A dad blogger has spoken out about his experience with paternal postpartum depression after the birth of his sons.
Wilfred Zee, who pens the blog Not Daddy Daycare, spoke to the Daily Mail Australia about his battle with the condition, explaining that he hoped to raise awareness of the fact that men can be affected too.
Wilfred, 31, told the paper that he’d had symptoms of postnatal depression after the arrival of his eldest, but they intensified when he and wife Janice welcomed their second child into the world.
‘It got to a point where I didn’t recognise myself,’ he admitted. ‘I forgot what I was doing the whole time, I had no focus and I was only sleeping for three or four hours a night.’
‘I thought it was a lack of concentration and focus, but never at one point did I think it was anything other than tiredness. I’d start one thing – like unloading the washing – and then walk away from it and forget what I’d been doing.’
It wasn’t until the father-of-two stumbled upon an online questionnaire that he realised the signs he was exhibiting could be postnatal depression. After visiting his doctor he received a formal diagnosis, and was given a care plan and regular appointments with a psychologist.
In an earlier blog post to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Wilfred revealed that he’d always thought that depression was ‘basically a form of extreme sadness, characterised by a low mood or constant crying’, but had since learned that it can present itself in many other ways, adding that anxiety had been a big issue for him personally.
Having sought treatment and taken extended leave from his job, he said to the Daily Mail that he’s ‘doing much better’, but now wants to encourage others to speak out if they’re feeling the same way.
‘Speak to someone as there is absolutely no shame in admitting you’re struggling,’ he advised.
‘I have realised that there is no way I could look after my family when I couldn’t look after myself.’
‘Don’t be in denial, speak up – to family or friends, or browse the Internet. Men shouldn’t be afraid to talk about depression.’