Alex Gonzalez’s daughter was born on Christmas, which is ironic for those who know him.
“I grew up in a ‘Clark Griswold’ house where lights are everywhere and it just turned me into a grinch,” said Alex. “It’s the biggest joke that my daughter was born on Christmas.”
Alex fell in love with his daughter, Joan, the moment she was born. But, a month later, the effects of Postpartum Depression kicked in.
“I started feeling really down on myself because I was trying to work all the time to provide for the household while my wife was at home on leave. I felt I wasn’t forming the relationship with my daughter that I wanted.”
Postpartum Depression can lead to anxiety and feelings of worthlessness.
“The major turning point [for me] was [when] I had thoughts on the way home. I thought about driving my car off into a ditch and [thinking] my family would be better off without me.”
Even though Alex knew at the time this wasn’t true, those invasive thoughts were still present. Instead of trying to deal with it on his own, he reached out to his doctor for help.
“I started taking an antidepressant.”
That wasn’t a long-term fix. Alex knew the best way to treat the issue was with a support group.
“I started trying to find other dads that had gone through what I had gone through and I couldn’t find anybody because nobody wants to talk about it. Things aren’t going to change if we don’t talk about it.”
Which is why Alex is sharing his story - So, that other fathers know that support is available.
“No one should have to do it alone. If you’re feeling that way, go out, find somebody to talk to, I just don’t wish that on anybody.”