My wife gave birth to our son, and I was happy. Definitely.
But deep inside, as days went by I felt anxious.
They were COUNTING on me.
I felt guilty when I spent that extra hour at work.
I felt overwhelmed when the deadlines of work were knocking at my door, while here I was taking on my role as a father and a husband.
I have a lot of responsibilities now whether it’s financial, emotional or mental support, I’m expected to stand tall and “man-up”.
I’m a man. I’m a husband. I’m a father.
All strong figures. And somehow I could not see myself matching up to these images.
I felt weak. I felt my new role as challenging. I felt like a mess.
I did not want to speak to my wife, because I understand this is not the best of phases she must be in. We read a lot on maternal and infant care during her pregnancy, we are aware of the post-partum depression of mothers. I took a few mental notes and sort of had a plan on taking care of everything, but is this the time for me to ASK for any support?
Men too do have a similar Emotional need as women, it’s just that we ain’t able to express ourselves as comfortably as women. Maybe we were never encouraged to express fearlessly.
I do feel for my Mother, Sister, girlfriend, wife, Daughter and female friend. They do make me complete and I do need them to keep me strong yet fragile, to keep me sorted and collected.
I was not trained like women do in few things, but I am trained to take many outdoor responsibilities and challenges so my family and people dependent on me feels safe and secure, but in the process, I do feel lost, week and shattered, help me express myself, read unexpressed.
A recent study estimated that 10 percent of all new dads experience PPND (Paternal Postnatal Depression). The symptoms could be- Irritability, self-loathing, “feeling a loss of control”, unable to manage work and home, withdrawing from parenting, and anger. It is worst in first three months of birth.
So, it’s just not women but new fathers feel depressed too. In one study, having a partner experiencing postpartum depression increased the likelihood of PPD in fathers by as much as 2.5 times.
Depression in men can be different than women as they tend to slip the difficult emotions and feelings inside their manned up exterior.
What To Do?
- Express and Acknowledge Your Anxiety.
- Get a Professional Support
- Take Care of Yourself- Exercise & Eat Healthy
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