Post-partum depression is normal in women who just gave birth but what people are not aware of is the fact that new dads also experience it. In a new report, fathers talk about how it was difficult for them to be first-time fathers.
Some of the most common symptoms that women feel after giving birth include being overwhelmed, feeling guilty, not feeling bonded to her baby, not comprehending what is happening and feeling irritated or angry, among many others, Postpartum Progress shared. Due to the new interviews with first-time fathers, it is believed these symptoms are not restricted to females.
Whenever first-time dads who suffer from post-partum depression feel overwhelmed, they feel like they cannot be a part of parenthood and they tend to think why they even became a father. As for guilt, first-time dads feel like the baby deserves a better dad, resulting to new fathers crying all the time, while the feeling of unhappiness at times can lead them to wonder if the baby is better without them around.
Just like one of the fathers interviewed by News.com.au, Jonathan Miles, who said that when he looked at his wife and their baby, he wanted to back out and just leave them alone. He pointed out that he was excited about having a baby but tried to take his own life. He added, "To actually turn to my wife when she's holding our newborn baby and say I was a burden, when obviously that was not the case, it was a low point."
The 31-year-old said he never thought post-partum depression happened to men and when he admitted he had a weakness per his mental health, it did not come easy. The day he told his wife they would be happier without him was the same day he went to his General Practitioner, who told him to work on his mental health. He said he cut back on his alcohol intake and started to accept help from family and friends so things got better for him.
Fortunately, Miles revealed that he did not feel the same depression when he had his second son. Miles shared he was better prepared and knew the warning signs so he will not undergo post-partum depression again.
Even though some of the symptoms in men and women suffering from post-partum depression are the same, there are some differences in terms of coping. Experts say men are more irritable and angry than women. Men also use alcohol and drugs as means to escape reality and as an avoidance mechanism.
Fireman Mike Simms, on the other hand, shared that when he and his wife welcomed their baby, he suffered post-natal depression for a few weeks. Simms said he also felt excited at first but when his wife delivered the baby, he felt traumatized due to the pain his wife underwent. He felt like it was his fault that his wife suffered from such.
Simms admitted he did not feel any connection with his daughter and felt jealous about the bond that his wife and daughter had. He eventually sought help from an expert, his family and friends, Daily Mirror revealed.
Another case related to post-natal depression involved a gay stay-at-home father who had a child via surrogacy. Thirty-four-year-old Simon Leyshan took to Instagram to open up about his situation and revealed he was not aware dads also get that kind of depression. He said he felt embarrassed because he always thought only women could have it and that he had so many good things happening in his life so he had no right to feel depressed.
Leyshan said everything went well but after six months of being a father, paternal post-partum depression started to kick in. He recounted that when his daughter had one of her immunizations, he broke down and that was when a doctor told him he had post-partum depression. He did not give too much thought about it. But when his daughter turned two and she opened her presents, he told his partner he did not feel anything and he got really depressed, Daily Mail reported.
He then went to another doctor and the medical practitioner told him the same thing — he had post-partum depression. The doctor gave him a prescription for antidepressants and went to a psychologist.
As of writing, Leyshan is no longer on any medication and continues to work on his mental health. For new dads out there, did you get to experience the paternal post-partum depression? Please feel free to share your own personal experiences below.