Dad's Mental Health Can Affect the Entire Family

By: Children's Lifetime Team

Being a dad is one of the most rewarding and important roles you can have in life. Right from the beginning, fathers play a big role in their children’s health and development. Studies show that father involvement during the perinatal period and the first three years of life leads to children who are more ready for school, have an advanced vocabulary and enhanced social skills, and are better able to regulate their emotions.

Father involvement also positively impacts fathers and mothers: it increases both parents’ confidence, results in both being more responsive to the baby, and it decreases mothers and fathers’ potential for mental health issues.

With today’s advances in medicine, it’s tragic how uninformed and unwilling parents are about maintaining a healthy body and particularly a healthy mind. Men are far less likely to seek help, particularly help with mental health. Exhibiting symptoms of a disorder often does not trigger a sense of urgency to seek medical attention.

Refusing Help

There are many reasons you may be reluctant to seek help for mental illness.

I’m not weak,

I don’t need it,

I can get better on my own,

I don’t want anyone to think I’m crazy,

I don’t want to spend the money,

I don’t have time,

I can’t leave my family

Acknowledging the reality of your illness and its impact on your life can be frightening, and can elicit emotions you’d rather not deal with. Even if you do realize the extent of your own suffering, the prospect of unraveling it can seem overwhelming and exhausting, and you may tell yourself that you can handle it alone. When you have children, however, your mental illness is never yours alone. The effects of mental illness on children can be deep-reaching and destructive.

Getting Help for Mental Health