Of course men can get depressed in the weeks and months after becoming a father. They may not go through the wild hormonal fluctuations that biological moms do, but the sleeplessness, the frustration, the instant and irreversible change of perspective can get the best of anyone.
In September, a new study found a link between depression and lower testosterone levels in new dads, leading a lot of folks to declare that men, too, get honest-to-God postpartum depression. Except when I showed that research to some long-time perinatal mental health experts, they were all, “Slow your roll, guys.”
Ultimately, deciding who does and does not get “real” PPD isn’t really the point, and any new research into mental health in new parents is helpful. Maybe in the end we should just make it easier for new parents to admit they need help. And to get it.