I mentioned the other day that my postnatal depression affects everything. Depression has affected my motivation towards my blog and youtube channel. It has affected my relationship with my children. It has also affected my relationship with my husband.
The pediatrics doctor hit the nail right on the head the other day. When we were discussing how my postnatal depression affected my family, he also asked how my relationship with Eugene was. He specifically mentioned that it was very common for husbands of mothers with postnatal depression to distance themselves from the situation. They work late or spend as much time away from their family as they can to avoid having to deal with the problem.
It was a shock for me. Because it’s true. When we first realised I had postnatal depression Eugene had been spending a lot of time, not necessarily at work, but in our bedroom playing on his playstation 4. He’d go straight there when he walked in the door after work. He’d spend all weekend on there. It was his escape. Then I went onto medication to help with my PND and he was back to being more available with our family.
I came off those medications earlier this year. One day I woke up and just didn’t seem to need them. I thought I was managing my depression naturally and was better. But Eugene went back to his avoidance techniques. He started working his side business all the time. He was away all weekend and every evening selling and installing his tv boxes. If he wasn’t selling them, he was back on his playstation.
It wasn’t until the pediatrics doctor talked to me about how husbands of postnatal depression sufferers generally react that I realised the pattern. And while it doesn’t help the situation (quite frankly it tends to make it worse for me by isolating me even more in my depression), it really isn’t his fault. Because that’s the sad catch with depression. The husbands don’t know how to deal with it. They don’t know how to help their wives or their family. So they avoid it as much as possible and pretend it’s not there.
Thankfully, that same doctor is going to set up help for us so we can work through it. But I can only imagine how many marriages fail purely because of the lack of help and understanding of how postnatal depression affects everything.