THE post partum depression

I’ve noticed a behavior (okay, sample set = 2) and I’m wondering if it’s a full blown behavior or just my personal group of friends. Forgive me if this isn’t completely clear, I’m not developing it into a thesis or anything.

It seems to be an equivalent to the Male Mid-life crisis only for women and is characterized thusly:


  1. one (or more) children at 2 - 4 years of age
  2. Depressive state due to loss of freedom, money, appearance, low self-esteem, etc.

Which leads to the following:

  1. Marital stress
  2. a wandering eye
  3. lots of things in an attempt to ‘fill a hole in your life’ - largely unsuccessful.

(for the sake of arguement, lets assume there are no other dysfunctions, alcoholism, abuse, etc.)

It’s as if the built up stresses of marriage, aging, loss of freedom, make the woman lash out, the end result being a big marital conflict. Near as I can tell the likelihood of the marriage staying or dissolving is about 50%.

Please note: THIS IS NOT TO SAY THE HUSBAND DOESN’T PLAY A PART IN THE PROBLEM. He’s just one of many factors and may or may not play a role in the solution.

I dunno if it’s a seven year itch thing, or a life period people go through. Let’s face it: When you’re young, you can go anywhere and do anything you want, there’s a social set you hang out with, theres the excitement of dating, there’s the feeling you can accomplish anything. That’s replaced with a lack of adult interaction, diapers, the physical ravages of pregnancy, the loss of income that comes from buying kid furniture and not being able to work 50 hours a week on a career.

I’m just wondering if it’s a syndrome or not.

What you’re describing is not at all post-partum depression. One of my aunts had PPD after the birth of her fourth child. She was in her 40s, and it was an unplanned pregnancy. This was in the late '50s, before the term PPD was coined; they simply called it a “nervous breakdown.” She had terrible mood swings, didn’t take care of herself, did not know that she’d had a baby, and didn’t even recognize her other three kids. She went through a lengthy process of therapy, including shock treatment. She eventually recovered, but was never quite the same.

Now she is in her 80s, and has absolutely no recollection of that period.

What you’re describing isn’t even close.

I guess I wasn’t clear. I’m fully aware of post partum depression for the period right after childbirth. What I’m describing is more akin to a Midlife crisis in men, only it happens 2-4 years after childbirth.

No, it’s not like post-partum because it doesn’t involve an inbalance of hormones which is what post-partum depression is. What your describing is simply disillusionment. A disappointment with the way one’s lot in life has turned out, and perhaps a reluctance to accept the responsibilities of a ‘married with children’ life. You make a commitment to having a husband and children, and you will find that the “party” of young unattached life is over. Case closed. No hormones needed to tell you that.

That’s partly why I never married. I realized I never wanted to have children. In my case that meant I didn’t need a husband. I do have depression, but it was never about that. It was the best decision I’ve ever made to remain single.