'How could I, a man-machine, need help?'

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Tom H, 32, is an accountant in the music business. He lives in London.

"After my daughter Molly was born, I was obviously delighted, but over the subsequent weeks I began to feel tired and scratchy all the time. I seemed so responsible, too much so, and I had these feelings of resentment and loss about my life before parenthood. My wife sensed this and, assuming that I was blaming her, started retreating from me into her life with the baby, which seemed extremely exclusive. Certainly there was little time for affection, let alone anything more intimate.

"I had taken quite a lot of paternity leave, planning to ease myself back into my self-employed life, but I found myself always shopping one minute, then snatching half an hour to write an important letter, then pacifying Molly by taking her for a walk in the baby carrier. I was also feeling confused in my mind, and it seemed easier just to watch videos from the sofa, but these relentless tasks just kept on coming. It was time to pay myself a bit of attention, but I couldn't find a way to do that and felt guilty for even thinking that I, man-machine, needed to sort myself out. After a while I started to become hypochondriac. I kept on thinking I had a brain tumour or heart flutters. Resting didn't help and I felt extremely sad about life. I finally admitted to myself that I was depressed, and started taking the steps - a short course of anti- depressants, yoga, exercise and therapy - which were to make me feel better about life. I took a while, but I became a better father as a result, and fortunately my marriage survived."