To all new dads
A study conducted in the University of Virginia and later published in the ‘’Journal of American medical association’ claims that nearly 20 percentage of depressive disorders among men are post- partum. Technically, psychiatrists called this as Post natal depression (PND) and it shows an increasing trend among men.
Nowadays our traditional notion of parenthood is undergoing a massive transformation and simultaneously social expectations from ‘new dads’ have also changed. Breakage of the traditional gender roles with both husband and wife working and sharing the house hold chores have also , created a piquant situation where now men can’t think traditionally. The distancing of the joint family system and non-acceptance of husband’s mother as a support base by his wife -who is an empowered working women- have also added to this. Today the ‘new dad’ faces a situation that he has not experienced before and slowly dips into depression, nappy in hand..
I remember way back in 2001, few months after being blessed with a daughter, I was not able to respond to the pleasantries and best wishes of friends. I found that I have jumped into some form of melancholy. I was somewhere in a future world. It was not changing the nappy that worried me, but being far away from home and not being able to change my child's nappy was my cause of worry. With an inexplicable sense of responsibility and looking into some wary future, I quit my Job and came home.
My PND cost me my job.
Today I keep my head high as a successful dad and that cradled baby who gave me blues, has now turned up as my best friend . As I looked back into that epoch of uncertainty,I thought of writing to all young fathers, and make them realize this malady and take professional help as and when needed.
As I tell my daughter, that there was a period of PND , in my life as well, she giggles and says “Dad it’s time now for the mid-life crisis ….and get ready for the next bout of blues