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Paternal Mental Wellbeing

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

Becoming a parent can feel like a huge responsibility, laying the foundations for your child’s future development. Last month my blog was focused on Maternal mental health, but what about their partner, and their mental wellbeing?

Up to 10% of partners can experience postpartum depression and up to 18% can go on to develop a general anxiety disorder, OCD, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the pregnancy or within the first year.

Symptoms you might experience:

  • Heightened feelings of anxiety and overwhelming worries about the past or the future

  • A surge of intense fear, heart ,racing and shallow breathing during a moment of panic

  • The compulsion to check and recheck things, obsessing over something.

  • With depression and low mood you might experience feelings of worthlessness, wanting to isolate yourself, or withdrawing from activities you used to enjoy.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder can present as heightened anxiety, flashbacks, and avoidance of any reminders of the trauma.

What are the possible causes for developing a mental health problem?

  • Previous experience of having a mental health problem

  • Isolation and lack of a support network

  • Stressful living conditions

  • Your own difficult childhood experiences

  • Life events such as unemployment, an illness or death in the family, and moving home.

  • Low self-esteem

Tips to take care of yourself:

  • Ask for help and be open to receiving help from other family members or professionals.

  • Self-care – look after yourself. Keeping active can boost your mood, eating regular meals, and keeping to a routine.

  • Talk to other parents about their experiences.

  • Spending time with your new baby can help build your confidence and bond between you.

  • Book recommendation: Daddy Blues by Mark Williams

How CBT can help?

Working together we can help you challenge and manage unhelpful thoughts, moods, or behaviours. This process then allows you to create more balanced and positive changes in your life. The therapy itself is short-term, working towards goals for positive change. However, the techniques you learn will support you going forward in reducing the impact worries and low mood has on your life.

It is important to reach out and get support if you feel you need it.

· Talk to your doctor or health visitor as soon as possible.

· Contact me directly at Herts CBT on my home page or email for a free assessment.

Image by skalekar1992 from Pixabay


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