Post natal depression (PND) is more likely to affect parents in the first year of a babies life. I never knew that PND could affect dads but after reading a couple of posts on Twitter recently I did a quick bit of research. It is now recognised that it isn't just mums that can suffer, but dads too.
I haven't ever suffered with PND. I can't imagine what it is like and what people must go through, Speaking to a few people who have suffered, they tell me you feel terrible, sometimes you feel no love for your child, you feel like you can't cope and you feel worse because you feel like you shouldn't be feeling this way, which only exacerbates the problem.
There is no single answer as to why people experience PND but can be a number of factors due to the emotional and stressful event of having a child.
Some commons symptoms of PND can be:
- feeling low or despondent, that there is no hope
- feeling like you're unable to cope
- being unusually irritable
- wanting to cry/crying a lot
- difficulty sleeping
These are just a few, there are many, many more symptoms to PND.
Having PND can affect your relationships, so, whether you're male or female, you should definitely talk to someone. Talking with your partner should be your first step. This could potentially be the hardest step as you are possibly admitting it to someone (and possibly yourself) for the first time. You should always see your doctor, they can offer the right help to you and your partner to get you through this.
You should never suffer alone. It truly is "good to talk". If you are feeling low and want people to chat to there is a #PNDHour on Twitter every Wednesday at 8 pm. If you are a dad who is suffering you can also join #PNDDaddies on Mondays 7-8pm.
There are people like you out there, you are not alone. Don't suffer in silence, don't be ashamed, lots of people go through this and have got the help they need.