It started with anxiety. About everything: Managing work, changing dirty diapers, even mundane stuff like cleaning the cat's litter box. My heart raced. Relentlessly. Anxiety turned to self-doubt. Experts call it paternal postnatal depression (PPND), or paternal perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PPMADs) because we aren't the ones actually giving birth. There aren't official symptoms of paternal perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, but, in general, experts say the conditions can take many forms. You could be experiencing a PPMAD if you are feeling anxious, empty, irritable and angry, or out of control following the birth of a child. The bottom line is that having a child affects us guys in some of the very same ways it affects our partners. There's no shame, and a great likelihood of big gains, in reaching out and seeking support from professionals to come through this troublesome time intact.
It takes a village!
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