I had made a note last week to write about this, and am finally getting around to it. The wife and I were watching an episode of House, where a kid was brought in with the usual bizarre symptoms that the show specializes in. He was also violent, and anti-social. His mother was hopeful that the sickness he had, whatever it was, was the reason for his behavior.
At the end of the show, however, when they figure out what was wrong with him, House lets the Mother know that, unfortunately, the illness wasn’t causing his behavior. He tells her, in so many words, that her son is just a jerk. That’s why he behaves that way.
It got me thinking about depression, because depression is an illness that can, and usually does, have a deep impact on how you behave toward other people. But it doesn’t define everything you do. As much as I tend to give anyone the benefit of the doubt when they are dealing with depression, I’ve learned that sometimes, that doesn’t explain all their poor behavior.
Sometimes, people are just annoying, self-centered and/or mean. Suffering from depression or healing from depression doesn’t really change that.
If you’re currently undergoing treatment for depression, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to be self-centered and annoying either. Most people will give you the benefit of the doubt, but not for too long.