It’s common for mothers to give birth and then struggle with postpartum depression. In fact, Mayo Clinic suggests that the “baby blues” affect anywhere from 11 to 20 percent of all mothers.
Symptoms include: depressed mood or severe mood swings, intense irritability and anger, feeling like you’re not a good parent, severe anxiety or panic attacks, and thoughts of death or suicide.
While the rate of postpartum depression tends to be higher in women, it’s not specific to mothers. Though the topic of postpartum depression already carries its own stigma of being taboo, it’s even less-spoken about when it occurs in fathers.
“I think maybe it’s still hard for people to understand that men can get postpartum depression because they don’t understand the underlying risk factors,” says Founder of Postpartum Progress, Katherine Stone. “It may be hard to understand from the standpoint of, ‘Well, if you didn’t have the baby, how can you have it?’”
Statistics actually show that 10 to 25 percent of dads suffer from postpartum depression.
Adam Busby is a father of six girls, and star of TLC’s “OutDaughtered.”
He also happens to struggle with postpartum depression. Adam opened up about it to his wife in one of the show’s most recent episodes.
Being the sole provider for his family of eight, and feeling stretched thinner than ever to give his girls the life they deserve, Adam admits he’s often felt like a failure because he’s unable to work as hard as he does and also make time for his wife and kids.
“I feel a lot of pressure being the only one providing for our family right now. All I think about all day long is seeing you, playing with the girls. I feel like I can’t give enough time to either side and make everyone happy. In return, I feel like I’m not happy.”
Adam took the episode to verbalize the weight of what he’s been carrying. His wife, Danielle, later admitted she had no idea the mental state he was in:
After opening up on the show, fans took to Twitter to show their support and thank the OutDaughtered dad for his honesty and transparency in getting the conversation started.
Adam is hopeful that by shedding light on his own battles with postpartum depression, he may be able to spread awareness and help break the stigma.