Perinatal anxiety and depression occurs right across the community and can happen to expecting and new dads of all ages and from all backgrounds and walks of life. Even men who generally feel confident and assured can experience anxiety and depression as part of becoming a parent. However, there are some factors that contribute to making men more at risk of experiencing this serious illness.
Some of the factors that might contribute to perinatal anxiety and depression in men include:
- Family or personal history of anxiety or depression: If anxiety or depression runs in the family, or if you have had past episodes of anxiety or depression, this may increase the chances of developing perinatal anxiety or depression.
- Partner is struggling with perinatal anxiety or depression: If you or your partner is experiencing difficulties with the transition to parenthood this can also affect your own emotional well-being.
- Stressful life events: Any major life change, such as a move to a bigger home in anticipation of the baby's arrival, divorce, or job loss, can contribute to anxiety or depression.
- A troubled pregnancy: concerns about the development or well-being of the baby and your partner’s health can take its emotional toll.
- Infertility or previous pregnancy loss: If partners have experienced difficulties trying to get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage or death of a newborn in the past, it is understandable that you may be worrying about the safety of your partner and new baby.
- Relationship difficulties: If you or your partner or extended families are experiencing relationship difficulties or issues this can have a major impact on your emotional well-being.
- Lack of social support: Social isolation can contribute to depression or anxiety.
- Financial difficulties: Financial problems can also significantly increase the amount of stress during pregnancy or in the year after a baby is born.