Dad Shares His Battle With Postpartum Depression. His Wife Said ‘He Was Just Kind of Checked Out’ After Birth

When a woman noticed her husband just wasn’t himself after the birth of their premature baby, she didn’t know what was wrong until a specialist told them he had fallen into postpartum depression (PPD).

According to some experts, up to 50-percent of new fathers also struggle with the mental health condition following the birth of their newborn. However, some still continue doubt if men can be affected by the baby blues.

As FOX4KC reports, after struggling with anxiety and depression, Jimmy Long became withdrawn and silent and found it difficult to bond with his son. His wife Jennifer Long knew something was taking its toll on her husband but couldn’t identify the problem.

Jennifer told the outlet:

“He was just kind of checked out- not wanting to talk, not wanting to ask how Oliver`s day went. […] I looked at him, and I was crying and I said, ‘What’s wrong?  You have to tell me what’s wrong.’”

After witnessing the change in Jimmy, Jennifer found support from local nurses at Advent Health medical center in Kansas City, Missouri.

The family was experiencing a time of great stress after Jennifer’s unplanned C-section, and then their son Oliver, who was born prematurely, spent 47-days in the NICU battling a myriad of health problems.

The family said nothing prepared Jimmy for the overwhelming emotions that came with caring for a premature baby.

It wasn’t until the hospital staff recommended the couple see a specialist for postpartum depression that the Longs were able to help Jimmy overcome his symptoms of depression.

Renyer-Wilson, a NICU social worker at the hospital, said more and more dads are struggling with the mental illness, although their pain often gets ridiculed. Renters-Wilson said:

“Dads take on not only the fatherly role, but at times, they can feel helpless in the new baby experience. […] Men can be more agitated, they can have a rapid weight increase or decrease, feeling hopeless, and just socially isolating themselves.”

However, when it comes to men experiencing postpartum depression, people have debated the controversial topic online. One person wrote in response to a dad’s blog post about his PPD:

Ummmm just no. Men don’t suffer from postpartum depression they’ll never suffer from postpartum depression this is something many women suffer after they have a baby because their hormones are all out of balance after carrying s baby for 9 months.

Whatever it is men are dealing with at that time is a completely different thing. A depression of some kind sure but postpartum no.

Another person wrote:

I wonder if we should just call it what it most likely is- Adjustment Disorder.

Renyers-Wilson said the trauma surrounding a premature birth could put families at a higher risk for PPD.