Dads Mental Health

Mental Health is the elephant in the men’s room.   Think it’s difficult to get Dad to see the doctor, try getting him to see a mental health professional.  How many of you know Movember was created to raise awareness about prostate cancer and male mental health? 

Every day a gray day? Get help.
Photo courtesy of Olen Gunnlaugson

The following oversimplified list was provided to me by my counselor. I call it, The 5.

  1. Get enough sleep.
  2. Eat and drink wisely.
  3. Stay active.
  4. Stay connected with friends and family.
  5. Talk about your feelings.

If you are doing The 5 and you’re still experiencing the blues, talk to your physician.  You might need a little extra bio-chemical help.  You wouldn’t feel shame taking medicine for any other illness, so don’t feel ashamed to take medicine for mental/emotional illness.  Should you decide to pursue medical help, remember to continue The 5 because the medicine supports them, it doesn’t replace them.

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Anything you’d add to The 5?

Have a Dads Mental Health story you’d like to share?

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Comments

The Beginning
About James Hudyma

Dad. Husband. Teacher. Canadian. Guitar Picker. Songwriter.

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Comments

  1. Left Coast Dad says:

    ugh… I’m only doing number 2. Number 1 is happening on a technicality because I’ve been oversleeping lately.

    • James Hudyma says:

      The list is deceivingly simple. How do you get enough sleep when your kids are sick or if they’re still babies? How do you eat wisely when you’re always in a rush? How can you stay active when you’re always exhausted?

      I say focus on one at a time and slowly, hopefully, you’ll be able to do all 5.

  2. AskAGreatDad says:

    Number five is the hardest for me. I tend to bottle up my feelings and about every six months or so it comes out in a Clark Griswald kind of rant on some unsuspecting person. Since I have been writing I have found it to be a very effective stress relief outlet. Putting my thought on papers, regardless of whether I post it or not helps.

    The last line of the post “Should you decide to pursue medical help, remember to continue The 5 because the medicine supports them, it doesn’t replace them.” really hits home with me. I have a relative who is Bi-polar and it took that person a while to realize that popping a pill does not solve the deeper issues. You have to take care of yourself and learn coping skills to deal with anxieties and fears. It’s very hard for men to admit they need help, and just getting medication rarely solves the problem without learning those necessary skills. Great post, and hopefully it will help some Dads who may be going through some down times.

    • James Hudyma says:

      Writing definitely makes up most of my #5. It’s therapy.

      My goal in writing this is to help. Sometimes knowing someone else who has to work hard to stay mentally well is encouragement enough to get help or get serious about getting well.

  3. Keep learning…that keeps me level. If I’m not enjoying learning something new, I get into a serious funk.

    • James Hudyma says:

      “Keep learning” For sure man. That is so important to me too. If you’re brain goes stale or is idle too long a person is bound to get down.

  4. Doing pretty bad at 1 and 2 right now, slumping at 3 after a really good two year stretch, 4 always my strongest trait and kicking butt there and I’d give a thumbs up to 5 as wife and I typically do the brutal honesty thing, and as you said James, writing provides an outlet there too.

    Important post, thanks for sharing. Whether we like it or not, or even agree, as dads we are the rocks/foundations of our family units. In the past challenges like these were buried for the most part, and I’d even say our challenges today are a bit more given our increased involvement, so it’s important to talk about this stuff and help each other look at ourselves.
    Good work.

    • James Hudyma says:

      “help each other” therein lies the beauty, for me, of this site and my involvement with SoMe. It allows me to connect and share, support and be supported.

  5. DaddyBriefs says:

    Getting enough sleep with an infant around is difficult. I have found the lack of sleep combined with 10 hour work days is pretty much killing me. I never knew how valuable sleep was until I started having to function an entire day on just a few hours of it.

    • James Hudyma says:

      Lack of sleep kills for sure and there really isn’t a solution to your situation (I’ve been there) until the kids start consistently sleeping through the night.

  6. I use my writing as a therapy tool as well. Plus, I talk regularly with other stay at home dads from around the country. Happily, I am on meds as well, but that comes from having multiple illnesses. Keep up the good work!

    • James Hudyma says:

      Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully your happiness continues along with your health.

  7. BrickWade says:

    It’s so important for men to be aware of the issue of mental health for themselves. I’m thankful to see you address it and hope it can help others.

    Parenting is hard and no doubt takes a toll on our brains. There’s always so much discussed about post-partum depression and baby blues but mental health isn’t just a woman’s problem.

    • James Hudyma says:

      Thanks so much for pointing out that “mental health isn’t just a woman’s problem”. Most guys I know never even talk about their feelings let alone any problems they might be having dealing with mental health. Again, thank you.

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