Dads might run the danger of delayed ‘crashing’ after the Canterbury Earthquake. Many of the men we have seen at Chch Father & Child recently report high anxiety levels in their partners and their children, especially daughters. Dads have taken on the role of the stable ‘rock in the storm’ for their families as the ground continues to shake regularly at night.
Experience, for example with postnatal depression, shows that fathers cope very well while a crisis is going on, but ‘crash’ when things in the family overall are improving as they have been postponing their own dealing with the situation. This sometimes leads to quite severe depression. With nerves being frayed, there is also a danger that couples fight more.
A good technique is to ‘debrief’: Talk honestly and earnestly to a trusted friend about how it all was, or come to us and we’ll ‘debrief’ you. If you’re feeling stressed already, or are arguing a lot more with your partner, it also helps a lot to talk things through.
The Chch office is open 10-2 weekdays, or by appointment, 1/369 Hereford Street, 982-2440.
Harald Breiding-Buss, Father & Child General Manager.
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