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Post-natal depression in men: 'The darkest time of my life'

About 1 in 10 fathers will experience a depressive episode within the first year after a baby is born but no Scottish health board has any specific measures to monitor their mental health, BBC Scotland has learned.

Peter Divers, 39, says he hid his feelings of depression for months after his second child was born in November 2016.

"It was the darkest time of my life," he says.

"I woke up every morning with a knot in my stomach. I felt like there was a big dark cloud following me about."

Peter didn't tell anyone what he was experiencing, including his wife, for five months. He did not feel comfortable going to see his GP. His feelings came to a head one day when he arrived to pick his older daughter up from his mother's house, and started crying on her couch.

Dr Selena Gleadow-Ware, a consultant psychiatrist who chairs the perinatal faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said research showed about 8-10% of men experience depression in the postnatal period.

"Men may be much less likely to talk about or feel comfortable sharing how they're feeling, so it often goes as an under-recognised or hidden problem," she says.

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Source: BBC News, 10 February 2022


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