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Fatherly Podcast Episode 32: When Dad Has Mental Health Problems

In an intensely personal episode, Joshua David Stein speaks about his struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder and his attempts to get help and insulate his kids.

Children don’t just grow up in the suburbs or the city. They don’t just grow up in their mother’s or father’s home. They grow up in the shadows of their parents’ thinking. They are informed by anxiety, stress, sorrow, and joy. The contours of the lives led by the adult around them inform their world views and long-term wellbeing. For this reason, it is critically important for parents to be honest and open about their mental health — to seek help if needed.

This may be particularly true for fathers. Statistics indicate that men are often more reluctant to address health concerns broadly and mental health concerns in particular. Many mental afflictions are more commonly diagnosed in women, but it’s naive to believe that this is simply because of the pressures placed on women in America. That’s part of it, sure, but there’s also this: Men don’t get diagnosed.

In an effort to call attention to this issue and model the honesty necessary for parents to protect their children from their demons, Fatherly Podcast host Joshua David Stein agreed to open up about living with Borderline Personality disorder and to discuss how it has affected his personal life with mental health expert Valerie Porr. The resulting episode is deeply personal, a conversational model for male honesty about emotions, regrets, and hope.