How do you know if you’re a depressed new Dad?

I realised after my previous two posts and visit to my GP that reading the ramblings of a depressed new dad probably isn’t a lot of fun or good to anyone apart from me.

As part of trying to recognise and beat my depression I thought I’d write a little about what the signs were that made me finally take action.

  • Being withdrawn – without realising I’ve retracted right into myself and been oblivious to the effect my actions or inactions are having in others.
  • Forgetfulness – I’ve been forgetting a lot of thing, and needing constant reminders for the simplest things.
  • Lack if confidence – I’ve been feeling like I’m not able to do simple straightforward things, or make the simplest decisions like what to have for dinner without upsetting or annoying someone.
  • Motivation – I have terrible lethargy, if I haven’t forgotten to do something something would be holding me back.
  • Unaware of consequences – I have been completely oblivious at times to the consequences of my actions, how these symptoms have made me a very difficult person to live with.
  • Clouded thoughts – I can’t seem to follow the usual thought processes in my mind, to assess situations or make decisions – anything from what to eat to when to set an alarm. It feels like a part of my mind is missing.
  • Self pity – Surrounding all these things is a deep sense of pity and guilt. I have a wonderful wife and daughter, I live in a great house in a beautiful part of the country and have a great relationship with my family. What right do I have to feel miserable?
  • Miserable – last but not least I’ve been miserable. From the look on my face to the sound of my voice, my underlying mood is very sad.

A big part of the problem is that I’ve been genuinely unaware of most of these symptoms, it’s only through talking with Wifey about these things that I’ve been able to see them fully, and that was a very difficult conversation to have.

Wifey and baby have been the things that have kept me going. I don’t want to be like this, I don’t want wifey to have to live with a husband like this and want my daughter to grow up inspired and excited about the world.

I didn’t want to admit I was officially depressed. I saw it as a sign of failure on my part, that I was letting my family down. It was Wifey that pushed me to going to the GP, and after facing up to the effect my depression was actually having on her I could see that things needed to change and I needed help.

Talking to the GP was tough, and afterwards I felt a sense of relief from admitting my problems, but also a sense of sadness that I am officially depressed – that somehow I’d let depression get the better of me.

Today I took my second antidepressant, (I learnt my lesson from yesterday and took it with breakfast to keep stomach cramps at bay) and am taking it a day at a time. I’m due to see the doctor again in a few weeks to see how things are, but will keep things updated here.

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