By Mark Williams
People have often said “Mark why are you so open about talking about your mental health” and I often reply that if I had a bad arm and needed to tell someone, I would. There are many reasons why my story has gone over the world and that is only due to dads not coming forward and sharing their illness. We only know, due to recent reports by the national childbirth trust, which I was proud to be involved in, that says 1 in 3 fathers are worried about their mental health and 3 in 4 are worried about their partners mental health too. To think all these families are suffering in silence it shocks me even today in the year 2015.
The other reason is by telling my story in the national media “Men seek help quicker and that so important” I also say the quicker the help the quicker the recovery, where like me it manifests in other concerns like Anger or Drinking to stop your mind racing. I suffered for years and only when I came out and talked about my postnatal depression and what I know now as “PTSD at the Birth” did I fully understand me. I have since been really, depression free, for a big period now and of course mentally stronger than ever since at 41 years of age been diagnosed with “ADHD” which of course, I have had all my life.
I have had so much respect and comments saying that my story has helped them. But it’s my wife, Michelle, who is the real hero, as it was her who had servere postnatal depression in 2004 and it’s our choice to go public. Even if the dad wants to come forward it’s mainly family or friends that makes him think twice about entering what I have found “Sharing my soul” to people world. I have come out the other side and of course my wife, Michelle, now works in mental health. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it is if treated, an illness that will either go away or if someone has bi polar or scizponoia can be treated and managed for your entire life, I take one high dose Citapram per day and with my Mindfulness and positive coping skills that works for ME. This illness of depression is totally different for everyone, some need medication some don’t it’s that simple.
My wonderful son is now nearly 11 and is fully aware of the work I do in my life. He is aware that his mother also works in mental health and to think if he ever developed it, he will come to us for help as we know at least 1 in 4 will have depression, and to be honest think it’s far more if people only came forward. If you are a parent and are totally uneducated about depression and mental health, which may result in people saying ” Pull yourself together” or “How can he be depressed” like people in the past, stop and think what your child come to your if they were struggling. I guess maybe not and one thing I’m sure of my son Ethan will came to me and that’s so important as I always say to people “The quicker the Help, the quicker the recovery”
Mark is has also started “Dads Mental Health Awareness Week” starting next year every third Monday of June till Fathers a Day.
To find out more about Mark and his great work, visit the website here.