Paternal mental health
Paternal mental health and men’s mental health in general has long been neglected and shied away from and because of this men tend to stay quiet about how they are feeling. We want to open the conversation so would like to share with you some advice and tips for new dads and carers.
We are told often about the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression, stress and anxiety in new mums and carers but what are the signs and symptoms for dads and carers? With 1 in 8 men in England suffering with mental health problems it is so important to recognise when there may be a concern. If you have any of the below symptoms or know someone showing any of these please seek professional help.
Due to the ongoing stigma attached to men’s mental health and men finding it more difficult to speak up about how they are feeling, it can often mean that they may turn to harmful coping mechanisms. Dangerous forms of self-medicating can lead to further problems in the future which makes it so important to get professional help as soon as you can.
You may be feeling overwhelmed but not have depression or anxiety so let us talk a little about how you can help yourself stay mentally healthy as you go on this new journey of becoming a dad/carer.
Take a walk, a long hot bath, meet up with friends. What feels like self-care to you? Do that! A few minutes each day to put your needs first. You were a person before this title of parent, it is important not to forget that. Building these into your regular routine can ensure consistency going forward.
No one is perfect, we are not meant to be. Take comfort in the things that go well and stop putting emphasis on the things that do not. Parenting is a huge learning curve, no one is expecting you to know everything so why are you expecting that of yourself?
Often when it comes to the struggles of being a new parent/carer we can think we are alone in the feelings we have, but the likely hood is that your partner is feeling the same if not similar. Talk to them, be open about how you feel or what you are struggling with. A problem shared…. well, you know the saying. Keeping communication open is key to working together and supporting one another.
There are other men out there that feel exactly how you feel, talk to them. You will be surprised by the amount of support out there.
We want to assure men that talking about their mental health is nothing to be ashamed of, often pride can get in the way and with this, we prolong how we are feeling. By talking about it with others it opens the conversation wider and allows us to support each other going forward. We hope that by reading this blog you either recognise any issues you may be having, or you have found some healthy coping mechanisms to try. It is so important to continue the conversation on mental health in men so please do not stay quiet.