On watching the OutDaughtered male postpartum episode

If you haven’t heard of OutDaughtered, it’s like Kate+8 or any family show where they were expecting one more kid and got handed five. I just caught the show yesterday and it was leading into the male postpartum episode and subsequent trip to Nashville.

Adam, season 1
Adam, season 1

Before you start to question male postpartum, yes, it exists, yes there are hormonal changes in fathers as well, and yes it can be treated if you can’t shake it. Should you have doubts about it, think sleep deprivation depression, or for that matter any depression. It exists, whatever you want to call it, he’s depressed, let’s move on.

Adam, late season 1
Adam, late season 1

So we’ve got this dad (Adam Busby,) who’s decided he’s got male postpartum depression. If you’re depressed and can’t kick it, you go talk to a professional. This is 2017 not 1952. This being a reality TV show what he instead did was get in a chat room and have his producers set up a trip to Nashville to meet with a pastor who could have told him everything on a phone call.

I’m not against meeting a pastor in Nashville mind you, the production company behind OutDaughtered, and any other reality show or movie has a significant financial interest in filming episodes in TN. TL;DR version of that is a 25% kickback and lowered taxes and hopefully some more sidewalks in this town.

Adam with the sad stare
trapped eyes, season 2

Their trip took them to the Wild Beaver, which makes you wonder how much they were paid to pass up every good thing in Nashville to land in that place. Seriously. I mean, I’m not against the place existing, without the darkness the light doesn’t shine as bright sort of thing, but there were a lot better places within vomiting distance.

The episode was filmed largely as tourist propaganda with all the B roll and really random non-highlights of Nashville on display that I’m assuming paid to be in it.

The meeting with the pastor Jarrid Wilson was relatively short on screen. He said that he wasn’t a therapist, nor qualified to give advice on depression and that much like every single other person Adam’s talked to about it has said “go see a professional”. They did talk a bit more about Jarrid’s depression which was one honest feeling moment in an otherwise hugely concocted episode.

Adam struggled with yet another person telling him to see a therapist on screen more and more looking like someone who’s trapped and looking for a way out. Upcoming scenes show he’s heading into therapy on camera, well, at least into the initial consultation.

While I don’t take a lot of reality TV as anything real, the guy looks like he’s reached a snapping point. He’s got the shifty bunny eyes of someone who’s expecting an explosion (or a kid falling,) at any point. He’s got the stunted movements of someone trying not to throttle people. Basically he looks like he needs the help he’s saying he needs. I believe he’s either seriously depressed or he’s a decent actor.

So let’s look at the episode a bit…

Arrange for meeting with pastor Jarrid, verify dates, get plane tickets, line up to either transport crew or use Nashville production/filming talent. Figure a day.

Setup for the kid’s day out where they rope the family into helping out – lead-in 2-3 days for production crew to arrange shooting with locations, catering, draft story, get any permits that may be required. Take kids during less busy time so fewer issues with shutting down areas.

Whatever time between that and the flight (probably a week or three if they want to save some money.) Day of flight and Wild Beaver let’s consider that a day.

Day of meeting, which was effectively useless although it did go to highlight some issues and maybe Adam understood it’s time to actually take every single person’s advice and go seek help from someone qualified.

Production staff probably begins calling various mental health professionals to locate one that will agree to be videod. Figure another day to locate a few, scout out locations, etc.

A lot of time wasted to present this badly.

There’s a song from Daniel Tiger that goes along the lines of “when you have to go potty just stop, and go right away” which teaches children when there’s something important, in the song’s case it’s having to use the bathroom, you don’t mess around, you go and do it. Same should be applied to depression. Take care of your star. Stop filming. Get him help. Then do a “oh, this happened” episode.

Adam’s describing crippling depression. This episodic arc with Nashville visit tends to indicate that either they don’t consider it worth immediately stopping and going for help, that they were willing to have him deal with it longer. Alternately he’s actually in therapy and they’re shooting out of order.

I’m assuming it was at least another week or two and that’s not ok. If you’re depressed you stop, and go for help right away. You don’t fly across country for reality TV to meet someone who probably told your production staff at the beginning he’s not a licensed or practicing therapist, or qualified to handle it.

I really hope he was seeing someone for help during this time as opposed to waiting for the next episode to film.