Re: Does becoming a parent alleviate clinical depression?



In article <1147370350.810343.164880@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Lady
Penelope Creighton-Ward says...


shinypenny wrote:
Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward wrote:
A friend of mine on Prozac is soon going to become a father. I was
curious if he can expect his depressiveness to get better. Any
research or stats on this?

Sleep disruption tends to be viewed as a symptom of depression, but
IME, lack of quality sleep can actually trigger or exacerbate mood
disorders. It becomes a cycle - lack of sleep triggers mood disorder
which triggers more lack of sleep and even worse mood disorder....

So bringing a baby into the household is a risk, merely due to sleep
disruptions - if nothing else.

Then you've got the hormonal changes women go through on top of that.

And then you've got the identity/role crisis that parenthood can evoke
in both men and women.

If this is a close friend or relative, I would suggest offering help at
night, if necessary, so the father can get a full night's uninterrupted
sleep. And encourage him to continue with his meds at very least, until
baby is sleeping through the night. If he's only seeing a GP, also
encourage him to add counseling into the mix too.

jen

Thank you for your suggestions. This is indeed a close friend but we
live very far apart so I can't offer practical help at night,
unfortunately.

Having thought about this some more, I'm not sure if being on Prozac
qualifies him as clinically depressed, maybe I used that term without
really knowing what it means. I know he was depressed for years and
would have stretches when he took meds for it which helped him
tremendously. However, he'd go off the drugs to try to avoid
dependency, and I believe may not be taking anything at the moment.
Still, this (unplanned) child's arrival is causing him all sorts of
anxiety. I try to cheer him up, to talk about the positive aspects,
but clearly, it's not just cheering he needs.

I had asked my question because I wondered if the dopamine presumably
generated by the love he'll surely have for this baby would somehow
alleviate his depresssion.


If you want to help him, your help can take two forms (other than listening).

1. Encourage him to talk with a medical pracitioner about any symptoms or
problems with his moods that he may be having. You really aren't at all in a
position to do anything but that.

2. Offer whatever *practical* help you can, even from a distance. If you have a
child yourself, possibly he and his GF or wife don't realize what basics they
need - things like receiving blankets.

But someone who isn't familliar with depression to be talking about love and
dopamine and how the world should brighten with love of a little child really
doesn't help at all, and at least sounds like just more of the hackneyed and
simplistic pablum that folks who are well-meaning but ignorant so often bring to
their relationships with someone in depression and their loved ones.

So blink those starry eyes and start thinking practical.

Cheers,

Banty


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