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Male post-partum depression surprisingly common

May 18, 2010 1:26:34 PM PDT
One of the first studies on male post-partum depression has found that the condition is more common than previously thought.

Researchers at Eastern Virginia Medical School found that 14 percent of American men develop depression either during their partner's pregnancies or in the first year after delivery.

They also found that men have a drop in testosterone levels after delivery, a change often associated with depression. Researchers say lack of sleep may also be a factor and warn that men are less likely to get professional help than women.

"Men's post-partum depression is surprisingly common. In fact, a man's risk of depression doubles in the nine months after his child is born," says Psychotherapist Will Courtenay.

The study also found that the strongest predictor of a man's post-partum depression is a depressed partner. It also found that children of depressed fathers have more emotional and behavioral problems than other kids.

The study is in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


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