Postpartum depression is a moderate to severe depression that affects many women and men after giving birth to their child. It can last as short as a week or even up to a year. In this week’s article, Craig Mullins speaks about fatherhood and his unexpected hardship of being a good father. Fathers are also caretakers as well as the mothers, and though both may take on separate roles in raising their newborn, both must go through the same experiences within different perceptions. To say that the father goes through the same postpartum depression as the mother would be playing down the role for both.
As a form of depression, one can be prescribed antidepressants, and can go to individual counseling to help better connect their situation with others going through the same thing. It’s difficult to say whether many men believe they have postpartum depression. As Mullins states, “…men tend to avoid talking about things that might make them appear weak, and our culture tends to discourage men from disclosing their feelings….” Although, antidepressants and counseling is available, it seems that even to convey those feelings is a difficult step for many men to make or to even come to terms with.
Once a man comes to terms that he has postpartum depression, it is an illness that can be cured without medication. The woman from Placebo: Cracking the Code was cured of her severe depression after trying a new “clinical antidepressant medication.” Only to find out that she was part of the pool that took the placebo. She was completely taken out of her black hole she found difficult to escape on her own. The belief that her mental illness consumed her really did consume her. When there was a slight sense of hope within a new type of medication she might have symbolized that opportunity as her one and only chance. In this way, mental illnesses are difficult to diagnose and heal for they are completely subjective, and can be cured within the connection of emotional belief and healing.
Being a parent is overwhelming, and when changes and emotions come at high heavy speeds, it can be overwhelming for anyone. To come into something confident and then feel stuck and confused in the middle of it is a paralyzing feeling. It seems many parents feel they should know what to do in their children’s everyday lives, but they too are going through this new experience with them. Maybe the idea of taking on the sick role as a male is not acceptable as they must take on responsibilities of their child and their own.