Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Dads in crisis

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“We men are only human, not robots,” says Marcelo Vicente, here with his son.

A sudden pang in the chest. shortness of breath. “I was scared to death.” Marcelo Vicente (28) is sitting in the office when everything collapses. The freshly minted papi from the canton of Nidwalden lands in an emergency. There the diagnosis is made: depression and anxiety disorder with strong psychosomatic symptoms. Vicente spends four weeks in a clinic.

After giving birth, 15 percent of mothers suffer from postpartum depression (not to be confused with the baby blues, see box). But it’s frowned upon not to be overjoyed when you’re in bed. Therefore, all too often: silence instead of telling. Smile instead of asking for help. The mothers experience little support – the fathers are often completely forgotten. For them, postpartum depression is an even bigger taboo. According to studies, at least every tenth person is affected. 89,000 babies were born in Switzerland last year. That makes conservative calculations 13,000 newly ill women and 10,000 fathers.

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