Father’s mental health also affects children, know how
Few people know and understand that the father’s behavior and mental states also have a great impact on children. In the world of therapy, it is called the father wound if the effects are adverse or negative.
Now aggression, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, addiction problems, poor relationship skills and even issues of suicide, are but a few to mention of the characteristics of people who had a father who was not always there or absent, emotionally or physically abusive and always angry.
It is normally believed that the behavior of the mother has a profound effect on the personality of children. If the mother is in depression, it can have its full effect on the children. If she is of an enthusiastic nature then the children also become like this. This is only true at certain stages of the child’s life.
The impact of the mother’s mental state on the child usually happens during the very early stages (0 through 4 years) of the child’s life. The child has little reasoning capabilities at this stage therefore these impacts are usually temporary.
They only react to pain, sound and other physical contacts with either crying or smiles. A child who gets sad by seeing the sad looks of the mother is exhibiting reasoning capability. Most people don’t pay attention to this stage and hardly realize that it is at this stage that the father wound comes to play.
From this stage through the rest of their lives, what children grow up to permanently become and how they handle life, has a strong connection with the life and thinking nature of fathers.
This is something to be considered very important because it is about the child’s overall behavior and development. fathers need to take care of their behavior and mental health. Now let us consider the lives of few of history’s greatest and famous names;
- Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer. During the childhood stages of his life he had a father who was always not there and aggressive. He grew up to become one of Americas greatest murderers as a result of the father wound. Wikipedia has this to say about him;
“It has been claimed that Dahmer was deprived of attention as an infant. Other sources, however, suggest that Dahmer was generally doted upon as an infant and toddler by both parents.
As Dahmer entered first grade, his father’s university studies kept him away from home much of the time; when he was home, his wife a hypochondriac who suffered from depression demanded constant attention. Consequently, neither parent devoted much time to their son.
Dahmer had been an “energetic and happy child” but became notably subdued after double hernia surgery shortly before his fourth birthday.
He recalled extreme tension and arguments between his parents during his early years. At elementary school, Dahmer was regarded as quiet and timid; one teacher said she sensed he felt neglected because of his mother’s illnesses.”
- Bonnie and Clyde was an American criminal couple who were believed to have murdered at least nine police officers and committed several robberies.
Their early biography at Wikipedia states that;
“Bonnies’ father Charles Robert Parker (1884–1914) was a bricklayer who died when Bonnie was just four years old“.
“Clyde was born into a poor farming family. He was the fifth of seven children and spent their first months in a town they had moved to living under their wagon until they got enough money to buy a tent. One can only imagine the fathers’ behavior due to tension at home”.
All they went through left the father wound in them which resulted to their later actions in life as criminals.
- Ed Gein was an American notorious killer and grave robber according to biography.com.
A woman’s decapitated body was discovered in a shed on Gein’s property, hung upside down by her legs with a crossbar at her ankles and ropes at her wrists.
Searching his house, the police found countless other human bodies. Upon questioning, Gein told investigators that between 1947 and 1952, he made as many as 40 nocturnal visits to three local graveyards to exhume recently buried bodies while he was in a “daze-like” state.
On the other occasions, he dug up the graves of recently buried middle-aged women he thought resembled his mother and took their bodies home.
It can be told from this that Ed was a psycho. But how did he grow up to become such. In Wikipedia his early biography states that;
“Her mother reserved time every afternoon to read to him from the Bible and preached to him about the innate immorality of the world, the evil of drinking. It can be seen that the mother was a good woman.
Yet the father was hated by the mother because he was an alcoholic who was unable to keep a job.”
The behavior of the father was greatly influenced by alcohol which in turn left a father wound in Ed Gein.
Also, check out these list at Biography.com; Read and analyze the early stages of their lives.
- Biography.com- Crime figures; Famous Criminals, Murderers
- Biography.com- Serial killers; List and notable Murderers
Questions for fathers
These questions should be asked by every father because the child’s upbringing and future depends greatly on the answers.
Who is a father considered to be at home? (Behavior and nature)
How much time do they spend with children?
How much attention do they contribute to their upbringing?
Do fathers even think about these issues?
There are many positive examples which also prove the father wound aside from the above mentioned. It is seen that the fathers who were sensitive and supportive, got their children emerged as good people even in bad financial states, career and bad studies.
Such children hardly lose courage and track. They are very strong in heart. Their social skills and behavior are always found to be good.
On the other hand, such children whose fathers were facing any kind of mental pressure or illness had to face many problems related to behavior and emotion. The father wound is an issue to be considered very serious by not only fathers but all family members.
How should a dad be?
In a good upbringing, close attention should be paid to how children want their father to be. After all they are the ones who get affected by the father wound.
Talking about how the father should have a behavior that children should see in each progressive stage of their lives should be considered also. A father should prove himself mentally strong in all such characteristics as;
– Strong and bold
– Less absent
– Ability to give guidance on right occasions
– The art of staying steady and courageous even in the worst of times
Being a father also gives depression
Postpartum depression is a condition that women feel after becoming a mother. During this time, women feel a lot of depression. Similar depression is also felt by men after having children.
It is absolutely true that there are less cases of depression in men than in mothers. While this is true to an extent only, it should also be considered that men hardly share their depression problems.
Could this be the reason for the assertion that there are less cases of depression in men or fathers?
While the mother can tell the tales and reasons of her depression to anyone, the same cannot be said of fathers. They are hesitant to tell the condition of their heart to everyone.
At times, they turn back from telling their truest and closest friends or even their wife. Their strict image keeps them from telling anyone the pain of their mind.
If they are unable to share any grief and trouble with anyone, then they keep choking inside. This will also then breed poor mental health which comes along with the father wound problem.
Research in Australia says that 1 in 5 men feel depressed after becoming a father. Whiles the number of fathers going to the doctor is only 1 in 10. Check these out; Numbers 3 and 4 explains deeper.
- Beyond Blue-Depression and anxiety in new fathers
- Sage Journals- Forgotten fathers: Postpartum depression in men
- US national Library of Medicine/National Institute of Health- Postpartum Depression in Men
- US national Library of Medicine/National Institute of health- Sad Dad
These are the causes of depression in fathers
There are several reasons why a father may go into depression. Let’s consider some of these.
Paternity leave is not common in most institutions. Even if it is, it is usually not enough that the father can relax and spend time with the child.
– Increased responsibility; If the child brings happiness, then along with it comes new responsibilities. These are such responsibilities that changes life completely. These responsibilities give great stress to fathers.
– Poor sleep time; Even if the child is not entirely the responsibility of the father, due to the bad routine of the child, fathers often have poor sleep.
– Increased Expenses; As soon as the child arrives, the expenses often increase so much that the father starts feeling a lot of financial pressure on him. These expenses also keep increasing with the passage of time.
– Work Stress; there is pressure on the office while the responsibility increases at home. There are many of them that as a father, a man has to fulfill.
Fathers mental health and child upbringing. The father wound
In the theory of the father wound, if the mental health of the father is bad, it has an adverse effect on the child’s upbringing and future. Fathers suffering from poor mental health have also admitted that their confidence in raising children is often low.
They also usually lack patience. This is the reason why they are not able to play a big role in the education life of their children. Such fathers also avoid spending time with children leaving room for the father wound.
It is important to ask for help
As a father, it is important to ask for help at this time if you are under mental pressure if the future of your children really matters to you. Contact the doctor at this time and make every effort to get rid of mental complications to prevent your children from the effects of the father wound.
But before that, talk to your partner about it. Parental support during these times also helps. Tell them about your heart. This will make you feel a little lighter.
With this, remember your hobby again. Try to give one hour of your day to your hobby, be it playing badminton or painting.
Apart from this, if there is any hobby, they can also be fulfilled. Experts believe that any activity, being it difficult or not, helps a lot in improving mental health if it brings happiness.
It is important to consider your children first in all things as a father. Go to the ends of the world to prevent the problem of the father wound for your children. Your legacy lies in them.