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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2006 Oct;27(8):867-83.

Fatherhood and depression: a review of risks, effects, and clinical application.

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Mission Healthcare, Atlantic City, NJ, USA.


This literature review attempted to compile a complete evaluation of the presentation, risks, and subsequent effects upon a family in relation to paternal depression. Clinical applications are reviewed as well. As with women, fathers will present with a dysphoric mood, but unlike their female counterparts, depressed men often experience a change in social behavior. Withdrawal from social situations, indecisiveness, cynicism, and an irritable mood are often found as hallmark signs of depression in the adult male. Life stress, or family stress and low social support, are risk factors associated with depression among fathers. Marital difficulties may be the most common trigger for first-time depression in husbands just as divorce amplifies depressive episodes, especially when children are involved. A variety of treatments have proven effective for depressed fathers including traditional psycho-dynamic, CBT, and group therapy. Therapy is effective when it can be initiated and continued but research repeatedly showed that men seek it out far less than women. Effective outreach programs to encourage treatment among depressed fathers are recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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