Dear Mr. Dad: I’m a new dad, and a month or so after our son was born, my wife started acting strangely. Thanks to an article you wrote a while back, I recognized the signs of postpartum depression—she was sleeping more than usual, putting on weight, crying a lot, losing interest in things she loved to do, and generally not liking motherhood. I convinced her to see a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression and she’s better now. Looking back, I realize that I’ve been struggling with some odd symptoms too: I’m having a lot of trouble making decisions, I’m frequently angry, and I find myself avoiding my wife and baby. I asked the therapist who helped my wife whether I might have postpartum depression too, but she just about laughed me out of the room. Do new dads get depressed? And if so, what can I do to get help?
A: The short answer is, yes, dads get postpartum depression too. In fact, a recent study found that as many as 25% of new dads suffer from it. Your question about how to get help is, as you discovered, a bit more complicated.
Unfortunately, too many mental health professionals diagnose depression—including the postpartum kind—by looking at the traditional symptoms like the ones your wife had. The problem is that men often don’t have those symptoms.
Read the rest of this article here.