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What's Wrong With Me?
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Jan 22, 2002
When a miscarriage occurs, most of the time any sympathy that is expressed is directed to the mother. There might be some flowers sent, perhaps a few cards, and there might be some phone calls from friends saying “I’m sorry.”

Something else occurs with miscarriage, too. People will generally say things to the father such as, “You take good care of your wife. This has been hard on her.” Or, you might hear, “This is such a shame. She really wanted that baby. You be strong for her. She needs you to keep things going.” Sadly, fathers are often the forgotten grievers when there has been a miscarriage.

Fathers can have a very difficult time coping with miscarriage, too. A husband not only goes through the loss of a cherished baby, but he also has had to stand by his wife as he helplessly watched her go through the physical aspect of a miscarriage. Depending on how many weeks pregnant a woman was, there might have been very heavy bleeding that occurred at home. The bleeding is often accompanied by the passing of large clots and tissue. This can be frightening to both the husband and wife.

If medical reason calls for it, there will be a surgical procedure performed on the mother called a dilation and curettage (D & C). This, too, can be quite upsetting for both the husband and wife. Even the trip to the doctor’s office or emergency room when the first signs of an impending miscarriage are taking place can be an event that will long be problematic for the father.

It is not at all unusual for a man to worry about many aspects of the miscarriage. Was the bleeding harmful to my wife? Was the surgery dangerous? Was I responsible for putting my wife through all of this pain? Will it hurt her the next time we have sexual relations?

When these concerns are not openly addressed, a man’s grief work can become very difficult. He thinks he needs to stay strong for his wife and does not express his own grief and pain. This can lead to symptoms of depression often causing a man to ask, “What’s wrong with me?”

Depression can affect men at any age in life. Depression is highly related to loss, especially child loss. It is very important to be aware of the symptoms so that depression can be treated.

In general, a person with depression may experience any of the following: 1. Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood 2. Difficulty concentrating and making decisions 3. Weight gain or weight loss 4. Overall feeling of being slowed down 5. Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
6. Tired all the time 7. Thoughts of killing oneself 8. Loss of interest in hobbies and activities once enjoyed, including sex.

Fathers can get depressed, too, and it can be serious business! If you are feeling these symptoms following a miscarriage, you need to talk to your health care professional. Good help is available. You cannot just “snap out of it” as some will tell you.

“What’s wrong with me?” It just might be that you are suffering from depression due to the miscarriage. Remember that fathers suffer from grief, too. Recognizing and treating the symptoms of depression is a big step towards healing in your journey of grief.
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