Christmas will never be the same again

My father (who’d had a stroke back in 2019 and has been deteriorating from a mental and physical standpoint for the past 3-1/2 yrs) passed away suddenly on Christmas Day from cardiac arrest. He’d tested positive for COVID (caught from our aide) before Christmas, but didn’t have a fever or any other sign except for lethargy. Our aide told me it’d be better if I didn’t come over because I could get COVID and bring to my family on Christmas. On the morning of 12/26, I was supposed to take him to an urgent care if he was still lethargic. But I never had the chance. We buried him on New Year’s Eve. He was 86.  Up until the end, he was always trying to see if he could get back to work despite his age, his inability to drive.  He’d worked up until his stroke.  He had accomplished so much as a structural engineer….so much for him and his family to be proud of.  But all he knew how to do was work.  He had very little in the way of social connections or hobbies.  I couldn’t get him to read newspapers/books/magazines or even do puzzles….things that could help him stimulate his brain so it wouldn’t atrophy.  So the family watched as his mental and physical condition deteriorated.  He was spending more & more time in his bedroom with his door closed and his appetite was decreasing up until I saw him a couple weeks before Christmas. My brother said it best during his eulogy at my father’s funeral service: “As his health continued to decline over the next couple years, deep inside, he struggled between what his heart wanted and what his body and mind could do. [When he] passed away….he finally found peace. I believe his spirit has been freed, and somewhere up there, his mind is creating once again.”

Taken 12/4/22 – mom was still smiling for me. Pictures are always so deceiving. You never know the true condition of a person based on a smiling face in a picture; but a mere 1-second glimpse. I didn’t know at the time that this would be the last picture I’d ever take of her.

My 87-yr-old mother has been deteriorating since she had a surgery in 2012 to remove a cyst near her spinal cord. She was probably undiagnosed OCD and PTSD with a lifelong history of anxiety. A lot of the issues that’s led to her current state were pretty much her own doing (from a mental standpoint because she kept telling herself & her family she just wanted to give up). She avoided walking because she was afraid her leg would swell, which is what happened post-surgery. Since 2012, she has had an eating disorder (would only eat edamame and rice) due to her fear of triggering an auto-immune condition called pemphigoid bullous (started after her surgery due to trauma from her recovery at the rehab center) that we got under control about 1-1/2 yrs ago with a daily dose of prednisone. I’m fairly sure her eating disorder was tied to her desire to no longer be with us, but I couldn’t talk her into seeing a therapist. I also tried to get a nutritionist to help, but she refused to listen to her.  Insisted on eating nothing but edemame and rice. She thought therapists and nutritionists were a waste of time/money.  She canceled the therapist appt I’d scheduled for her. By 2018, she refused to stand up/walk. It’s been painful to watch her deteriorate to the point that, as of a couple years ago, she couldn’t turn in bed, sit up, stand up, walk, go to the bathroom. The only thing she would do is feed herself.  Because we had her pemphigoid bullous under control, she was no longer afraid of eating all sorts of foods. I was so relieved!  But by this past summer, she stopped feeding herself, so her aide would have to feed her. For the past 3 years or so, she has also had a spitting habit (spitting her food into a small tub she kept on the table), which I was never sure was voluntary or involuntary. I just thought she wanted to spit her food out due to her eating disorder. Then, about a year ago, the spitting action started happening even when she was just sitting and watching TV. At that point, I was thinking it was definitely involuntary. From a recognition standpoint, she still recognized me but forgot my name and my brothers’ names. She would still smile whenever she saw me. But she hasn’t really talked for close to a year. So her baseline has been non-verbal, unable to do anything for herself, and not really remembering much.  A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Taiwan from a cousin I’d recently gotten back in touch with.  The letter informed us that my mom’s brother passed in July from not being able to eat and then not being able to drink fluids.  It seems this is a familial trait.

My mom also tested positive for COVID and over a few days had a temp of about 99 degrees a couple of times. But then she had no temp and all seemed fine except she was starting to eat even less than usual. My brother and I admitted my mom into the hospital on Christmas night. I do not know if she was aware what happened to my father. Since being admitted to the hospital, she hasn’t been able to swallow or eat and has been relying on the IV drip to keep her hydrated/sustaining her. She went from nodding/smiling in recognition when she saw me on 12/26 to no longer able to acknowledge/respond to me. Three days ago, her jaw is locked shut and she had involuntary spasm-like jaw/tongue thrusts (like she was choking, but there was nothing in her mouth) and two days ago, she couldn’t open her eyes (she kept trying to). She has become more emaciated in the past 3 days. It pains me to see her lying there looking that way. She went from crying out for my aide and my dad on Mon/Tue fairly frequently to no longer being able to call anyone’s name yesterday (but every few seconds while I was there, she would just call out).

We admitted her to hospice on 1/2/23.  To think, we almost started hospice back in 2019 and she bounced back so well with the help of our aide who has done so much for my mom for the past 6+ years.  We cannot thank her enough for all that she has done…all the back-breaking work of lifting my mother in/out of bed, helping to bathe her, dress her, feed her and bring her back from a very bad state over 3 years ago.  My brothers and I realize she will not be bouncing back this time.  She hasn’t had any water/food/IV drip since she arrived in hospice.  It’s 1/5/23 now.  It’s only a matter of time.

I hold her hand and whisper to her softly every day when I see her: “I love you, mom.”

This is all so overwhelming.  If you’re reading this now, please pray for my mom’s peaceful passing.  Thank you.

Dads Do Get PPD Too

I haven’t blogged about this important topic–of dads getting postpartum depression (PPD) too–since 2012, so it’s high time I do so now as I’m catching up during my stay-cation!

My previous posts are:
Fathers and Postpartum Depression
A Father’s Day Post: The Effect of PPD on the Dad
Shame on You, The Guardian, for Perpetuating Negative Notions on Mental Health Issues and Denigrating Men at the Same Time

In today’s post, I have a bunch of articles, and even a recent Today Show segment about PPD in dads, that I’d like to share.  PPD in dads is not a topic that you see much of because, after all, it’s the new mother whose body goes through a lot of physical changes before, during and after pregnancy.  After all, she’s the one who carries the child for months and after giving birth experiences roller coaster emotions, thanks to all the hormonal changes.  It’s bad enough that PPD is still so misunderstood (and what comes with lack of knowledge/understanding is stigma) in women, but the scoffing that men face when they find themselves suffering from PPD is even worse.

Men can and do experience depression after a child’s birth.  Risk factors include a personal history of depression, a wife that has PPD, a baby with health issues, colicky baby, first-time fatherhood and uncertainties due to inexperience, stress at work, etc. I personally know someone who experienced it briefly after the birth of his first daughter, and he was fortunately able to avoid it after his second daughter was born.

The Today Show that aired on August 3rd focused on the story of Dr. David Levine, a pediatrician who also happened to be a new father who suffered from PPD.  Dr. Levine, who talks about his experience with PPD, is accompanied by subject matter expert, Dr. Catherine Birndorf (psychiatrist and co-founder of The Motherhood Center) whom I’ve met previously at a Postpartum Support International conference, and Erika Cheng (assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine).


This is not, by the way, the first time the Today Show has focused on PPD in men.  On July 1, 2015, there was a very good article on it titled “Not just moms: postpartum depression affects 1 in 10 new fathers.” The article features the experience of Mark Williams, founder of  Fathers Reaching Out and Dads Matter UK.  The article also features information about PPD in fathers by subject matter expert Dr. Will Courtenay, who founded Postpartum Men.

On August 11, 2018, I spotted a CBC (Canada) article about PPD in men titled “New dads show signs of postpartum depression too, experts say.”

On May 19, 2017, I spotted a Deadspin article titled “A Q&A with Tony Reali About Postpartum Depression and Anxiety in Dads.” I know this article is a bit old….I have had this article up for the past 15 months!  I told you I had a lot of catching up to do!  Tony Reali is the host of ESPN’s Around the Horn.


Join Elly Taylor of Becoming Us on her U.S. tour of training sessions for parents and professionals!

My friend, Elly Taylor, is an Australian relationship counselor, author of the book Becoming Us, and founder of an organization of the same name, which she created to teach professionals and support mothers and their partners.  Both the book and organization’s mission is to help the mother and partner navigate the peaks and valleys of the parenting journey via 8 essential steps that Becoming Us as “map, compass and travel guide all in one.”

Elly is here in the states for her “Seed Planting” workshop tour in Chicago, Beverly (MA), Providence (RI), New York City, Houston and Los Angeles.  For the complete schedule and how to register, click here.

At Darling Harbour, Sydney (2014)

Elly and I have a bunch of things in common.  We are both postpartum depression (PPD) survivors and book authors (though hers is award winning).  We were both blindsided by PPD and the challenges of parenting.  We are both members of Postpartum Support International.  Elly loves NYC (where I’ve spent the last 29 years working) as much as if not more than I love Sydney (where she lives).  She is fortunate enough to be out here in NYC each year for the past 3 years on Becoming Us-related reasons; whereas, I’ve been back to Sydney 3x in the past 21 years (I so wish I could return more often!).  I look forward to seeing Elly during her stay in NYC!


Sign up for Elly’s 2-hour interactive workshop that will teach you key tools to prepare/support expectant/new parent couples to anticipate/cope with the changes–and stay connected through the challenges that come with–early parenthood. You’ll come away with ways for parents to nurture themselves and their partners so the whole family can thrive.  This workshop is designed for couple and family therapists, birth professionals, infant or child mental health professionals, and any others who work with expecting, new or not so new parents.

The transition to parenthood is a major one that consists of numerous transitions.  The training will teach you what the transitions are and how they can negatively impact mothers and their families. You’ll learn how to plant Becoming Us “seeds” that reduce risk for the most common parenthood problems including perinatal mental health issues and relationship distress. Finally, you’ll discover the groundbreaking Becoming Us approach to parenthood and how you can apply the model to your work with parents at any stage of their family life cycle.


Sign up for Elly’s 1-hour interactive workshop that will teach you about the transitions that parents normally go through in their first years of family, the steps to navigate each of these transitions and staying connected through the challenges that come with early parenthood. You’ll come away knowing how to nurture yourselves while growing a family that thrives.



Common Bond of Parenthood

There is nothing subtle about the common bond of parenthood, as shown at the end of this video sponsored by Similac, a formula company.  I’m practically certain that an anti-formula group of breastfeeding (BF) zealots would never have sponsored such a video.  The last thing the BF zealots want to show is that there is even a hint of commonality between moms who BF and moms who formula feed.

What is the common bond?  Well, as you’ll see by watching this video, it’s that parents are–regardless of our parenting style or choices–parents.  Period.  The video even has a group of men (whether they are single parents or stay-at-home-dads is not clear), which is Similac’s intent to bring fathers into the picture, because after all, fathers are parents too.  Parents have a desire and obligation to do the best they can to care for their children with the means best suited for them.  Our children are our responsibility.  We brought them into the world.

At the end of the video, when a baby and parent need help, everyone–regardless of their parenting style or choices–drops their differences and runs to the aid of that baby and parent.  Now, that’s what it SHOULD be all about.  Forget about stupid and meaningless mommy wars.  Putting aside our differences and recognizing and respecting each others’ differences– instead of putting up walls to separate ourselves from those that are different from us– is what it should all be about.  Non first-time parents know what it’s like to be a parent for the first time and know how challenging taking care of a newborn baby and being a first-time parent really is.   Wouldn’t it be nice if experienced parents shared their experience with other new parents instead of thinking “Well, I learned the hard way, so can he/she.” Wouldn’t it also be nice if there were parent support groups in EVERY community, not just here or there and not known to/hard to find by the vast majority of those seeking support?  Parenting is about community, not about individual parents in isolation, left to their own devices because of how they choose to parent.

It takes a community to parent, period.  You can’t go it alone.  And you should not have to.

For added perspective from a writer and advocate for mothers whom I admire very much, please visit Suzie Barston’s Fearless Formula Feeder’s blog post about this video.  It’s titled “You’re Proving the Point.”

And another piece written by Amy Newman titled “Let’s Lower Stakes in Breastfeeding Debate.”

Spotlight on the Royal Birth

Wow, two posts in two days!  This is a record!  Everyone else has been blogging, tweeting, commenting on news articles, and talking about the royal birth.  I figured I might as well too.  I was all set to go to bed at midnight, which for me is early, but I had to check something on the computer and then all of a sudden I found myself feeling the sudden urge to blog about the royal birth.

Was I obsessed as some people were about Kate and William and their much-anticipated prince or princess?  No, not really.  Then why am I blogging about it?  Well, for one thing, I’m annoyed.  From morning til night, all I saw in my Facebook feed were comments about the royal birth.  Let me clarify.  I’m not so much annoyed by the amount of coverage as I am about the number of people that are annoyed about the amount of coverage and the nasty ol’ things that they had to say about it all.

As with everything including politics and religion, there will be the extreme camps.  In this case, you have the people who don’t give a rat’s butt about the royal family, angry that we are focusing so much on a baby’s birth (something that happens every second around the world) instead of more relevant issues like the state of our country and our economy, insisting that no one here gives a hoot (but plenty of people around the world and in this country do give a hoot or else why would there be such excessive coverage?).  While the other extreme camp has gone on and on and on for weeks leading up to the childbirth to try to predict the baby’s sex and what the baby’s name will be.  And then you’ll have what I refer to as the neutral camp who just want to go with the flow and carry on with their daily routines and not really care about the coverage in the news about the royal family.

I happen to belong to the neutral camp.  That is, until I was triggered.  What was I triggered by?  But of course, the meanness in people.  Meanness that stems from ignorance!  Yes, I stumbled across some mean comments/tweets on today’s Christian Monitor article titled “First glimpse of British prince brings comments about mom’s postpartum body.”  As soon as I saw the title, I thought to myself  “Do I honestly want to see the comments, which will no doubt be extremely ignorant and dumb, to put it mildly?”  I braced myself and read through the comments and quickly grew infuriated.  When I saw Kate and William walk through the hospital door earlier in the day to introduce their baby to the world, I instantly thought “Uh boy, Kate is still showing her bump, and I will bet you any amount of money that that will be the cause of a lot of mean-spirited comments from a public that is already weary of the extensive coverage about the royal birth.”  And here we are.

People calling her fat. <– omg, Kate, fat?  What, are these people nuts?  If she’s fat, then that makes me an elephant.  Ridiculous.

People joking that it looks like she’s still pregnant. <– Well, duh….this is how ALL mothers look after they have a baby.  And all mothers and their husbands/significant others know this because they have been through this themselves and know that you simply don’t blink away the belly that has been carrying a baby for the past 9 months.  It’s just NOT POSSIBLE.  What do people think really happens after childbirth, anyway?  That the entire contents of the belly simply come out with the baby, and that’s it?  What about all the skin and muscle that have had to stretch over the course of 9 months to accommodate the growing baby?!  I may have dropped my weight rapidly, thanks to the postpartum depression (PPD) that caused me to UNWILLINGLY lose my appetite and not want to eat anything for several weeks….this, after being literally starved for a week in the hospital after having my baby because my doctor wanted me to be prepared to go into surgery at any moment’s notice, thanks to my placenta accreta.  BUT I still had a residual belly when I left the hospital.

People joking that perhaps there’s still a twin in there. <– This is such a stupid comment that I’m not even going to address this.

What these idiotic comments show is that the image of a perfect postpartum body–thanks to celebrities and their personal trainers and not showing themselves in public until their tummies are gone–that the media focuses unhealthily on is causing the general public to have this unrealistic expectation of mothers all miraculously ridding themselves of their bellies and returning to their pre-pregnancy bodies immediately after they give birth.  I have blogged about this previously, and I’m actually quite sick and tired of this…I really am.

So, if women who have been through pregnancy can all vouch for the fact that the rapid return to pre-pregnancy selves is a myth, then why does this false perception continue to exist?  I’ll tell you why.  Because they don’t want others to know about their struggles to return to their pre-pregnancy selves, much like mothers who have suffered from PPD don’t want others to know out of feelings of guilt and shame that they didn’t experience the perfect childbirth experience they’ve been longing to have and society expects all mothers to have.

So…..with mothers not speaking up, the only examples we see are the celebrities flaunting their perfectly fit, postpartum bodies for all the world to see.  Therein lies the problem that we continuously and persistently perpetuate in one annoying, vicious cycle.

Last night, I saw a USA Today article titled “Will and Kate: New parents face joy, challenges” come up in my Facebook feed.  At first glance, when I saw that it was another article about the pending royal birth, I was going to skip it.  But then I saw who was interviewed for it.  My friend Dr. Diane Sanford, psychologist in St. Louis and co-author of Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom’s Postpartum Survival Guide.  I read it, and I was quite pleased to find that it offers refreshingly REALISTIC information about what Kate and William–like all other parents–should expect when it comes to becoming a mom and dad for the first time.  It was, quite frankly, a really great platform to educate on the realities of having a baby and parenthood…after all, it’s an article about the ROYAL BIRTH in USA Today, and bound to generate a good number of views.  So, I applaud the fact that Dr. Sanford was called upon as a resource for educating the public. It’s NOT just an article about the royal family’s baby boy.

I can only pray that, over time, the number of smart articles educating the public about the realities of pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period will increase so there will be fewer articles spreading false perceptions of what it’s like to have a baby.   More education will mean less idiotic remarks like the ones people have been making about the Duchess…who by the way, was brave for showing the world her REAL postpartum body!

Shame on You, The Guardian, for Perpetuating Negative Notions on Mental Health Issues AND Denigrating Men at the Same Time

In response to an article in the UK’s The Guardian written by Barbara Ellen and titled “‘Postnatally depressed’ dads? Give me a break.” and subtitled “Can’t females have anything just for themselves, without men barging in, not even a foul debilitating condition directly related to the physical act of pregnancy and childbirth?” please see Lauren Hale’s wonderful rebuttal.  And another rebuttal I discovered, thanks to Lauren, on the Mind Hacks blog.

I especially love this part from Lauren’s post:

This is not solely a male v. female issue. This is not men attempting to lay claim to “…a foul, debilitating condition directly related to the physical act of pregnancy and childbirth?” This is a family issue, just as it is with a mom. This is a mental health issue. Men, yes, are capable of experiencing depression. It doesn’t make them any less of a man, it doesn’t mean we suddenly have to contend with “male PND.” It means we should be understanding, accepting, and supportive of fathers, a group who is largely forgotten after the birth of a child and is simply assumed to carry on as if his life has not changed.

Bravo, Lauren!

For The Guardian to allow such an article to be posted is shameful, just as the article writer herself should be ashamed.  She is preventing progress in the public awareness and de-stigmatizing of mental health issues.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think she was a man-hater.  Her words describing her feelings are so vicious, so blatantly against men, you’d think she hated men.  Her dragging men through the mud for something that she is clearly biased about and attempting to influence the public to believe in–even though she so clearly and curiously indicates in the research statistics she quotes as evidence that there are indeed a significant percentage of men who get depressed in the first year after their babies are born–isn’t right.  Not right at all.  The Guardian was foolish to have allowed this to get published at all.

Ms. Ellen just put herself in the shoes of the misinformed, judgmental, and downright mean and self-righteous commenters that I felt compelled to address nearly 2 years ago with this post titled “Fathers and Postpartum Depression.”  I’ve said it all before, and really don’t feel like saying it all again.  There’s not much more to add to what I said in that post.  Fathers can absolutely get postpartum depression too.  Semantics, schmemantics.

What do I mean in terms of semantics?  Let me explain with this excerpt from my book.  I don’t have a lot more to say at this point than this.

People are taking the term postpartum way too literally. Postpartum depression is depression that occurs after a baby is born. It can happen to adoptive parents. It can happen to fathers. Period. Perhaps if we just changed the name of the depression experienced by fathers, so we call it something else, there will be less misunderstanding by the society at large. It seems that, while people may generally agree that men can be depressed by certain biological, sociological, and environmental factors (e.g., sleep deprivation, anxiety, a spouse who has PPD, lack of support) after the birth of a baby, it seems the general population believes the term PPD is reserved for new moms only. After all, men don’t give birth and don’t even have the same hormones that fluctuate so wildly from start to finish.

Baby Fussy or Colicky? Try the Amazing 5 S’s!

One of the most exciting–and at the same time quite belated–discoveries of recent days–is the amazing effectiveness of Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s.  Had I known then what I know from his appearance at the recent Postpartum Support International (PSI) conference in Seattle last weekend, my daughter’s colic–to which I’ve referred as the straw that broke the camel’s back–may not have sent me spiraling quickly into a sudden, and quite unexpected, trip down PPD lane. 


Dr. Karp started his session with the PSI attendees with an introduction on how he began studying colic and newborn crying in the early 1980s.  He mentions that all infants are born with an “off” switch for crying, but as the brain develops, it becomes less of a reflex and more of a behavioral thing.

Here are the 5 S’s:

1 – swaddling (with 42″ blanket) – to simulate the in utero experience for the baby. Click here for my previous post on swaddling (which happens to be extremely popular).

2 – side/stomach – again, to simulate the in utero experience (baby’s do not lie flat in the womb, but that’s what we expect them to do in their cribs).

3 – shushing (or white noise CD) – again, to simulate the in utero experience (Dr. Karp explains that shushing and the white noise CD generates sounds of a certain frequency, which reminds the baby of the sounds he/she used to hear while in the womb.

4- swinging/swaying (or rocking or gently bouncing) – similar to the YouTube video below

5 – sucking – one of the only instincts the baby is born with, other than swallowing (to survive, one must eat) and breathing. You can have the baby suck on mom’s breast, a bottle, a finger or a pacifier.

In the videos I saw of the 5 S’s in action, the baby instantly stops crying by step 3 (shushing).  Some babies stop with the first S (maybe not necessarily if they are colicky), some stop by the 3rd S, some stop by the 4th S, and some need all 5 S’s.   Every baby is different.  I REALLY wish I had known about these steps.  I would’ve tried them.

See the amazing process in action being performed by parents on YouTube. See it to believe it!  It’s fascinating how the baby would be deliriously screaming like there’s no tomorrow to instantly (I kid you not) ceasing as soon as the 3rd step is carried out.  As soon as that baby hears the shushing, their eyes grow big and round and crying instantly stops.  Everytime I see that, I get the chills.

Before I saw the videos, I would’ve absolutely been skeptical. I have a copy of his Happiest Baby on the Block book.  But did I read it?  Yes.  Well, actually, I speed-skimmed my way through relevant points I was looking for.  But you can only get so much out of reading.  You really need to see it being done by someone else and doing it yourself…which is why Dr. Karp created a DVD.   He’s also developed a Happiest Baby educator program, in which his is used to teach others how to perform the 5 S’s, whether it be parents or infant educators to become certified to teach a Happiest Baby class.

I just can’t believe I didn’t know the 5 miraculous steps that can instantly elicit a newborn’s calming reflex. I believe that if all parents were to be trained this technique as part of every hospital’s childcare training,  we should see a decrease in the number of moms suffering from postpartum depression.  Heck, we may even see a decrease in divorces from stress suffered by parents…and on an even more somber note, a decrease in the number of babies shaken to death.

If you are a new parent and need help with soothing a baby that may or may not have colic, give the 5 S’s a try. Click here for a very informative article on that I just stumbled across.  And click here to read my previous post on colic.  Click here for visit Dr. Karp’s website for more information.

Happiest Baby Tips That Can Help Curb Anxiety Levels in Parents

Wow, has it been nearly 20 days since my last post?!  Eeks.  Time is going by way TOO fast!   A belated Happy Summer greeting to you!  And boy, am I thrilled it’s summer! 

Well, here I am with a topic I’ve been wanting to post for the past couple of months.  What ultimately reminded me that I haven’t yet posted it was when I went to register for the Postpartum Support International conference today and saw that Dr. Harvey Karp, yes, THE Dr. Harvey Karp of “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” is going to speak at the conference on September 15th!   If you’re in the area then, be sure to sign up soon!
Two months ago today, I was contacted by Emily Weece of The Happiest Baby, Inc.  to share this information on my blog.  It’s important to remember that knowing how to cope with the curve balls nature throws our way– like colic and struggling with having to calm fussy babies– is key in lowering the risk of postpartum depression (PPD) in the new mom that is at risk for it.  See my past post for more on colic.

I’ve Been There, You Haven’t, So….

I’m not sure what possesses people to criticize others, especially if they don’t know the full story.   Speaking of stories, let me share a little story with you about a couple I know that just had a baby a few weeks ago. 

The new mom is on maternity leave for 3 months.  The dad took two weeks off to help the new mom.   This is to be expected, in my opinion, and should hands down be something management in a company should allow.  But then, he announces that, going forward, he would be working from home once a week, even after she goes back to work.   Nice!  Wish I could’ve arranged for either me or my husband to be able to work from home once a week like that after my maternity leave ended!  I’m thinking this is great for them….and at the same time hoping that all three of them are okay–mom, dad and baby.  Cuz you just never know.   Having been in a position where I nearly wasn’t able to return to work, having a tremendously difficult time with my postpartum depression (which no one but a handful of people at work knew about), I have learned that you can’t assume everything is fine and dandy or peachy keen for the brand new parents and the baby.  You don’t know if the mom is suffering from a postpartum mood disorder.  You don’t know if they have adequate help. You don’t know if they are having a difficult time transitioning to parenthood. You don’t know if there were childbirth complications.  You don’t know if there are health issues with the new mom and/or the new baby.  You just don’t know, do you?  Unless, if course, you find out what is truly going on, directly from the new mom and dad. 

Well, as soon as he announced that he would be working from home once a week going forward, the negative comments started.  Granted, I left out a minor detail earlier in that these two individuals happen to work at the same company.  Well, regardless of whether these people work for the same manager, different manager, same company or different company, if they were able to secure an arrangement–whether it be short-term leave, long-term leave, flextime, working from home once a week– with their management and HR, then what’s the deal with all the complaining?  First of all, who would complain and why would they complain?  Let’s see…..the ones who were complaining don’t 1) know the extenuating circumstances of the new parents, and 2) have never been parents themselves.    Two VERY GOOD reasons not to pass any judgement, if you ask me.  In response to the criticisms I overheard, I pointed out that there may be issues that we don’t know about…after all, I had issues no one knew about and I nearly couldn’t return to work due to my postpartum depression.   In the face of such a narrow-minded perspective of these individuals, I felt compelled to say something, and so I did.  It didn’t end there.  The response I got was “It doesn’t matter.  They could’ve worked something out that didn’t involve his having to work from home once a week.”   Well, again, we don’t know what their situation is, do we?   So I responded “Well, they may not have any relatives that can help, and hiring help isn’t cheap.  What else would you propose?”  That was the end of that conversation. 

People with no experience at being parents should be the last ones to make any negative comments, criticize, or pass judgment about parents, especially brand new parents.  Just like people who’ve never been depressed before should be the last ones to make any negative comments, criticize, or pass judgment about those who’ve experienced it firsthand.

How hard would it be, I wonder, if people were to open up their minds and try to imagine themselves in the other person’s shoes.  It’s called empathy, and I do it regularly.  What about you?   Is it too much to ask for a greater capacity to understand, and to rein back the impulse to shoot someone else down verbally?  Seems to me that all too many people–from my own experiences throughout life–are more willing to do the latter.  Why is that?   Forget about overhauling the healthcare system.  We need to overhaul people’s attitudes.  As I’ve mentioned before, it all starts with parenting and leading and teaching our kids by example.  Teachers also play a role.  Speaking of teachers, all schools should be required to teach empathy in one way or another, through the activities kids are involved in.  I’m proud to say that our school system does, and very happy that our daughter will derive that benefit!

American Academy of Pediatrics on the Importance of Screening New Moms for PPD

According to the latest American Academy of Pediatrics report published on November 1st in the journal, Pediatrics, with the over 400,000 infants born to moms with depression each year, perinatal (both antenatal and postpartum) depression is “the most underdiagnosed obstetric complication in America [which untreated and improperly treated] leads to increased costs of medical care,….child abuse and neglect,….family dysfunction and [adverse] affects [on] early brain development.” [1]

As I have said in prior posts, depression in new moms impacts the entire family.  Not only do fathers have an increased risk for developing depression themselves, but babies are at increased risk for insecure attachment, which can lead to developmental (cognitive) delays and behavioral (social, emotional) problems as they grow older.  Children exposed to maternal and/or paternal depression are at much greater risk of developing mood disorders, such as depression.  Hence, to ensure the health and wellbeing of the baby, it is important to ensure the health and wellbeing of the baby’s mother, which is why pediatricians are in a good position to screen new moms for postpartum depression (PPD), as well as help provide referrals for treatment and community resources/support services.

Between the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommending similar screening earlier this year and now the AAP, I truly hope that this will mean more new moms with perinatal depression being properly diagnosed and treated!  According to this report, although most pediatricians agree that screening for perinatal depression is something that should be included in well-child visits during baby’s first year, they also felt that they didn’t have adequate training to diagnose and treat PPD.  The report also states that the “perceived barriers to implementation [include] lack of time, incomplete training to diagnose/counsel, lack of adequate mental health referral sources, fear that screening means ownership of the problem, and lack of reimbursement.”[2]

There are indications, based on the report, that there have been efforts to move toward inclusion of women’s perinatal health in pediatric practices as demonstrated by programs like the one set up between Dartmouth Medical School and 6 pediatric practices in New Hampshire and Vermont, which show that pediatricians have the ability to effectively screen for PPD.  There is also the ABCD (Assuring Better Child Health and Development) Project, which is comprised of 28 states and their AAP chapters.  It’s wonderful that in Illinois, one of the ABCD states and one of the only states with a postpartum depression law, pediatricians who use the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale to screen new moms for PMDs are actually paid (yes, paid!) by Medicaid for doing so.   Once again, Illinois is setting a positive example for the rest of the country when it comes to looking after new mothers and babies.  For more information on the initiatives going on in the various ABCD states, visit and

What we need to do is mandate pediatrician (and OB/GYN) training to recognize PPD symptoms and provide proper referrals to medical/mental health practitioners trained in treating PPD.  The ideal goal would be the establishment of a multi-disciplinary approach (like I mentioned in my last post) wherein doctors–be it OB/GYNs whose patients are the new mom or pediatricians whose patients are the babies of the new mom suffering with PPD—would collaborate with each other and mental health providers in their communities to ensure new moms suffering from a PMD does not fall through the cracks.

I’d like to end this post by pointing out the difference between the AAP’s view of PPD timeframes of occurrence and peak prevalence versus the proposed guidelines I wrote about in my last post with respect to the DSM-5.   The AAP indicates that the peak for a PMD is 6 weeks postpartum, with another peak occurring 6 months postpartum.  It goes on to state in the report:  “Given the peak times for postpartum depression specifically, the Edinburgh scale would be appropriately integrated at the 1-, 2-, 4-, and 6-month visits.” [3]  Hey, American Psychiatric Association, the AAP gets it more than you do!  Please get with the program!

In Conclusion:

From the mere fact that it’s the primary care pediatrician that sees the new mother and her interactions with her baby within the first six weeks (before the postnatal follow-up visit with her OB/GYN at 6 weeks), the pediatrician is in the best position to detect maternal depression early and help prevent adverse outcomes for the baby and the family. “In addition, it is the [pediatrician] who has continuity with the infant and family, and by the nature of this relationship, the [pediatrician] practices with a family perspective [since a healthy functioning family means the healthy development of the child].”[4]  Screening can [and should be] be integrated into the well-child care schedule, as it “has proven successful in practice in several initiatives and locations and is a best practice for [pediatricians] caring for infants and their families.”[5]  The report further clarifies that, since the infant is the pediatrician’s patient, just because the pediatrician screens for PPD does not mean that the pediatrician must treat the mother. It just means that if a PMD is detected during the screening process, the pediatrician would provide information for family support and referrals for therapy and/or medical treatment, as needed.

[1] Earls, Marian F. and The Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family. Incorporating Recognition and Management of Perinatal and Postpartum. Pediatrics 2010;126;1032-1039; p. 1032.

[2] Ibid., p. 1034.

[3] Ibid., p. 1035.

[4] Ibid., p. 1035.

[5] Ibid., p. 1037.

A Father’s Day Post: The Effect of PPD on the Dad

I’d like to take this opportunity, as today is Father’s Day, to thank and acknowledge my husband for being such a wonderful daddy.  During the living hell I went through during my darkest days of PPD, I can tell you that had I not gotten the help when I did, my husband may very well have followed me into that living hell.   I know he, the epitome of a handyman who likes to fix everything, felt helpless that he couldn’t fix me.  He couldn’t help me feel better.  He was completely sleep deprived, having to do as many night feedings as he could muster during the week, even though he had to be at work by 7 AM each day.  He was worried beyond words about me, thinking I might never return to my old self.  His sleep deprivation and anxiety all started at the same time my sleep deprivation and anxiety started, which was as soon as my OB/GYN uttered the words “Your placenta won’t come out” and then we proceeded to spend the next 7 days of living hell together in the hospital.   He didn’t sleep in a bed for 7 straight days.  The sleep he did get was spent in a chair next to my bed during 6 of those 7 days.   He was a blessing to me during my PPD days because he helped out with the baby so much.   And thankfully, he had more experience taking care of babies than me.  He was the one who taught me how to change our daughter’s diaper.  He was comfortable holding her, feeding her, bathing her.  Thank you for everything, dar (this is what we call each other…long story that I don’t want to bore you with).

Now to the meat of the post, which I’ve written for the husbands whose wives are suffering from a posptartum mood disorder.   

The postpartum depression (PPD) of the mother has a significant impact on the father who is, particularly if this is the first child for both, trying to get a handle on parenthood but now also trying to get a handle on PPD.   In fact, it’s not uncommon for fathers whose wives had PPD to be so traumatized by the experience that they are reluctant to consider having another baby. 

The father is an integral part of the family equation.  Throughout pregnancy and during the months following the baby’s arrival, the spotlight is on the new baby and mother and no one seems to ever think that just maybe the father may feel ignored and unimportant, with all the attention of visitors and his wife focused on the baby.  It’s even more so when the mother experiences PPD.  No one seems to consider the effect of the mother’s PPD on the father.   There is this tendency, albeit inadvertent I’m sure, for the father’s feelings to not be acknowledged.  People tend not to acknowledge his feelings, ask him how he’s holding up, and realize he’s also got it tough and might even be suffering a degree of depression as well.  People think, “Well, he didn’t just give birth and isn’t the one experiencing PPD.  He gets to go back to work as if nothing happened.  He should be able to take care of everything until she gets better.” 

Everyone seems to think it’s natural for the father to go through all this with a “no worries” attitude, but did you ever consider that he might just be putting on a front so that everyone thinks he’s the perfect dad, and in actuality, he might just be thinking “For crying out loud, why doesn’t anyone ever ask me how I’m doing?  I mean, after all, I’ve got to continue working right after the baby arrives.  And now I also have to help with taking care of the baby and chipping in with cooking and housework?  Doesn’t anyone realize I’m tired too?” 

In addition to bringing home the dough, he now has the added responsibility of taking care of both the mom and the baby.  Needless to say, that can cause any father to feel overwhelmed, particularly if he doesn’t know how to take care of babies, what is happening to his wife, and whether she will ever be herself again.    It’s no wonder the rates of PPD are as high as they are for men.  That’s right, men can get PPD also.  Though you will seldom hear about it, it is entirely possible for the father to be depressed with or without the mother being depressed.  In fact, studies indicate that nearly 1/3 of women with PPD have a partner who is also depressed. (1)

When one parent is depressed, it makes situations all the more difficult for the other parent.  After all, being around a depressed person can be very depressing indeed.  The father, who will experience his own feelings ranging from fear and despair to anger and frustration for not understanding what’s going on with his wife and not knowing how to help her can make him feel very helpless.  All these feelings can spiral into depression if he doesn’t get the rest and support he needs.  All of this can take a toll on the father, particularly since it usually takes 4-6 weeks for the mother’s medication to kick in, and it can take many months, even over a year, for her to recover fully. 

Here are some daddy Do’s:

  1. Do eat well, exercise, take breaks, and try to get enough sleep as possible.  Taking care of yourself is key to avoid getting depressed yourself.  There are TWO parents in the equation (well, usually there are).  Both lives are in the process of adapting to having a brand new baby to take care of.  There are instances of fathers becoming depressed at the same time or once the mother is on the road to recovery.  If you get depressed too, you will not be able to provide the support your wife needs to recover from her PPD, and you won’t be able to continue helping with the baby to the extent you would like and/or she needs.
  2. Do confide in relatives, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or any other dad acquaintances (preferably new dads), rather than keep all your concerns, fears, thoughts and feelings to yourself.   Just like your wife, you need a support network to get through this difficult period.  You may not know any husbands whose wives suffered from postpartum mood disorders.  You may never know unless you ask.  You’ll learn that people don’t really prefer to talk about such experiences.  Hearing experiences from other fathers will help you feel less alone.  You may want to consider joining a support group for fathers, which is particularly helpful for first-time dads.  You will meet other fathers who are experiencing similar issues, and if this is their first time at fatherhood, then you can learn from each other. 

Most men are not accustomed to relying on others for any kind of support, least of all emotional support.  Remember that now is not the time to try and prove to yourself and others that you are a self-reliant, multi-tasking, perfect father and perfect husband.  There are plenty of opportunities for that down the road.  Remember, you are a family unit and the baby needs both of you to be happy and well.  Right now, you need to focus on getting through this tough period.  To get through this tough time, you’ll need to accept advice and help from others.  You deserve it just as much as your wife does.  If your  extended family is not as understanding as you’d like them to be, there are friends, neighbors and co-workers you can go to for advice who are also fathers and you may find have also gone through this.  If not, a therapist may be the way to go.

You can’t continuously provide support without finding an outlet for yourself.  Just like a sponge can only take in so much water before it can no longer absorb any longer, you will reach your saturation at some point and will need to unload.  And you shouldn’t wait until the saturation point to talk to others and get help.  After a couple weeks, the stress and exhaustion will wear down even the strongest of people.  With a wife suffering from PPD and so much responsibility on one person’s shoulders, it’s natural for you to feel overwhelmed with everything, angry/resentful that you are stuck with all this responsibility and she is “slacking on her motherly duties,” exhausted from sleep deprivation and never getting a break, disappointed that this first experience at parenting did not turn out as expected, frustrated that you can’t seem to help her get better, feeling isolated in experience from the other dads who seem to be coping so well with fatherhood, and terrified that she will never get well and you will have to care for her and the baby indefinitely. 

3.     Do seek therapy if you feel you need professional help, or just someone with an objective, non-judgmental point of view to listen to you.  It is always good to have someone to talk to and hear your side of the story and what you’re going through.  Do avoid at all costs any tendency to rely on alcohol or any other substance to try to make yourself feel better.  There is a tendency with a certain population to self medicate rather than getting the professional help that they need should they become depressed. 

Anyway, I do hope some of you daddies (and even mommies) who read this post will find some of my information helpful.   I truly wish you a very Happy Father’s Day!


1 Venis, Joyce, RNC and Suzanne McCkloskey, Postpartum Depression Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Overcoming the Most Common Complication after Childbirth.  New York: Marlowe and Company, 2007. p. 164.

Fathers and Postpartum Depression

I’ve run across another doozy that has had my blood pressure up for much of today (as this was actually written late on Wednesday night).  So, what’s gotten me in a tizzy this time?  Oh, the usual.  More remarks made out of ignorance.  This time it’s about the myth that fathers can’t possibly develop postpartum depression (PPD) because, um, well, they’re men.  They don’t go through pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum–with hormone fluctuations galore.  That part is true.   But fathers do also experience sleep deprivation (particularly if their wives are experiencing PPD), anxiety (from being a first-time parent and worrying about his wife who is going through PPD), and possibly many other types of stress (e.g., work, finances, etc.).   Sleep deprivation, anxiety and other types of stressors can trigger depression.  

Before I go any further with my post, you should also check out these other blog posts over at Postpartum Progress,  MyPostpartum Voice Postpartum Dads Project, and Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond.

Now, onto the rest of my post.  If you are a new dad currently suffering from depression, please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.   There are increasing amounts of resources out there that can help you get through this.  Go to the PPD Websites I list on my home page.  Both fathers and adoptive parents can absolutely develop PPD.   Hormones do play a major, but not sole, role in PPD. Granted, every woman that gives birth goes through a major shift in the levels of hormones. But hormones are not a factor in the PPD that fathers and adoptive parents experience. When I first heard about adoptive parents getting PPD, I thought c’mon who are they trying to kid? How could a woman who does not give birth and have huge hormonal shifts possibly have PPD? And how can a man go through PPD? For both the father and adoptive parents, there is no “post-partum” in the literal sense, and the depression they experience is obviously not related to hormones, but is associated with the exhaustion experienced by all new parents from having to care for a newborn and a sudden change in lifestyle and priorities. Finally able to have a child after unsuccessful attempts to conceive on their own, it is not surprising adoptive parents enter parenthood with hypervigilance and anxiety, unable to relax and get adequate sleep. Whether a father or adoptive parent experiences depression is dependent on his/her biological, psychological, personality and environmental factors unique to him/her. It is, after all, possible for serotonin levels to react to continued anxiety, sleep deprivation and disruption of one’s circadian rhythm or sleep pattern. And an extended period of sleep deprivation and/or constantly interrupted sleep is a form of torture used on POWs to extract information from them.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


If you don’t have a high tolerance for mean, derogatory (and just plain ignorant) comments, then skip the rest of this blog post where I focus on comments that are basically men and women who don’t know a thing about depression (and obviously don’t care or give a crap about anyone else).  These people think their way of thinking is the only way of thinking, getting their kicks out of putting down other people.  

The following note is intended to address those who are fortunate enough to never have known anyone or have never experienced a mood disorder for themselves:

  • Until you do experience such a thing firsthand, you really should think twice about saying something you are no expert about.  It just makes you look way stupid, especially people in the media who have the opportunity to–unlike most of us–get the attention of the public, be it by way of the radio, television, magazines, or what have you, but fail to utilize that spotlight to educate others.  These people would rather contribute toward the stigma that society is so good at perpetuating.  Here’s an example.  In response to the CNN article written by Elizabeth Landau “Dads Get Postpartum Depression, Too”, Vince Vitrano, a news anchor tweets the following:  “Post Partum Depression for dad’s? Really? Already a name for that. Called ‘Llife got tougher. Deal.’ Judges also would accept, ‘Parenthood.'”

There are scores of other tweets in response to the same article, including:

  • $5 says post partum depression in dads has risen directly at the same rate as businesses offering paternity leave.
  • CNN: “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.

But these tweets are tame compared to the comments plucked out of the 400+ comments in the comment chain of the CNN article.  I’m thankful there were some great comments made by people who are really knowledgeable about depression, in general.  This one comment stuck out for me.  It was just one line, and I agree with it 100%:  “I would just change the name, call it something else other than postpartum depression.”   Just maybe, it might just be worth considering by those who make these types of decisions.  Hello, American Psychiatric Association?  You know why I say I’m inclined to suggest such a thing?  Well, it seems that, while people may generally agree that men can be depressed by certain biological, sociological, and environmental factors–i.e., sleep deprivation, anxiety, a spouse who has PPD, lack of support–after the birth of a baby, the confusion–and in many cases anger–stems from the fact that men don’t go through all that women have to go through and don’t even have the same hormones that fluctuate so wildly from start to finish.   That until a man grows a uterus and carries a child and delivers that child into the world themselves, they are “whiners” and “pansies” who should “grow a pair,” “man up,”  “be as a man should be” because after all, “real men control their emotions.”  Real men “suck it up, tough it out, and take it like a man.”  People are taking the term “postpartum” way too literally.  Postpartum depression is depression that occurs after a baby is born.  It can happen to adoptive parents.  It can happen to fathers.  Period.

But the majority of the chain of comments originate from people who haven’t got a clue.  Mind you, these are remarks made by both men and women alike that cover the whole gamut of negative types of reactions to the CNN article that dares to say that there is such a thing as PPD in men.  These comments range from disgust, outrage, disbelief, idiocy and pure ignorance.            

Remarks like the following:

“Weak, what guy gets depressed about having a child? I have two boys and was excited when they were born. I know several fathers who were also happy when their children were born, they never took any days off, they said they ‘wanted to spend more time with their kids, but someone has to pay the bills’. Men be Men again, stop wearing makeup put the metro clothes in the trash and do what you have to do…..Also what retard has suicidal thoughts after bringing a life into this world? If you are going to off yourself, do it before you have children.” – Way to go with all that compassion, dude.  Guess there’s no such word in your vocabulary.  What a shame.  With your piss-poor attitude, I’m surprised you’ve gotten this far in life.  Calling people names and telling them they might as well off themselves is real grown-up.  It’s very doubtful you would be singing the same tune if you were to suffer from depression yourself.  Then, when that happens, see if those who doubt the existence of depression will come down hard on you….there is such a thing as karma.  Yanno, what goes around comes around. 

“This is a complete load of BS. People are responsible for their own actions, and articles like this try to make the angatonist the hero. ‘Poor guy, he would love his kids more if he got medication.’ Complete, and utter BS. The same thing goes for women.”  – You don’t control your decisions and actions if your mood disorder is severe enough. It’s always easy to say what you would do if you were in someone else’s shoes, but it doesn’t work like that.  You obviously have never suffered from or have any real knowledge of depression and what it can do to a person.  Until you do, you haven’t a clue and therefore should keep your mouth shut rather than posting such ignorant comments.

“I have two toddlers, I think the only depression I had/have is knowing I don’t have the freedoms I once had like work on my hobbies without interruption, be able to sleep in on Saturday mornings, etc. But then when my kids give me a big hug and kiss (on those Saturday mornings) my depression goes away and we sit and watch Dora the Explorer.” – Please, depression does NOT go away with watching television.  No one who has true depression can just snap out of or will their depression away.   I suggest you do some reading up on the topic so there is one less person out there mistaking unhappiness for depression.

To the following 3 comments, I’d like to say that it’s never a good idea to over-generalize about things you obviously don’t have a clue about.  That’s just ignorant.  Real depression is not an excuse made up by mothers and fathers to avoid taking care of their babies.  Having depression while also having to care for a brand-new baby does not make you any less of a parent or any less loving of a parent.  Nor does it make you a coward, immature or irresponsible.  There are many, many parents out there—both moms AND dads–who have suffered from depression after just having had a baby, and are just as loving as the parent who hasn’t suffered from PPD.  If you’ve personally experienced it, you would know better.  Until you can say that you’ve been depressed before and/or are an expert on depression, then keep your mouth shut rather than criticizing others.  The couple could have faced a lot of stress up to that point including health issues, infertility issues, difficult pregnancy, traumatic childbirth experience, etc..  Do you really know without a doubt what another person’s private life and circumstances are like?   Open up your mind.  Everyone’s life isn’t the same as yours.  Everyone is different.  Everyone’s circumstances are different.  Get a grip on reality, will ya! 

  • “I think what annoys some of us [so-called good fathers] is that many men who just want to avoid the responsibilities of being a father scream depression just like many women who don’t want to take care of their kids scream depression.”
  • “[Most] men don’t like babies. Hence enormous “office hours” just to stay away from screaming little monster. And if they can’t (due to the social pressure), here comes Prozac.”
  • “Sounds to me like the coward just didn’t have the spine to face the new responsibility. He needs to grow up befor thinking about having anymore kids.”
Believe it or not, this next one is all from one person (I lumped them all together to show just how ridiculous this person’s comments–which continue back & forth between various individuals in the chain–are).   The comments this person (actually a woman) makes are so mind-boggingly ignorant, it really, really, really blows my mind.  They should just pat themselves on the back for winning, in my book, the IGNORANT, RUDE AND LUDICROUS award.  
“[If] I ever heard my husband complain so bitterly about having only ONE child, whining about the things he can’t do anymore and saying he wanted to get fixed to keep his family tiny – I would think I had married a loser…..Oh poor you. You can’t workout as long as you used to! Your hobbies are on hold! The house isn’t in as good of condition as it used to be! Hello, this is life – welcome to it! I’m sorry you are so ill equipped to handle even something as ordinary and normal as having a family……This seems like a problem that older first-time dads would have. They’ve gotten used to their selfish, lazy, indulgent lifestyle of eating out, vacationing whenever they want, pursuing hobbies, having extra money, sleeping in, owning a nice home and having their wives all to themselves. Now life has changed – boo hoo it’s sooo hard! Grow up and grow a pair! Women can blame fluctuating hormones – men can only blame being bummed out by the extra work! …..This article isn’t about being bummed out over a hectic lifestyle. This article is about being bummed out after having a child. While I agree with you that life is stressful and full of ups and downs, I do not think it is fair to blame your depression on an infant….My husband and I have five children, and are open to having more. We thank the Lord every day for how blessed we are. However, I work with families who have not been as fortunate. If you are the parent of a healthy child, you should thank your lucky stars and stop focusing on how “hard” it is.”

There were many other ridiculous comments not even worth mentioning here.  The people who posted those comments just posted for the sake of posting.  There are men in the chain who put other men down so they can feel manlier.  The whole 400+ comment thread was filled with remarks that weren’t even understandable because their English was so bad, derisive comments made by people who wanted to one-up the person who commented before them, people analyzing how the real men who”didn’t have time to be depressed” were pre-90s men and all post-90s men are wusses, people who mistakenly jump to the conclusion that ALL men who don’t help out with the baby must be suffering from depression (yes, there are men who refuse to help out…refer to 2nd half of this previous blog post).  Basically, people who claimed they know all about depression when they haven’t got the slightest clue.   Whose fault is that?  Well, society is a great contributor to the lack of public awareness and the stigma that stubbornly refuses to go away.