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Sad Dads: PPD or B.S.?

Posted Jun 01 2010 10:55am
On May 18, 2010 a piece of research was released that affirmed what many practitioners and fathers have been purporting for years.  That men can and do experience postpartum depression.  The JAMA study results indicate that the numbers affected are greater than previously thought were initially published into a story at CNN

That day, just moments after the story went live, also having been "broken" on Good Morning America , the internet was a-buzz with reactions.  Being a regular Twitter user , I saw the first impact of the news release there.  Mostly just people tweeting links to the article at first.  But as the day progressed, I noticed an incredible amount of emotion being shared (in 140 characters or less, of course).  The thoughts and feelings expressed ranged from anger to empathy and the way they were expressed ranged from disbelief and disregard to sheer and utter hate and ignorant ranting.  It is people and comments like these that stigmatize and encourage those suffering from mental illness to isolate themselves in unnecessary/undeserved shame.  Below is just a sample of the hundreds of reactions publicly communicated.  By sharing these comments with you, I hope not to give extra acknowledgment to this insensitivity , but rather to offer insight into how many people in the world think about depression and anxiety and encourage you in the work you may be called to do to help de-stigmatize and educate about mood disorders.  Knowing what we are up against only arms us with more knowledge to address the issues.  We CAN make a difference.  One person at a time.

Disbelief
Postpartum in men?  You have got to be kidding
New study shows dads also suffer postpartum depression. Remedies include games of bunco or tub of rocky road.
Appreciation
Idea that postpartum in head will hopefully finally be debunked now that dad's suffer from it too! Sadly, women weren't believed for eons.
Mocking and/or Offensive: (all tweeted by different people)
Is it weird that I get postpartum depression after an epic poop dump?
hahahah this radio guy just said men who claim to suffer "postpartum" are p___ified. lol
as a fellow LOST fan Im sure you too have postpartum depression, let me know when you find a show to fill the void (not likely) 
Post Partum Depression for dad's? Really? Already a name for that. Called "Life got tougher. Deal." Judges also would accept, "Parenthood." (this was tweeted by a news anchor)
"Dads get post-partum depression too." Oh, come on. It's called sleep- and sex-deprivation.
A man suffering from postpartum depression is a girly man.
Angry/territorial
Postpartum depression and dads: is it real or just taking attention away from mom?
What is this bullshit about men suffering postpartum depression? They're not the ones who sacrificed their bodies and health to give life! 
I just retweeted re postpartum depression hitting as many dads as moms.Typical of men- taking EVERYTHING from women :-)
$5 says post partum depression in dads has risen directly at the same rate as businesses offering paternity leave.
CNN reporting on men with postpartum depression. Sorry. I have about zero sympathy.
I'm sorry. I just cant see a man suffering from postpartum depression. No one is cutting his man hole & sewing it up to bring out a baby
Lol "postpartum depression can strike new dads". Yeah, no. Until they have to have an episiotomy...no. 
Here you'll find links to some very thoughtful posts in response to this research and the reactions that followed the publication of it.  I encourage you to visit these blogs and join in the conversation.

Lauren Hale at My Postpartum Voice Speaks Up for Depressed Dads

Katherine Stone at Postpartum Progress responds to why people don't believe PPD exists in Dads

Ivy at Ivy's PPD Blog on Fathers and Postpartum Depression

Lauren Hale at the Postpartum Dad's Project writes and open letter to those who chose not to believe in PPD in men

Are you a man who suffered from PPD?  Are you the wife of a husband who suffered?  Are you the child of a father who was depressed when you were a child?  If so, then you already know what the rest of us just learned...that NO, PPD doesn't come neatly wrapped in a package exactly 3 weeks after a vaginal birth by a mom who simply can't deal with "life getting tougher."  One might suffer from PPD if you have a vaginal birth, or a c-section, or adopt your baby, breastfeed or formula-feed, have a baby that sleeps well or doesn't, have a history of depression or not OR even if you have a vagina or not.  So there it is...PPD doesn't discriminate, not even by gender.
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