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“I felt like I needed to be here for them” – Single father opens up about mental health battle

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

Being a parent is never easy - being a single parent one could argue is doubly hard. Fathering as a single parent comes with its own unique challenges, and can considerably impact a man’s emotional health.

This is premised on the fact that in many cultures, it is considered taboo for men to express their softer side, or even talk about their feelings.

During an interview with MTV News Update, 34-year-old Seeon Satrohan, a father of three, opened up about battling with anxiety and even wanting to take his own life.

In 2006, Seeon, a now businessman, recounted that he got married after his wife got pregnant with their daughter.

“Shortly after we got married, we both wanted a divorce, and we kept struggling and pushing,” Seeon explained while noting that his then-wife got pregnant again with their son.

Two years later, the two got a divorce, and Seeon – a few months later – entered into another relationship, which produced another son. According to the 34-year-old businessman, this relationship ended after they “grew apart.”

“Prior to the separation, she was focusing on UG, and I was focusing on me and work and business,” the single father stated.

“To be honest, there were many nights I would take a moment and cry it out. I do at times have a mental breakdown – it is rare, and I would stop on the seawall and take a moment and cry.”

The businessman added that after ending his relationship, he wanted to take his life, but he felt that no matter what, he needed to be here for his children, especially his daughter, who is the eldest.

“I felt to myself that it would have been selfish of me to take myself, but now my children, especially my daughter, would now have to live without her father, and she has been extremely close to me because I literally grew her up.”

Notwithstanding the challenges, Seeon added that being a father means everything to him. “I am now responsible for others and also to help them grow up to contribute to society and do great things,” he stated.

His advice to other single parent dads is to find a balance between their personal and social life.

“I am saying this because you cannot throw everything in your children. I tried throwing everything into my kids, and I never better myself. I found that I was mentally stuck for a very long time, and it wasn’t until my kids got older I started to realize that they will continue their life, they will become better people in life, and you now just stuck in one single place.”

He continued, “So, the goal is that you have to continuously try to keep bettering yourself and additionally, focusing on your children, but you must find time for yourself. It is all about the mindset – do not look at anything negative. You need to understand that you are going to set big goals in life, and you need to achieve these goals regardless.”

To this end, Seeon urges men who might be in a similar situation not to give up as there is "light at the end of the tunnel."


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