Keegan Bursaw’s son was born “out of nowhere” at 26 weeks and five days. Then came three and a half months in the neonatal intensive-care unit. Doctors told Bursaw he had to be strong for his wife and son, but the too-new father wasn’t sure how to do that. So he asked Reddit.
On Reddit, Bursaw found communities, or subreddits, full of dads with similar experiences. He asked users on the /r/daddit and /r/NICUparents subreddits how to deal with worry, how to unwind without feeling guilty. They answered. One user told him that this was his chance to get himself right while doctors got his son ready for the rest of his life.
Reddit doesn’t have the reputation of being a place where such positive, supportive things happen. But for guys who aren’t used to looking for help IRL, the site has become an unlikely mental health resource. In subs like /r/depression and /r/anxiety (which has 237,000 subscribers), men are connecting—anonymously—with hundreds of thousands of people going through the same thing. Can Reddit replace professional help? Probably not. But it can help you get to the point where you’re comfortable seeking it out.