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Kevin SherryTue 12 Jul 2011 18:21
While it is widely assumed that only mothers suffer from post natal depression fathers can also suffer from the condition. With one in six women and one in ten men suffering from PND it is important that the men are not forgotten about and that help is out there.
CrossReach which is part of the Church of Scotland is an organisation made up of mostly volunteers who provide help and support for those with post natal depression and they were a huge help to our studio guest David.
David was looking forward to the birth of his daughter, Freya, with wife Claire whom he had been together with for five years. While the birth of his daughter was "the best moment of my life, the best feeling in the world,” what was in store for David was something he couldn't have predicted.
About one month after the birth, David found it increasingly hard to cope and put on an act to fool people close to him that he was happy and was coping with fatherhood. “I did a good job of acting, but I felt like a criminal.”
He struggled on several occasions where Freya would be crying and claims that terrible thoughts would go through his head to make her stop crying. On one occasion when Freya was crying in the car, his depression lead him to consider either strangling her to make her stop crying or to get out of the car and walk away and never come back.
Eventually David admitted his feelings to his wife and it was this act that became his first step towards seeking help. A health visitor recommended CrossReach who were fundamental in David’s recovery, and offered all the help, support and counselling that he needed.
Now David has made a full recovery he is able to cope with the demands of fatherhood. He counts to ten when Freya is crying and works out what she wants.
With 10 members of his friends and family, David recently completed a 13 mile charity walk through the Pentlands to raise awareness of post natal depression in men and for the organisation – CrossReach that helped him recover.