ADOPTING DADS CAN SUFFER FROM POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION OR POST-ADOPTION DEPRESSION
Traditionally Postpartum Depression (PPD) also known as postnatal depression has been predominately associated with birth mothers. Right?
The truth is that it’s a type of depressions that can actually affect either parent after a baby comes into their lives. It’s a well-documented problem affecting 1/10 women in the first year post giving birth. It is, however, a lesser known fact that it can also affect fathers and adopting parents. Also known as Post-Adoptive Depression, adopting dads don’t quite have similar physical experiences that affect birthmothers, but they can experience the same emotional and mental stresses known to come when a new child is welcomed into the home. It can be just as crippling as Postpartum aka Postnatal depression. I was surprised to learn that it’s not only the parents that can be affected by Post-Adoption Depression, but it can affect the adopted child too, from newborn through to teens. Sadly, most cases go undetected and untreated.
” We don’t always remember that this is going to be an issue for men as well as for women” – Bridget O’Connell, Mental Health Charity Mind
WHAT IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?
depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue; postnatal depression.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS
Symptoms can manifest in different forms, emotionally, mentally, physically and behaviourally like for example:
- You feel sad
- You feel depressed
- You experience a change in appetite
- You experience a change in your weight
- You experience a change in your sleeping pattern
- You experience chronic fatigue and lack of energy
- You feel agitated and irritable
- You experience guilt and shame
WHAT CAN CAUSE POST-ADOPTION DEPRESSION?
Did you know that many people are actually unaware of the term Post-Adoptive Depression and that it’s largely an under-diagnosed condition?
The possible causes are:
- Unrealistic expectations placed on themselves by adopting parents, leading to the parents feeling ashamed and/or guilty
- Not bonding immediately with their child
- Allowing society attitude towards adoptive parents overwhelm you
- Exhaustion from the rigorous adoption process
- No support structure in place
- Anxiety from believing you’re not coping or good enough to parent
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IN DADS CAN BE TREATED
If you suspect that you’re suffering from post-adoption depression or any of the symptoms above visit your doctor or a mental health professional and let them diagnose you, allowing them to correctly determine the best method of treatment for you. This form of depression is as treatable as any other mental health challenge.
Treatment can be in the form of:
- Diet change
Let’s be real, becoming adoptive parents is challenging. There’s no need to suffer alone. It’s important to take care of ourselves and ensure that we receive the correct support and/or treatment so that we’re the best person we can be for our child. If you don’t, it only negatively impacts you, your family and those around you.
Ross said that these lyrics from Sam Smith’s song “Too Good at Goodbyes” resonated with him, as it encompasses wholely what he felt like before seeking help.
I’m never gonna let you close to me
Even though you mean the most to me
‘Cause every time I open up, it hurts
So I’m never gonna get too close to you
Even when I mean the most to you
Click below to find out how Postnatal Depression affected Ross, who by the way is about to become a dad for the second time!