. 

"Couples should be aware of their mental health right from when they realise they are pregnant. Early intervention reduces the severity and duration of symptoms."

The study is published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

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