Category Archive : Mental Health

Becoming a parent is a life changing experience, and while for many it is an experience that brings a lot of joy and value into their lives, for many it brings on a lot of stress, frustration, worry and concern. And for some still, it can lead to mental health challenges. Postnatal depression is a term we often associate with mothers, who are experiencing symptoms of depression after giving birth. However, increasingly men are also experiencing depression once baby has arrived. While every parent’s experience is unique, there are some key themes that are common across fathers’ who experience postnatal depression, and some key signs and symptoms that we can keep an eye out for.

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Fatherhood is a game changer. For some of us, it’s an amazing experience. I mean sure it has it’s moments (like toddler tantrums, constant cleaning, repeating yourself, arguments), but overall for many dads they wouldn’t change a thing. But for some fathers, they feel like they hate being a dad. They love their kids, but they hate being a parent. Often this frustration towards being a parent initially seems to be linked to the ‘losses’ that we can see when it comes to parenthood, like the loss of freedom or the loss of time, but more frequently if you dig a bit deeper, we can find underlying issues that make parenting that much harder for these dads.

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When baby first came into this world, I felt amazed, excited and in complete awe. But I also felt completely useless. Until the first nappy change came along, in which case I was like ‘yeah I learned how to do this, now’s my chance to shine to give mum a break’. And that was probably where it all started, feeling like I was never doing enough and needing to do more. Feeling guilty that I wasn’t helping care for my daughter enough, or feeling guilty that I wasn’t helping my wife enough. I was experiencing what is effectively known as ‘Dads Guilt’.

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