Postnatal depression can affect fathers after the birth of a baby, but it is often overlooked. If you are a new dad and feeling overwhelmed or down, it could be postnatal depression. Learn about the symptoms, causes, and tips for coping with this condition.
Recognise the Symptoms of Postnatal Depression.
Postnatal depression can manifest in different ways. Common signs of depression include feeling a deep sense of sadness, hopelessness, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, low motivation, excessive worry or irritability, and decreased interest in activities you usually enjoy. If any of these symptoms persist for more than two weeks and affect your daily life and relationships, consider speaking to your doctor about the possibility of postnatal depression.
Connect with Other Dads Going Through It.
Connecting with other fathers dealing with postnatal depression is an important part of managing the condition. Building a support network and connecting with other dads who know what you’re going through can alleviate some of the feelings of isolation. Online forums, support groups, and peer-led counseling can be great resources for finding support during this difficult time.
Practice Relaxation Techniques to Destress.
As a new parent, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Try to focus on relaxation techniques that can help reduce stress, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation and yoga. Some dads find that regular physical activity helps with their mental and emotional wellbeing. Even simple activities like playing music or taking a hot bath can provide some relief and allow for creativity and mindful moments in the parenting journey.
Make Time for Activities You Enjoy.
With all the pressures of being a new dad, it can be difficult to make time for yourself. Try scheduling time for activities that you enjoy, like reading a good book, going for a walk, or even just taking a few minutes out of your day to relax and reflect. These activities can help boost your mood and give you the energy you need to keep up with the demands of being a dad.
Seek Professional Help If Needed.
For some fathers, postnatal depression may be more serious than they thought and require a more structured type of treatment. Seeking professional help is the best way to find out if anything else is going on, and to begin addressing any underlying issues. A mental health professional can provide you with guidance and resources to help manage your depression in a healthy way.