Did you know that at least 1 in 10 dads experience depression or anxiety related to the arrival of a new baby?
It’s a condition known as PPND – Paternal Post Natal Depression and it’s much more common than most people realise. Unfortunately, many men suffer in silence and never seek help.
Howard Todd-Collins is a psychotherapist who helps men deal with the emotional changes that occur when they become fathers.
In this interview, he explains why so many dads experience PPND, what it looks like and how to deal with it.
What you’ll learn
- Why Howard started specialising in Men’s mental health issues
- The Active Fathers Group – a men’s group that Howard founded for new dads
- Why men neglect their mental health once they become fathers
- How your relationship with your dad can impact your fatherhood style
- How men experience hormonal changes during pregnancy and beyond
- What is Paternal Post Natal Depression (PPND)
- How common is PPND
- What are the symptoms and when do they appear
- What to do if you think you are experiencing PPND
- How to be more emotionally present with your kids
About Howard Todd-Collins
Howard Todd-Collins is a Psychotherapist, Consultant and Director of Men and Relationships Counselling.
He holds a Masters Degree in Counselling and Human Services and is a qualified member of the Australian Counselling Association. He provides individual psychotherapy consultations to men, women, fathers, mothers, grandparents, young adults and relationship counselling to couples.
Howard also designs and facilitates personal development, parent education and emotional skills workshops for men, women and couples.
Before entering private practice, he worked in the Mental Health Sector providing support to adults with psychiatric disabilities. His career spanned 16 years, half of which included organisational leadership and program management roles in designing, implementing, and facilitating recovery-focused, rehabilitation programs.
Howard continues to provide external supervision and consultation to support staff, team leaders and managers within the Mental Health and Community Health sectors.
Howard and his associates specialise in working with men and those in relationship with them.
He has a particular interest in the meta-emotion of men, that is the feeling about feelings and the messages men have been taught in regards to their emotional expression.
Howard has contributed to growing community awareness of Post Natal Depression in Men (PPND). He has appeared on Channel 9’s Weekend Today program discussing Post Natal Depression and the impact of pregnancy and birth on men’s lives and relationships.
He is also the founder several new dad support groups and a new coaching program called Man Talk.
Howard lives in Mordialloc Victoria. He has a wife and one adult-age daughter.
Quotes by Howard Todd-Collins
“If you get the right space to talk, men will talk and they will open up about their thoughts and their feelings”
“The absent father is more about the absence of emotion, but it leaves men confused”
“There are two experiences in life where men begin to realise there is a gap in their emotional vocabulary. One is when they meet a partner and the other is when they become a father.”
“There’s a grief period of transition that goes with being a dad and that’s temporary – but it surprises men.”
“We are recognising men do experience their own mental health issues through pregnancy and birth but it’s not being diagnostically recognised enough, which means there is a risk. The screening for men still needs to improve”
“If their partner is going through PND, men are more likely to experience their own at some point.”
“There is some research around hormonal changes in blokes that affect mood through pregnancy and beyond”
This post was previously published on The Dad Train.
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Photo credit: Author