Young dad reveals battle with postpartum depression that left him crying uncontrollably on the floor every night: ‘I felt guilty and ashamed…I couldn’t feel love for him’
- Radio host Jack Post talked about his struggle with postpartum depression
- Jack fell into a deep depression after the birth of his son six months ago
- He said that some nights he would ‘cry uncontrollably’ in the nursery
- Jack said he didn’t know men could get postpartum depression and felt guilty
- After opening up to those close to him and seeing a therapist, Jack is doing better
A young father has spoken candidly about his grueling battle with postpartum depression that left him crying “uncontrollably” on the floor every night.
Australian radio producer Jack shared his story with co-host Christian O’Connell on his daily radio show for RUOK Day, sharing the “shame and guilt” he felt after he and his wife Bianca welcomed their son Gordon six months ago.
The 34-year-old said he felt “embarrassed” for being a father with postpartum depression, but his mental state has improved in just a few months after being open and honest about his feelings towards himself and family and friends.
A young dad talks about his debilitating struggle with postpartum depression that left him crying ‘uncontrollably’ on the floor every night
Australian radio producer Jack shared his story with co-host Christian O’Connell on his daily radio show for RUOK Day, sharing the “shame and guilt” he felt after he and wife Bianca welcomed their son Gordon six months ago.
“It started when my son was born in March, and you remember how dizzy I was during pregnancy. I was so excited for him. I couldn’t wait. I felt like I was through it all,” Jack told his co-host.
“I felt like I was doing 10/10 work as a husband until birth and then something changed after he was born, and it was really strange.”
While Jack was excited that Gordon had arrived safe and sound and Bianca was healthy, the “insane amount of love” everyone told him he would feel for his new baby didn’t come.
Does Postpartum Depression Affect Men? What are the signs?
If your partner is pregnant or has had a baby, you may feel flat, depressed or irritable.
These kinds of changes are common in fathers and all unborn parents during pregnancy and early parenthood. But emotional changes that last longer than two weeks and get in the way of your daily life could be depression.
If you experience any of the changes below for more than two weeks, please ask for help. Talk to your partner, family or friends and see your doctor.
Common physical symptoms may include:
- lack of appetite
- trouble sleeping, or sleeping and waking up at unusual times
- weight loss or weight gain
Changes in emotions and moods can also be signs of prenatal and postnatal depression. For example, you may feel the following:
- guilty or ashamed
- grumpy, anxious and angry
- isolated or disconnected from your partner, friends or family
- not being able to enjoy things you used to like or enjoy
You may have changes in thinking. For example, you can:
- not being able to concentrate or remember things
- have difficulty making decisions or performing daily tasks
- having thoughts about being overwhelmed, out of control, or unable to cope
- think about death or suicide
You may also have behavioral changes. For example, you can:
- not interested in sex
- withdrawing from your family or wanting to spend more time at work
- being irritable or aggressive towards your partner, family or friends
- using drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with change, stress, and depression
“I felt guilty and ashamed to bring this little man into the world whom I must love so much, and I can’t feel that for him…Now I love him so much, but that came after three months, ‘ he said, fighting back tears.
“I went through what’s called postpartum depression, something I didn’t even know new dads could get. I thought it was something we should be concerned about for Bianca, because I know there’s a lot of postpartum depression in new mothers, and I was the one who felt it.”
Jack said that some nights he would sit alone on the floor of Gordon’s nursery with his head between his knees “crying uncontrollably.”
Jack said some nights he would sit alone on the floor of Gordon’s nursery with his head between his knees ‘crying uncontrollably’
“I felt that Bianca was the one who did all the work, she gave birth to him, she went through the pregnancy, and I’m the one who is depressed and crying on the floor. I felt so guilty and ashamed about that,” he said.
The new dad struggled to accept that he was depressed, but acknowledging his feelings and finding out he had a problem was a “burden off his shoulders.”
Jack’s family, friends and colleagues saw him struggle before he did and Christian even insisted that Jack take a few weeks off to recover.
Through his experience, Jack said he has a “deeper empathy” for people, better communication with his wife and friends, and has grown closer to those with whom he opened up about his struggles.
He said he struggled to open up and talk about his depression with those close to him for fear of being a “burden.”
Who can I call if I feel depressed?
24/7 mental health care
If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of injury, call triple zero (000).
Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467
lifeline 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Helpline for children 1800 55 1800
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
open arms 1800 001 046
“I remember convincing myself that if I tell people it will be a burden to them and I was basically convinced that everyone would be better off without me,” he admitted.
“Opening up and talking about it… it takes such a load off your back. You can’t believe how much burden it takes off you.’
Jack was also “reluctant” to see a therapist, but said it “changed everything” when he finally did.
“You convince yourself, I go in there and say it’s me and they say ‘Go away, I’m only dealing with real trauma, this is nothing, you’re just weak, suck it up’. Of course they’re not going to say that,” he said.
Through his experience, Jack said he has a “deeper empathy” for people, better communication with his wife and friends, and has grown closer to those with whom he was open about his mental health issues.
Jack said he’s got his “lust for life back” and if he could go back six months, he’d urge himself to “take the first step” and tell someone he wasn’t okay.
“I would try to tell him as seriously as possible that it will get better if you don’t feel this way forever, because you convince yourself it will never go away — trust the process of telling people,” he said.