Face it, we're all guilty of it. We want the men in our lives to show their sensitive side, yet when they do we invariably tell them to buck up. And that's a dangerous trend in new dads, who may suffer from postnatal depression, too.
When the Daily Mail's resident doctor Robert Lefever reported on a small study by Oxford University scientists about paternal depression, he sarcastically asked what's next, will men suffer from PMS, too?
Other journalists then chimed in, equally unsympathetic to the plight of new dads.
"I would have been more concerned that the mothers in question were having to put up with such exhausting narcissists as partners," said Barbara Ellen of the Observer, "men incapable of hiding their sulky self-absorption, even while being watched by researchers for a period of, wait for it, three minutes. Even serial killer Ted Bundy managed to look 'normal' for longer than that." Ouch.
While it would be way off base to suggest that men get the equivalent of post-partum depression (PPD) with its clear physiological triggers, some are certainly afflicted by an equally real depression as a result of the new stresses and lifestyle changes of their new role.
As the Guardian points out, it's sad that science and media spheres are so glib and dismissive about the illness. The whole problem is this 'suck it up' attitude that forces men to internalize their emotions and to avoid dealing with -- or reaching out to receive treatment for -- depression.
Is there a double standard when it comes to men's health?