Depressed dad suffering from paternal postnatal depression (PPND)Just like new moms, new dads, too, can face depression after the birth of a child, with a condition called paternal postnatal depression (PPND).

How Postnatal Depression Affects Men

According to a recent study in Pediatrics, dads affected by PPND are more likely to spank their children, less likely to read to them, and can negatively impact their children’s overall well-being. Lack of awareness, coupled with men’s tendency to hide their pain, compounds the problem.

Risk Factors for PPND

  • lack of sleep
  • personal history of depression
  • poor relationship with spouse
  • depressed spouse
  • nonstandard family
  • economic problems
  • feeling stressed about becoming a dad
  • feeling excluded from mother-baby bond

Where to Seek Help

  • New Jersey’s 24/7 statewide helpline (800-328-3838). 
Depressed dads can call or go online at for 
advice and guidance.
  • This website contains useful information, an online support forum, and a self-assessment.
Anyone—man or woman—with thoughts about harming him/herself or the baby should seek help immediately.

Symptoms of Men’s Depression

  • anger
  • alcohol or drug use
  • violent behavior
  • impulsiveness
  • complaints about physical problems
  • concerns about work, or working constantly
  • isolation from family and friends
  • feeling that they’re “falling short” of their perception of manhood

Like women with post-partum depression, men with PPND might also experience:

  • loss of sense of humor or enjoyment
  • trouble sleeping
  • fatigue
  • feeling panicky and/or  anxious
  • irritability
  • loss of interest in sex
  • loss of appetite
  • self-blame
  • crying and sadness

Sources:  NJ Dept. of Health;;