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Tell me it'll get better(6 Posts)
So this post isn't about me it's about my dp, we had our little girl 9 months ago and he's really struggling. I'm so exhausted so sorry if I miss parts. When dd was 6 weeks old dp had a breakdown and took an overdose, at this point I didn't even know postnatal depression in men was a thing. He was diagnosed with paternal depression and given anti depressants. Well he's since never bonded with the baby, never wants to hold her etc, always making excuses to go out and not be around her. I thought he was getting better until last night he left the house at 2 am and took an overdose, I only discovered this by phoning the local hospital along with other places I thought he might have ended up. So he was admitted into a mental health until 2 hours away from us. Dp's parents took dd for the night and I gathered his essentials and headed up to the hospital, when I got there he said he was feeling a lot better and they were already filling out his discharge papers. We came home and he seemed to be himself again I was so relieved. Then today he asks what time dd is coming home and then went out and hasn't come home since. He's been telling me on the phone he's scared to come home he doesn't feel comfortable around her and then he's consumed with guilt because he doesn't want to feel that way. He's saying he doesn't see any point in living and he's useless. He's got a hotel for the night and has promised not to do anything silly but I'm obviously full of anxiety and worry. The doctor is bringing new medication for him tomorrow, I'm thinking of staying with a relative until he feels a little better so at least he's got his own bed, I just want to take his pain away.
The point in this post is please please can someone give me a positive outcome of a similar story? This has been going on for 9 months and I'm starting to believe myself that it won't get better I'm so scared right now
I assume he is taking his medication correctly and that his medication had been/is reviewed regularly?
That said, my advice would be to put him under no pressure to bond with your dd. It will come in time but pushing the issue is unlikely to help him. Just him being there as you care for your daughter will help him and he can learn to be involved more when he is well again.
Then look after yourself.
Get every and any form of support you can. Even if he is home you are effectively parenting solo while he is unwell, so get some support. Friends, family - anytjing they can do to help. Lower your expectations in terms of housework and meals. Just do enough to get by, use the rest of your time and energy in on getting enough sleep and looking after yourself.
I forgot this bit:
can someone give me a positive outcome of a similar story?
We aren't at the same level of suicide attempts, but my DH struggled with anxiety following the birth of our youngest.
She is DC4 so it's not like DH didn't know what to expect. He's a very hands on dad too and our eldest was 10 when dc4 was born, so we'd had a decade of learning how to parent together.
We had had a MMC and then struggled to conceive (when all previous pregnancies were easily conceived). This set the tone, he questioned his manliness for the first time. Once pregnant, I refused to discuss or acknowledge the pregnancy for a long tone, fear of getting too attached and ten having another miscarriage. By 20ish weeks pregnant I started feeling less anxious, but his anxieties set in.
Baby was born and this (unfortunately) coincided with an expecially stressful time at work. Well long story short, I really did everything with DC4 because DH just didn't bond, was too anxious and stressed to focus on the baby. He went through the motions with our other 3 dc, which helped me, but left baby for me to care for.
He went on anti depressant medication first. This didn't suit so was swapped for anti anxiety medication. Dosage changed several times.
He had 3 months off work followed by 8 week phases return. During the time off he rested. He slept a lot and slowly he got better. With time he started doing more with dd. By the time she was 12 months old he was more bonded. As she started walking and talking from 18 months or so they got much, much closer. There was a time when it would be always me DC4 came too. Not any more. Now DC4 had just the same bond with her Daddy as she does with Mummy.
It will get better. But he really needs the pressure taking off him.
Thankyou so much, I'm so glad your dh is feeling better. I guess that's one thing I'm worried about is dd not having any connection with dp or even feeling rejected the thought breaks my heart.
He is very temperamental with his medication which is not good at all. If he's having a good day/week he'll decide he's better and not take it and then he dips again worse than before, this time I've tried to drill it in that he needs to only come off if approved by dr.
Absolutely no pressure is on dp to help with dd or anything, infact his own mother tells me to leave them alone more and he'll figure it out eventually (she means well but with no understanding of mental health) I do everything for dd and have done for the past 9 months and when it comes down to it I have effectively been a single parent since she was born. I feel like I've tried everything to help him and I honestly thought he was getting past this but the overdose last night was just so unexpected it really made me think that actually I have no idea what's going on in his head, I'm so confused at the moment and worried about him I can't even think straight
My DHs GP said to him right when first prescribing that he would be on the medication for 12 months regardless, so he should set his expectations that he needed this medication for at least a year, then it would be reviewed. He was in fact on the medication for 15 months.
DH had a time about 8 months in where he thought he was better. He was in many ways, but still not fully. Without telling anyone he stopped taking the medication. I noticed the change in his anxiety levels within a week. I informed him I was making him an appointment to review his medication because his anxiety levels were rising. He then admitted he's tried to stop his medication, started taking it again and everything went back to normal.
So coming off medication before he is well again will definately - definately - affect his mental health. He needs to set some realistic expectations. Unfortunately I don't know how to suggest you help him with that I'm afraid.
If he is attempting suicide he really needs some acute help. I hope he finds it.
Our gp isn't very sympathetic and told dp he should 'man up as he is a father now' before giving him the anti depressants so it completely knocked his confidence in doctors. Thankyou for all of your help, the medication seems to work quickly when he's actually taking it however I've never seen him this low before. He's refusing to come home even in the evenings when dd is in bed from 7pm (in her own room) he has a doctor visiting him today and every day for the next two weeks but they meet in public. I don't think dp is being completely honest with the doctors though so they're seeing this as more of a general issue rather than linked with having a baby as dp fears our daughter will get taken away and I'll hate him for it.
I know there's nothing you can do I just needs to get things off my chest, none of my family or friends really understand because they link postnatal depression with the hormone change in a woman's body, they've never seen this behaviour in a man before so don't understand
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