Depressed Dads: Do We Wake up Grumpy or Let Him Sleep?
Published: Proud Poppa Magazine, 2008
By Derek H. Suite M.D. M.S.
Call it a sixth sense but the second George’s keys turn the front door, his once delighted-to-see-him
children, Tia 8, and Tyrone 9, vanish to their rooms. In striking contrast, their mom, Anita, stands
motionless at the kitchen almost like a robot programmed to chop vegetables. She neither looks up
nor says hello as George enters the kitchen where she is preparing tonight’s dinner. Anita wasn’t
always so stiff. Six months ago, she would greet George with a kiss or a hug and couldn’t wait to
hear about his day and to have him help with dinner. But recently, George seemed to lose interest
in their marriage, spending time with the family and helping out at home. Worse, it seems that
everything from her choice of clothes to casual comments from the children pissed him off.
Tonight would be no exception. With a cold bottle of beer in hand, George rifles through the kitchen
drawer. “Where’s the damn opener! “he barks. Anita, now immune to these nightly tirades,
nonchalantly replies that she has no idea. Enraged, George gets in her face and screams that she
had better find it and bellows for the children to come to the kitchen “right now!” Understanding
what’s about to happen to the kids Anita snaps, “Stop yelling, check over there-- what the hell is
wrong with you anyway!”
Down the hall, just behind the slightly opened bedroom door, Tia clutches a box of Kleenex ready to
dry mom’s tears later on. Tyrone’s little fists are clenched ready to punch his dad—if only he was as
big as the hulk. Much later that evening after George finally calms down and descends armed with a
six pack and trusty bottle opener into the basement, an emotionally drained Anita tries desperately
tries to salvage the evening by making small talk over dinner. Even though a place is set for George
at the table, no one asks when or if he will ever join them again for dinner. They simply hope one