does my dp have postnatal depression?
NewMumm · 27/03/2016 18:56
Hi all just looking for abit of support really, me and my dp are both 18- 19 in May. We have always had a very strong, stable relationship and always get told we're very mature. We rent privately in a lovely quiet area both hard working and have never been too strapped for cash. We decided to have a baby at a point in our lives where we just felt ready, age has never been an obstacle for us. Anyway trying to cut a long story short, our little girl is now coming up to 2 months old next week. She's amazing and beyond beautiful- just perfect. However, recently I've noticed a change in my dp's behaviour.. He's been isolating himself to the point that he'll go on walks alone for hours on end before me and bubba have even woke up. He's had 2 major anxiety attacks in the past 2 weeks- one of which a paramedic had to be called because he physically couldn't catch his breath. Before we had our little girl he was the most confident outgoing person, and my rock throughout the whole pregnancy. I had a really rough labour resulting in an emergency c section which really knocked him for six but he always seems to bounce back before. He hasn't ever done a night feed and only ever changed one nappy (due to me nagging) at first I thought it was laziness (he's not a lazy person) but now I can see its a lot deeper than that. He hasn't voluntary held the baby in over a month and when I ask if he's having trouble bonding he just says he's tired and cries. Infact tiredness is his excuse for everything, which is ironic as he can sleep through her crying all night! He's the money maker at the moment as I'm the sole care provider, he says work is stressing him out (he's a web developer working from home) it is a very demanding job trying to meet all the deadlines but money has never been a major issue for us so I know it's not that (we have got a lump sum inheritance to fall back on). I've doubted myself and our relationship at times but I love this man so bloody much it hurts and I know he loves me too, he'll reassure me of it until he breaks down in tears! Both our parents have been massive helps with baby but the past 2 days he's bearly got out of bed and has been crying the whole time, he's refused to go to the doctors up until now but first thing in the morning I'm booking him an appointment. I cherish every moment I spend with my little girl but he seems to want to give her to his mum at every opertunity possible, which upsets me because I hate being away from her! I've done some research and every result seems to lead me to male postnatal depression but until now I didn't even know this existed? Well I had no reason to. Just wanted a hand to hold really and some words of advice? Has anyone been through a similar situation and come out the other end? What is the way forward?
Thankyou for reading, sorry it's so long wanted to give a bit of background
iyamehooru · 27/03/2016 19:16
I've no experience of this but I had PND and didn't bond and wanted to run away so perhaps that's what he has. Please go to the doc with him and get some help,for him and you all if necessary.
Gazelda · 27/03/2016 19:19
I think you're being very sensible in getting him to the docs. I hope he is soon back at full strength and able to share the parenting duties.
NameAgeLocation · 27/03/2016 19:23
Men can certainly experience depression after a major change in circumstances just as women can, though I bristle at the use of the term PND for this as the chemical and hormonal changes involved in pregnancy and giving birth are something else altogether! But anyway the end result is the same - he is clearly struggling to cope and needs urgent help. Definitely go to the doc with him, if he absolutely refuses then you'll need to see the doc yourself to discuss his options. Becoming a parent can be a stressful and confusing time and this is often coupled with feelings of guilt for not being on cloud 9 24/7, which then just makes the whole thing worse. He is not unusual and you're not alone. Please make an appointment for him as soon as the doctor is open again after Easter. And here's a hand to hold.
NewMumm · 27/03/2016 22:11
Thanks all for your responses, after a long chat this evening he's finally admitted he's struggling and agreed to go to the doctors first thing in the morning which is a big step for him so it's definitely a step in the right direction.
I did think the term postnatal depression related to the act of actually giving birth and the rapid hormonal change but couldn't think of another term to use, thanks again
NameAgeLocation · 28/03/2016 09:09
Sorry about that OP, my comments were unnecessary under the circumstances.
I'm really glad that he was able to talk to you about it. I feel for him - depression is depression no matter what the cause. Fortunately there seems to be more recognition now of the stress and upheaval that becoming a parent can cause for men too. Being prepared to seek help is half the battle. He is lucky to have a partner like you
SmallBee · 28/03/2016 09:16
Men can absolutely get PND. A friend of mine had it and it was very much as you describe. There is a lot of stigma around men's mental health problems and especially with PND, he is lucky to have someone as supportive as you to help him.
Well done for helping him get help and good luck.
SmallBee · 28/03/2016 09:20
Sorry, I typed to quickly. Here is a useful link. It does say that younger Dad's are more susceptible to this.
missybct · 28/03/2016 09:30
Agreed with other posters - If not actual PND, Men definitely can suffer from a form - my DP certainly met the criteria after his son was born (my stepson) - nobody listened to him, his then girlfriend mocked him and undermined him and eventually DP ended up having a breakdown which was only remedied with medication.
Clearly the difference here is you are supportive, understanding and want what's best for your DP, which is fantastic insight considering the trauma you've also been through in addition to the stress of having a newborn. I spoke to DP about this and he said he wished his ex had been like you, so please do continue with your supportive and encouragement of external help.
DP ended up in a dark place, unable to bond with his son - his was very much the affect his ex had on him (which isn't the same as your situation) but what I'm trying to get at is that different trigger points can illicit depression - your DP's may be the feeling of added responsibility whilst having to work from home - that may explain why he's out walking - he may just need that ability to separate work from home? Your DP may be afraid of admitting he is struggling - nobody wants to admit something like that really, but it sounds as if he has a very understanding partner in you and with the right help and support he will ease into the role of being a parent.
NewMumm · 29/03/2016 22:01
Thankyou all, quick update- dp went to the doctors today and the doctor was outright rude, told him he needs to 'man up' and start helping, dp came home an emotional wreck feeling even more useless and insecure than he did before. I've got an appointment with him for bubbas jabs on Thursday I'm going to tell him what I think of his belittling comments, I can't help but think there's no way he'd have spoken to a women who'd just had a baby with these symptoms like that! On the plus side dp has been given anti depressants just a shame he's not getting the support from the people handing them out! I know my dp isn't well and he doesn't need to 'man up' he needs to get better which he won't with comments like that
NameAgeLocation · 30/03/2016 07:33
Dr needs retraining methinks!
With attitudes like that towards mental illness, it's no wonder people avoid the doctor!
Would he tell him to "man up" if he had the flu?
Definitely have words with the doctor on Thursday.
lavenderdoilly · 30/03/2016 09:00
That's rubbish. What a dickhead of a doctor. And then shoving anti depressants at him. That's like something from the 1950s. Your dp is going through a major life changing event and it has knocked him sideways .I hope you find better help (try another gp in the practice ).
NewMumm · 01/04/2016 01:04
Didn't end up going to doctors today as bubba not well :( rearranged for Tuesday. Things have gone downhill with dp, yesterday he locked himself in a hotel room whilst I was at home with baby, he sent me the entire amount of money in his bank and switched his phone off, obviously besides myself with worry I phoned the police who took him in to a&e where he spoke to the crisis team. His parents had the baby for the night so I could meet him at the hospital, up to this point they were unaware there was a problem but had said they'd noticed I do everything with the baby and he hasn't held her once infront of them. He was discharged from hospital late last night, this morning he was chatting more than he has the past few weeks, still very quiet but an improvement on his mood. I thought things were looking up until I mentioned picking the baby up (by this time I was missing her like mad!!) as soon as I did so he clammed up and has bearly said 2 words since she's been home. When we got to his parents house to pick her up he stood outside not wanting to enter their house, his dad went outside to see if he'd talk to him as they have a decent relationship but he had no luck. He hasn't even looked at the baby all night, he went straight to bed. I have to be a mother before anything else but I'm so worried about him! Yesterday I feared the worst I thought he'd hurt himself badly, and to be honest I still don't know if he did, he won't show or tell me anything. I can't help but think the professionals should be providing more support as he's been to the doctors twice and been seen by the crisis team and turned away by them all. He's on medication now which I know won't kick in for a few weeks but we can't live like this for even one more week, the baby is picking up on my stress but I really can't see a way out at the moment and neither can he, that's about all he has muttered to me this evening that 'no one can help' and 'he wants to be happy' I don't know how to move the situation forward I feel stuck and can't see what will make him feel better, has anyone been through similar? What is the way forward? My daughter needs me to be strong but I'm heartbroken he's feeling this way, he used to be so affectionate and now won't even let me touch him
NewMumm · 01/04/2016 01:11
It's like the doctors aren't taking him seriously and think he's just a new dad and he's tired but it's way beyond that now, I wouldn't have called the police for no reason. I've thought about having a chat with the doctor myself but can't help but think they wouldn't be able to do anything as he's the one who has to speak to them which he is trying his best to do! Would an outsiders point of view help them to see what they should have seen a long time ago? And to top it all off he's the one who deals with finances and the only one working at the moment which he hasn't been doing the last few days/ week, we've got to be out of our flat by July and I don't even know what we can afford as he won't speak to me, although if no money is coming in we're stuck. I know I've said we have inheritance but nowhere near enough for a deposit and rent on a house, my daughter doesn't need to be picking up this stress I feel so guilty
darkparadise · 01/04/2016 02:19
Your boyfriend sounds like me a few weeks ago, I have postnatal depression. It's been getting a bit better the last couple of weeks or so (my baby is 10 weeks old now).
I'm also self employed which I think really doesn't help with pnd because for me I don't really have the option of having time off and have had to carry on working every day whereas if you have a normal job you tend to have more time off and not have the responsibility or keeping everything going.
My husband is much better with our baby than I am and has been much more hands on while my pnd was at it's worst which actually doesn't help sometimes because the less I was doing with our baby, the less I felt like I had a bond with her.
The more I was away from her the more distant I felt. My husband was doing most of the night shifts at one point and most of the feeds, nappy changes etc and I was just driving around crying until stupid o clock and sleeping in late. I was hardly functioning and wished I was dead pretty much all of the time.
What changed was me making myself do things with her. I started doing the night shifts and spending more time around her, singing to her and playing with her. I feel really bad for how I felt but I honestly didn't want to do it at first. Now I love her company so much and I do genuinely want to be with her all the time.
I can honestly say now that I'm getting better (I'm still on antidepressants though) and have bonded with her. I love her so much. But I had to put some effort in and if my husband carried on doing everything it might have taken me longer to get there.
If you can keep encouraging him to do things with the baby, obviously without making him feel pressured if he's really struggling then it might help him in time. The more he is around her the more likely he is to fall in love with her.
It's still really early days though and having a baby is a massive life change. You sound really supportive, I hope things get better for you soon.
NewMumm · 01/04/2016 02:31
Thankyou so much that really helped to see it does get better, the only thing is you were able to pick yourself up and do more for your baby whereas my dp doesn't acknowledge her at he acts like she doesn't even exist infact. I think if I asked him to do anything with the baby he'd cry and tell me he's useless which is what he's done in the past, I really don't think he will even acknowledge her at this point let alone feed or change her I'm praying the medication helps but that's my lifeline at the moment the only thing I have left I've tried almost everything it seems, is it possible for things to just get better on their own?
I'm so glad you're feeling much better, your daughter sounds like she's a very lucky well loved little girl oh and congratulations on her arrival
darkparadise · 01/04/2016 03:12
I had to really make myself do more for her which sounds awful, I suppose I had to want to do that though if it makes sense so maybe your boyfriend needs to get that feeling too. I'm not sure what anti depressants he's on but mine took quite a while to do anything which is apparently normal, so maybe they will help him eventually once they start working properly.
It sounds like you've done everything you can, he's really lucky to have someone so supportive! My husband's like that and it really does help. I hope you have lots of support for you, it must be really hard having to manage everything.
It will get better in time, mine definitely has. And congratulations to you!
Krissy7530 · 01/04/2016 04:25
I have only skimmed all the comments but focused on one where you mention he was getting a bit better. I just wanted to mention to you that 'getting better' can be a sign that things are not better, and not to scare you or stress you any further, but it can be sign of resolution of suicide. He sounds very distraught and it sounds like he should be admitted to a hospital. I hope the best for all of you and can't imagine how you are doing it - it's very commendable!
NewMumm · 01/04/2016 07:56
I know what you mean I've thought he may need to be hospitalised for a while even though it breaks my heart it might be the only way to get the old him back but who do I even go to at this point? The crisis team who are the ones to make admissions discharged him from the general hospital which I was very surprised about at the time. I don't know where to turn and I'm not 100% confident I can keep him safe at home
Krissy7530 · 01/04/2016 15:57
Maybe there is a help line you can call? I'm in Canada, I don't know how things work there (although I have a friend in Scotland that's a mental health nurse, I imagine it's slightly different there too). Don't give up. Hopefully someone here has an answer but I really do think inpatient care is the best option at this point.
MissBeaHaving · 01/04/2016 16:13
I'm so sorry to read all this Op,you must be so worried!
Could you get a home visit from a different doctor at your surgery?
Ring up and explain how worried you are,tell them about the incident & how he had been taken to hospital but is now home but no better.
My MIL had a major episode a few years ago,the GP came out & organised an immediate referral to the Mental Health team in our area.
She had visits from the crisis nurses for a while until the meds started working.
I'm not sure if it's the same process for other areas but it does sound like you need more support considering you also have a young baby to look after.
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