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Daddy blogger addresses Postpartum Depression and Fatherhood

Posted Aug 24 2010 4:51am
While I have written about postpartum depression in men before , the number of men writing about it regularly is like, well...finding a needle in a haystack.  So, when a google alert for a great article by Chris Illuminati popped into my inbox last evening I literally celebrated aloud.

The funny thing was, Lauren of My Postpartum Voice had asked me to host the PPDChat that she offers on Twitter on Monday evenings at 8:30pm.  (It also takes place at 1pm, but unfortunately I am almost never able to participate in the daytime one because of my schedule.)  The alert came in at 8:17pm or something, but I couldn't wait over an hour to read it.  So, I managed to click, read, find the Twitter follow button on Chris' blog, re-tweet his post link, and message him an invitation to participate...all in less than five minutes. And he responded and joined us!  Woohoo!  What an awesome testament to the fact that a) men do get depressed after having a kid b) someone is willing to talk about and 3) Chis is just cool like that.

Back to the article...I love everything about it!  That he addresses such a topic is incredibly gutsy for a man...especially a man who is a somewhat public figure as a free-lance writer.  Chris accounts the sleep deprivation, the fact that the somehow "working from home" doesn't exactly happen the way you imagined it before you had the child, and even the thoughts that he realized he was having out of desperation and sadness.  Here's an excerpt from the article, entitled, " When Dads Get Depressed-- Who Says Postpartum Is Just for Women ?"
I can't be the only one reading the pamphlets about women and postpartum depression and noticing I have most of the symptoms. And hopefully those other guys will read this article and realize they're not alone. 

A few months have passed, and so have a lot of the negative feelings. Sure, I still get sad, depressed or overwhelmed with a brief feeling of suffocation, but I'm learning to ride it out. 
There's a lot more good stuff that is not only accurate and interesting, but written in a fashion similar to Dooce .  Gritty and real.  Bold, honest and yet somehow positive and hopeful, too.  Chris writes in a few different places, but his fatherhood tales are mostly limited to his blog, Message With A Bottle , where he creatively shares his thoughts and insights on post-it notes stuck to his son's belongings.

I just want to say thank you to Chris for being such a good sport about hopping into PPDChat on a moment's notice and most especially for speaking up for the many, many fathers who are suffering from depression and anxiety after becoming parents.  And, for those, who while may not be suffering from clinical depression just aren't talking about how challenging being a "stay-at-home-dad" can really be!


p.s. If you are a Dad with PPD or a mom whose husband may be suffering, please reach out to the Postpartum Dads Project  or Postpartum Men .  There are resources out there for men, too.
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