An author and pastor in Nashville named Jarrid Wilson was very excited when he found out that he will be a daddy. “I’ve wanted to be a dad since I was little,” Wilson says. After his son was born, Jarrid Wilson was overwhelmed with so many emotions, but almost all of his emotions were negative.
“My wife had this immediate connection with this baby that had been in her womb, and for me I was just now meeting this child, and realizing that our entire life was changing,” he says. “It was a weird scenario because obviously I loved our baby, but there was a disconnect. I had all these thoughts that I don’t deserve this, that I’m not a good enough dad, that I’ll never measure up.”
Wilson was always worried that he will do something wrong with his baby and this emotion scarred him badly. This man had struggled with a type of depression after a traumatic injury in his childhood and that’s how he was able to recognized the signs. “We all need someone in our lives who can give us an unbiased opinion, and my counselor was able to help me grasp what was really going on,” he says.
His faith and medication helped him to move on and he had the courage to share his experience. Postpartum depression in men affects more new dads, according to a Swedish study. A new study identified over 8% of men who suffers from postpartum depression and rates for women are estimated at 13 to 19%.
This postpartum depression in men is explained as an exhaustion or a suddenly changed lifestyle, because men also have hormonal changes after they become dads. “In most countries, they are not even asked how they feel,” says Elia Psouni, associate professor of developmental psychology at Lund University.
“There’s this stigma that men should ignore their feelings and just ‘man up,’ but that’s just not the case,” he says. “Men should feel comfortable seeking help when they need it, and they should know that paternal postpartum depression is very real,” Wilson explains. “I’m present, I’m excited, and the depression no longer has this hold on me,” Wilson says.