Last week, there was quite a bit of disappointment about Karen’s confessional comments in regards to Miles opening up to her about his depression. For those of you who missed it, when Miles told Karen that he had been diagnosed with clinical depression, Karen was kind and understanding in his face. She asked him how he reacts when he’s in a depressive state and even asked how she could support him during those moments.
But in conversations with producers she said that Miles’ depression was a red flag for her and she told the experts that she wanted a “masculine man.” To the viewing public, it was clear that she didn’t consider Miles and his depression to be a sign of masculinity.
The internet erupted in both support for Miles sharing his truth in this way and also in criticism and even condemnation (y’all know how the internet is) of Karen for dismissing Miles’ mental health issues as not masculine.
Karen saw the discussion and in response issued a statement to MadameNoire, about the backlash and what she truly believes about therapy, mental health issues, and whether depression is a red flag or not.
“Honestly, after last week’s episode I would be giving myself the side eye too. I realize how that moment looked, but let me dive a little deeper into how I felt because I’m exhausted from being identified as someone who seeks toxic masculinity in relationships; it’s quite the opposite.
When Miles told me about his depression, I immediately began to envision how that may affect our relationship, what he needed from me and how we would communicate in those moments. I thought it was really amazing that Miles’ felt comfortable enough with me to share something so personal after only a few days of marriage. I was proud of him in that moment and met him with a ton of support. Therapy is not something that is normalized in the African American community, but it should be. It takes strength and emotional intelligence to realize when therapy is needed. truthfully, I feel like we should all go to therapy. I do. Members of my family go. My friends and my coworkers as well. And it’s a GOOD thing. I support all people (men and women) being open and honest about their mental health. It did catch me off guard, but it wasn’t a red flag. I was impressed that Miles had and was continuing to openly work on himself. It showed me that he is emotionally mature, which is a trait that I find very attractive. When I was asked about my ideal partner, I spoke about a masculine man not in relation to mental health. Miles and I still have things to figure out surrounding how to identify what we both are attracted to in a partner but I look forward to that.
I’d like to close by saying, depression is not a red flag. Mental health issues are not related to masculinity / femininity. Let me say that again. Depression is NOT a red flag and mental health issues are NOT related to masculinity and femininity. The two should never be linked because in my everyday life they’re so far from being correlated.”
You can watch the next episode of “Married At First Sight” when the couples begin their real lives together tonight 8/7c on Lifetime.