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Question
Posted by: Anton | 2008/02/04

Divorce and Depression

My soon to be ex has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder three years ago. I am not sure if this contributed to the collapse of the marriage but what happened before and after that:
She was indecently assaulted at the beginning of our marriage. She never received counseling for this. After about 6 years she started experiencing flashbacks and started being aggressive and physically fighting me. She said I reminded her of the assailant. Eventually she got a therapy with a psychologist. I came out then that she also had relationship problems with her father and her upbringing as well. Later, after the birth of our child, she was depressed, threatened to commit suicide etc.

She started an affair with another man. She started accusing me of distrusting her etc and she would start fights for no reason. I brought this to our families attention. She went to FAMSA where she accused me of belittling her, disrespecting her etc. She never mention the trauma experience and the infidelity to the counselor. The marriage started going up-and-down etc.

She was send to a psychiatrist who diagnosed Major Depressive disorder. She was put on Zolof and everything was fine. When she stopped the medication, all hell broke loose. She belives that there is nothing wrong with her.

Beginning of the year she spend a week a psychiatric hospital.
Apparently she told the psychologist and the psychiatrist that I am causing her stress and her parents as well. She filed for divorce after coming from the hospital.

I later find out that she was a regular visitor to a sangoma as well who provided her with muti. She is in regular contact with the sangoma. She now believes that I have another wife and child, I and my family and out to kill her, her parents never cared about her when she grew up. She refuses help from anyone that contradicts her 'reality'. She did mention that when she took her medication she is happy but she wants to feel the pain and therefore be in a position of vetting out her anger. There is history of mental illness in her family. She also spent a week at a hospital where the battery of tests tests were done and noting could be found to be wrong. She believed that she was given muti of some sort.

How does one go about helping such a person ? Is she suffering from depression ? Is it more than that ? I could not it anymore. I gave everything I got, love, affirmation, respect, forgiveness, validation etc.


The divorce is going through. I am worried for her and more for our children.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Phew ! ( I think that's the old-fashioned equivalent of Eish !)
You seem to be describing a seriously and increasingly disorder and sick woman, and the recent features you mention sound delusional and increasingly serious. I wonder what sorts of mental illness occured in her family ? It sounds like more than depression, though people with ery severe untreated depression can become psychotic and deluded. And we don't know, if she has received muti, what effects this may be having .
You appear to have done all that you were able to do. But she does not sound in a fit state to care for herself, let alone children, and this needs to be closely examined in terms of custody decisions of the court, and evidence that may need to be provided to the court. Discuss this with your lawyer.
If you have reason to believe that she could be a danger to herself or others, then there are mechanisms your GP or a shrink should be able to advise you about, for her to be compulsorily admitted for observation and perhaps treatment --- though in the present context, it might be seen as vindictiveness on your part, rather than concern.

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Posted by: Anton | 2008/02/05

Thanks a lot CS.

Reply to Anton

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