An Honest Dad's Struggle

‪#‎momlife‬ and ‪#‎dadlife‬ are equally affected by having a newborn. Family leave is crucial not only for bonding with your child, but for the health and well-being of all parents, whether it's a mother and father, single parent, adoptive parent or parents, or same-sex parents.

This is a post from a friend who recently had baby number two. We are posting his words anonymously, but felt compelled to share his raw honesty.

"Yesterday stress and exhaustion seems to have turned into actual postpartum depression for me. I started struggling to keep up with work three weeks ago, and last week crashed into an almost dizzy exhaustion a few times. Over the weekend I caught up with sleep, but yesterday the weight of a newborn & 4-year old, work, the news in the world, and the chemistry of psychology kicked me into a place I've never been before, and where I am right now.

Moving is tough. Making decisions is almost impossible. I've been easily irritated, especially by my four-year old. If I hadn't proactively quit drinking five months ago I'd probably have developed a problem. My appetite is weird. My ego is shot, and y'all know that when I struggle with ego, something is wrong.

I've known objectively that depression is different from sadness or burnout or whatever, but (assuming that's what this is) it really is a completely new combo of what works in your brain and what doesn't. It's pretty scary.

From what I've found, resources for depression in new dads are almost nonexistent. There's one dedicated website with a broken online forum, and it basically says there's nothing. "Did you know that as many as 1 in 4 fathers go through postpartum depression? It's true! You're not alone, but we got nothing else for you and most doctors know nothing about it. Good luck!"

So I'm writing this to help myself and hopefully others, especially my fellow dads out there. I owe a huge debt to the friends who have spoken openly about their mental health challenges--you're helping me be honest with myself and coworkers and friends. You know who you are, and I couldn't write this without you.

So, any advice?"