My Wife Was Showing Signs of Depression & Her Refusal To Take Therapy Changed My Life For Worse
Depression exists and it is real. A lot of people show signs of depression but continue to stay in denial because of certain fears and stereotypes attached to therapy.
Depression not only affects the person who has it but also their loved ones. It slowly consumes your entire existence and spreads its darkness to others as well.
The same happened to me. My life changed completely after my wife started showing signs of depression and despite our persistent support, she refused to take therapy.
A few months after we shifted to Vancouver, Canada our second child was born and Meghna started having extreme mood swings. She would burst out crying or appear numb for days together. Initially, we convinced ourselves that it was some hormonal changes or a phase that would eventually pass away.
Unfortunately, those signs of depression were only the beginning.
Research in psychology has warned us about the risks of depression. If signs of depression are left untreated it can manifest itself in other mental health disorders. Something similar happened with my wife Meghna. The more she masked her signs of depression, the deeper her troubles got.
Since she was showing signs of depression, I decided to support her as much as I could. I am a man who is required to meet all the expenses and with two children the responsibilities are even bigger. I had to work extra hours to make my ends meet.
Meghna did not have the physical or mental capacity to take care of the children and a newborn requires even more attention and care. I stayed awake all night preparing milk for Ayaan and putting him to sleep. I would work all day and stay awake throughout the night because Meghna got even more stressed when she was not able to take care of little Ayaan.
A month passed by and nothing changed. Meghna became more dependent on me. Depression was not her fault and therefore I felt guilty for removing my frustration or letting her know that I feel burdened too.
But I am a human at the end of the day. In fact, even machines deteriorate when they work for too long and too much. I would have endless sleepless nights and be forced to work for days because the finances were dependent on me.
One day I decided to have an open and honest conversation with Meghna. I told her that I am worried about her current condition and I strongly suspect that she is showing signs of depression.
I was hoping that after this conversation things would be better or at least she would attempt to do something about it. However, things got worse.
She would give me the silent treatment, and appear even more distant and I would see her crying most of the time. I felt hopeless and helpless.
Her mother even performed rituals, tied threads on her arms and waist, and asked me to recite a few chants every night before going to sleep.
I tried that too. Meghna would look better for a few days and again it was the same. I tried every day to encourage her to take therapy but she refused to accept anything and preferred being by herself all the time.
By now my children were also affected by what was happening to Meghna. Her depression was getting deeper and it was slowly creeping into all our lives and hearts.
I loved my wife and it pained me immensely to see her suffering. But eventually, I realized that there are only certain things you can do to help your loved ones but the final responsibility belongs to them.
I did everything there was in my control to help Meghna. I even talked to a therapist and discussed the signs of depression that she was showing. The therapist advised me to bring her to therapy as the depression was now becoming more of an underlying symptom of personality disorder.
After my persistent efforts and a few threats, Meghna decided to take therapy. She attended a few sessions but later I learned that she was not going to therapy at all. She would lie to us and sit in some random café for hours and hours.
That was the last straw. It has been 6 months since she started showing signs of depression and despite all my efforts to support her and pull her out of the depression, she felt more comfortable being numb and alone.
It broke my heart but I later filed for a divorce because I could no longer continue being in a highly unhealthy relationship and more than that I could not afford to let my children suffer.
This was perhaps the most painful and heart-breaking phase of my life. I felt frustrated because mental health is often misunderstood or masked under fanatic religious beliefs. I could not help but wonder if things would have been different if Meghna and her family were more open to therapy and actually taken active steps to resolve her depression.
In fact, after the divorce, I went to therapy for a brief period of time. It helped me to come to terms with what had happened because I felt angry, sad, guilty, and fearful at the same time. In therapy, I learned how to accept and manage these feelings instead of being swallowed up by them.
If anyone is showing signs of depression or any other mental health problems then I strongly urge them to take it seriously and reach out for professional support and help. Mental health is as real and as important as physical health but sadly we keep neglecting the warning signs until it is too late.