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Post natal depression in men

Hi - our (planned) daughter is 11 months and very healthy. 2 weeks after she was born my husband sunk further and further into depression (we are both 36). Although he has suffered from depression on-and-off throughout his life, I am struggling with his behaviour. Although he says he loves spending time with Isabelle, he won`t do anything other than sit her on his knee for 10 mintues a day. He won`t walk her while I clean the house, never has the time to bath her, read to her, and has never got up to play with her or resettle her(she doesn`t sleep well and I am exhausted). My breastfeeding is an excuse for him to go outside and smoke. We are seeing a very good GP and trying to find the right medication. My real question is - where can I find information on post natal depression in men??? We are close to seperation as even though I love my daughter to bits, it was my husband who wanted children and now my life is upside-down (no showjumping anymore for me) and his hasn`t changed a bit!! Help - Nadine :-)

Answer: Dear Nadine, 1, If you want to do something, eg , showjumping, find a carer for your daughter and go and enjoy yourself. Focus on having a great time in the moment, and do not indulge in being bitter or resentful at how his life hasnt changed. This is a common perception but inaccurate. There is no way women can understand the depth of the change for men and vice versa - our brains are wired so differently we cannot even comprehend this. There is a great book called "The Wonder of Boys" that can give you some insight. 2. Re your husband refrain from being his helper - it will drive him away. Focus on being the best person possible given the enormous strain you are feeling. What I find helps is to say to yourself quietly and in your mind "he is stressed" when he does all those little but aggravating things....Then refocus on what you want to do without getting caught up in the strong emotions of anger and hurt that will linger, grow and damage your experiences of your relationship. Try it and see. Also before you say anything to your husband think of saying 3 nice things first....I am confident it will turn things around. Giving a hug and meaning it once a day will also do wonders. You will probably need to be mindful of this throughout your relationship but the benefit is that you are developing a real strength as far as emotional intelligence. Good luck. Betty
Answered: 01 Nov 2007