PANDA National Helpline (Monday to Saturday) 1300 726 306

HomeArticlesPerinatal anxiety and depression in dads: Signs and symptoms

Perinatal anxiety and depression in dads: Signs and symptoms

Dads' can experience anxiety and depression symptoms during pregnancy and after their baby is born too. Help’s available if you’re having a hard time.

dad kissing baby

Lots of signs and symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression don’t just apply to mums – dads can experience them too. During the transition to parenthood, a whole range of physical, mental, emotional and social changes happen. It can take some time to adjust and get your bearings.

“I would sit at my desk for hours, with my head in my hands, trying to think my way through all the competing pressures I was feeling.”

Israel

Symptoms of anxiety and depression look different for everyone.

These are some of the common signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression in expecting and new dads:

  • Constant tiredness or exhaustion.
  • High physical stress levels (eg headaches, muscle tension).
  • Loss of interest in things you usually enjoy (eg work, relationships, down time).
  • Appetite changes.
  • Sleep problems (unrelated to baby’s sleep).
  • Changes to sex drive and desire for intimacy.
  • Irritability, anger, resentment, frustration, moodiness.
  • Fear of looking after your baby, or avoiding caring for them.
  • Feeling rejected by your partner as they focus on caring for baby.
  • Emotional withdrawal from your partner, baby, family, friends.
  • Not wanting to communicate with your loved ones.
  • Feeling isolated and lonely.
  • Using alcohol or drugs to ‘escape’ or cope.
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s a good idea to have a chat with someone.

“I was unhappy with myself, because I’d always wanted to be a great husband and a great father, and I felt like I was failing terribly at both of those goals.”

Israel

If you’re not ready to speak to your partner, family or friends, PANDA’s Helpline can help. Almost 1 in 10 callers to our Helpline are men, and we have male telephone counsellors available if you’d prefer to speak to another bloke about what’s going on.

We’ll listen, support you, and help you access supports specifically designed for the wellbeing of expecting and new dads.

Support for expecting and new dads

Helpful Information

Dad kissing baby
Managing relationships: guide for dads
Read More
Nick's story
Read More
PANDA National Helpline

Find someone to talk to, Monday to Saturday.

1300 726 306

Call 000 for police and ambulance if you or someone else are in immediate danger

Talk with friends or family

Consider talking about how you are feeling with someone you trust. This might be a friend or family member. Once you starting talking you might be surprised at how many others have had similar experiences and the support they can provide you.

Talk with your doctor

Talking with your doctor can be an important step to getting the help you need. They should be able to give you non-judgemental support, assessment, diagnosis, and ongoing care and treatment. They can also refer you to specialists such as a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Get help now

If you are having suicidal thoughts or are feeling disorientated it’s important to get help immediately. PANDA is not a crisis service, if you need immediate support call Lifeline 13 11 14 (24/7).

Articles

all articles

Related Articles

Was this page helpful?

Please Tell us more

PANDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.

At PANDA, we embrace the power of diversity through inclusion. We strive to foster belonging and empowerment at work. We create relevant messaging and marketing for our diverse consumers. We listen and engage with our diverse communities. And we value collaboration with our diverse suppliers.

Stay in the loop

Stay up to date by subscribing to PANDA's e-newsletter. Containing personal stories, research, inspiration and more.

Get support
Expecting a babyNew ParentsGrowing FamiliesDadsLanguages other than English
Registered-charity-logoNSMHS-logo

While PANDA has exercised due care in ensuring the accuracy of the material contained on this website, the information is made available on the basis that PANDA is not providing professional advice on a particular matter. This website is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.

Privacy policy
Structured Content powered by Sanity.io
© PANDA 2024
Structured Content powered by Sanity.io
Quick Exit Site

How are you going?

Everyone’s experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting is unique and brings different rewards and challenges. Our mental health checklist can help you to see if what you’re experiencing or observing in a loved one could be a reason to seek help.