I am a father of two young children, both under five years old. I have been with my wife for several years and for the most part, we have been very happy. I have a job and we have a roof over our heads and for this I am thankful. But every day when I wake up, I am struck with a very sad and dark feeling that I am not doing enough. I feel like no matter how hard I work, I will not be able to afford the life that my partner and children deserve. I have begun to feel like a failure when I come home and sit around the dinner table. I struggle to be positive. Recently it feels like I have to put on an act when I am around people.
What can I do to feel better in myself?
Feeling like a failure as well as feeling a deep sense of both sadness and darkness are all suggestive signs that you may be experiencing depression. Depression is a common experience felt by many of us at one stage or another. However, depression can become severe and debilitating and it is important that you seek support should you require it. Other than what you have described, let us explore some of the additional signs of depression in men.
- Sleep issues: Are you sleeping normally? Are you suffering from insomnia? Has your sleep routine been impacted because of the way that you have been feeling?
- Weight issues: Have you experienced weight loss or weight gain? Has your appetite been impacted because of the way that you have been feeling?
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt: Are you experiencing negative feelings and or negative self-talk?
- Energy issues: Are you feeling fatigued? Are you experiencing aches or pains? This includes headaches or digestive problems?
- Feelings of anger, irritability, hopelessness or anxiety: These feelings are common when we are dealing with depression.
- Concentration issues: Are you experiencing difficulty focusing on everyday tasks? Are you experiencing a loss of interest in work, family, hobbies or other interests?
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm: Are you experiencing any negative thoughts about ending your life? If so consult a doctor straight away.
If the feelings that you are experiencing are consistent and have impacted you for more than two weeks, I recommend that you visit with your doctor and also consider seeking some counselling support.
The therapeutic process will allow you the space to reflect on your experiencing and to work through your emotions and doubts in a confidential setting. It will also provide you with the opportunity to consider what else you might do in order to feel better, be it career-wise or personally. Instead of telling yourself that you are not doing enough, the therapeutic process will assist you in considering positively and pragmatically the ways in which you might improve upon your situation.
Allow yourself the time to recover Jacque and be patient. Your feelings convey how much you love your family and how much you wish to provide for them. How lucky, your wife and children are to have you in their lives. Be mindful that this sense of love and care that you have in abundance for your family members, must also be extended to yourself. Consider how you are taking care of your own well-being. Are you sleeping enough? Do you have a healthy diet? Are you exercising? This, more than ever, is the time to prioritise your health.
An important thing to note here Jacque is that there is no shame in feeling this way. I will repeat: there is no shame in being depressed. You do not need to hide what you are experiencing. What you are going through is a normal response to the stressors and pressures of life. Confide in your wife, tell her how you feel and do not carry these feelings alone any longer. In sharing your thoughts and fears your partner will be better able to support you during this time. You deserve to feel like you are living your best life. Do not let the fear of failure prevent you from achieving your innermost potential.
Best wishes to you,
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