Although postpartum depression (PPD) is most often associated with mothers, research shows that 10 percent of fathers also exhibit the depressive symptoms associated with PPD, and now one TV dad is bringing a spotlight to his own struggles.
Adam Busby, star of TLC's reality series "OutDaughtered," which follows his family with wife Danielle and their six daughters — including quintuplet toddlers — recently revealed on Twitter that he has experienced PPD himself after a concerned fan suggested he might be depressed.
"Read the statistics," Busby wrote when he confirmed the fan's suspicions. "It's not fun to talk about, but if me talking about this helps any dads out there, then it's all worth it."
Busby faced some criticism in the Twitter thread from commenters calling him "not strong," but he responded to them quickly and with a hint of sarcasm. "You know that depression isn't a choice?" he wrote. "Exposing my flaws for the sake that it might help others on a worldwide stage? No, that's not strong at all."
TODAY Tastemaker Dr. Deborah Gilboa told TODAY Parents that the issue of men struggling with their mental health after the birth of children is very real. "Ten percent of men, as compared to 14 percent of women, suffer from postpartum depression," she said. "They also face even more shame and stigma and ignorance than women do. It's worth noting that triple that number are believed to suffer from postpartum anxiety (PPA) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or both, and even less is commonly known about those disorders."
Babies face bigger health risks when these disorders go unrecognized or untreated in either of their parents, Gilboa said. "For families to be healthy, we must talk more, accept more, and help more the adults that struggle with these problems," she said. "The great news is that we can help anyone with PPD or PPA. The biggest hurdle is awareness."
Busby's wife, Danielle, jumped in with support on her own Twitter account. "I am 100 percent in support of my husband; he is my other half!" she wrote. "It's just shocking to hear what he's been going through."
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Busby's public statements seem to be spreading awareness and having an effect on his followers. "My hubs said how he can relate to you!" wrote one commenter. "I had PPD after each of my three — can imagine after five — even happy change can cause stress!"
Another wrote, "You openly talking about your stresses and pressures helped me have more patience and understanding with my husband. Thank you."