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What do I say?
« on: November 06, 2017, 02:51:20 PM »
My wife is angry with me because she feels I’m distant, she’s angry because she feels alone & unsupported. And yet, I feel all the same things and she doesn’t see it... I know I’m not being a good dad at the moment, I know I’m not being the man I should, but with this crushing weight of depression, upset & frustration I feel like half the man I normally am.
When my son cries & I’m holding him I don’t feel anything - not good or bad, just nothing but exhaustion & blankness. I can’t help him until someone helps me.
The last 8 weeks have been amazing, and watching him grow already is inspirational, but I’m worried that I’m not connecting with him now because depression & anxiety are stopping me. I’ve always thought anxiety was a load of rubbish, but now with the pressure of his arrival I feel a restricting & limiting anxiety which stops me sleeping, makes me angry with no cause, and snap for no reason. I know I need help, and I keep saying I’m struggling, and yet it falls on deaf ears appeal after appeal. My wife can’t support me, because she doesn’t see it hurting me, although when she does it’s a snap reaction or an unnecessary escalation. I hate being this way, but how do I fix it?
I don’t want to work, I have no real appetite, I am drinking far too much. I even googled paternal postnatal depression & left it on my phone on the off chance she would see it & ask me about it. But she doesn’t, she just thinks I’m being rude & distant because I want to be. But that’s not fair, I want to be a family, I want to want to be with them - I want to fix this... I’m not sure my body or mind can take much more of this unless something changes - please give me some advice!?
Re: What do I say?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 03:31:47 AM »
She likely doesn’t have the bandwidth to try to help you and deal with her own feelings about motherhood. If she hasn’t dealt with depression before, she probably doesn’t understand what you are going through. On top of that, she is probably used to relying on you for emotional support. Now that you require emotional support plus adjusting to a baby, she is probably having trouble adapting herself. I would suggest that you be straightforward and say directly “I’m dealing with postpartum depression so please bear with me.” You could also write it in a letter to her if that would be easier. I feel like you are trying to rely on your wife to fix your depression. I would try to find some outside help for talking/venting to ease the burden on your wife so she will have more bandwidth to provide you with more love and understanding. Hang in there!
Re: What do I say?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 01:26:18 PM »

Trust me...this is a stressful time.  There is a lot of anxiety to being parents and I think you should try not to beat yourself up too much.  It's a good thing that you have identified that you are feeling the way you are.  If you feel that you can not snap out of it I would absolutely try and seek out some help and possibly get on some medication while you are going through this HUGE transition in your life.  It takes more of a man to do whatever you have to do in order to be the best father and husband possible.  Your wife is going through a lot too and you must be able to communicate and ask for her support.  If your intentions are to be the best possible father and husband then you should express this to her.

I hope this helps.