7 Things that Make Postpartum Depression in Dads Different than Mom
Updated: Jul 18
“Oh yeah, I used to punch the roof of my car on the way to work.”
“Oh yeah, all the time.”
I’d sat down with my husband Jeremy and gone over the symptoms of postpartum depression in dads. He checked 10/11 boxes. No wonder postpartum has been so hard on our marriage.
Jeremy said about having a baby,
“I felt like I didn’t know what I was signing up for, and that I didn’t like it, and that I felt bad that I didn’t like it, which made me not like it more."
Postpartum video games
Even during the first week postpartum, every spare moment Jeremy lost himself in video games. He’d plop down on the green couch in our apartment, lean his head forward, and click click click away.
When he started working at his first job when our son was 6 months old, the video game playing would start when he got home from work on Friday night and last all weekend until Sunday night.
When looking back on losing himself in video games, Jeremy said,
“Video games gave me a sense of control where I could say what I want, do what I want, be what I want, and didn’t have that forced responsibility.”
It turns out that withdrawing like that is a totally normal symptom of postpartum depression in dads.
The big 7: Postpartum depression in dads is different than in moms
When dads are depression after the baby is born, their postpartum depression has different symptoms than it does in moms. Here are the symptoms of postpartum depression in dads that can happen any time during the first year after birth (read more on this website). 7 of them are unique to dads:
Trying to focus more on work or other distractions
Consistently low energy and fatigue
Changes in sleep, weight and appetite
Alcohol and substance abuse
Headaches and stomach aches
Feeling easily stressed or frustrated
Violent or aggressive behavior
Impulsive and risky behavior
Anger and irritability
Resources for dads with postpartum depression
If you have postpartum depression, or think your husband might be experiencing it, here a few resources for you:
Dad resource page on postpartum.net
Monthly dad chat with an expert run by a pediatrician who had postpartum depression as a dad
Do you think dads need to know more about postpartum depression? Share this on social media so we can get the word out about postpartum depression in dads. If you're wondering what puts dad at risk for postpartum depression, visit this blog post.