When it comes to the family environment, most people assume that the most vulnerable individuals are going to be the mothers. In reality, fathers not only tend to suffer from depression or depressive disorders just as much as the moms, but they are also more likely to go unnoticed. This can have dramatic consequences.
Did you know, for instance, that the suicide rates in single fathers are more than twice higher than for single mothers? Male depression and suicide rates are on the rise, and it’s time for people to become aware of the everyday risks in their lives.
First of all, let’s start with an important point that every man needs to accept: Acknowledging your pain doesn’t make you a lesser dad. You are allowed to struggle and hurt. More importantly, being in a position where you can safely identify the issue means that you’re most likely to get the help you need. Here are three things that can seriously impact a father's mental health and some of the signs to recognize.
The most frequent cause of distress for fathers is a separation from the mother of their child. Some couples handle the situation sanely and ensure the kid gets sufficient mommy and daddy times. However, in some cases, the other parent can actively try to damage the relationship the father has with the child. It’s important to understand that, if you are a victim of parental alienation, you can find father’s rights help to tackle the issue and regain custody rights and access to your child. There is no denying that for dads, it is a painful situation. However, with the appropriate support, you can, hopefully, reverse it. Needless to say, it can be a timely process; therefore, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with friends and relatives who can help you go through the hard times.
While everybody knows about postpartum depression in mothers, the idea that it could affect fathers also is typically ignored. In reality, 20% of new dads can experience mild to severe symptoms of depression following the birth of their child. Depressive disorders can not only stand in between you and your child, but it can also aggravate an unhealthy coping mechanism. More importantly, your child counts on you too; therefore, seeking help will help you both develop a healthy bond. There is no shame in expressing your feelings and address your problems. More often than not, opening up about your postpartum depression can help you feel less isolated.
Stay-at-home dads have a difficult time gaining the respect of other stay-at-home parents. Indeed, while society is evolving, gender expectations have not always caught up. As a result, many stay-at-home dads find themselves not only discriminated against by stay-at-home moms but also isolated. For many, it’s a situation with little support, as stay-at-home moms are reluctant to welcome dads to support groups. There is, unfortunately, no way around it. If you can find emotional help to carry on with your plan of home-based fatherhood, it’s a rewarding journey. But without support, you may wish to regain your sanity and change your plan.
In conclusion, dads, it’s time to wake up and ask yourself how you feel. Being depressed is nothing to be ashamed of. However, not doing anything about it can be devastating for you and your family. If you’ve found yourself in any of the aforementioned situations, do make sure to seek expert support to get you through.