Depressed, or just Annoying?

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.

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  1. “Sometimes, people are just annoying, self-centered and/or mean.”

    good point, and good point.

    btw, I especially liked Dr. Foreman’s lines this show…

    mom: did he need a sedative?
    Foreman: I did.

    mom: the rudeness isn’t his fault
    Foreman: if he had Taberculosis it wouldn’t be his fault, but I still wouldn’t let him cough on me.

  2. Good to hear that the next season of House (or maybe the second half of the one I saw in Canada last September) is as good as what I’m watching now.

    I must have had too many other issues going on to recognise depression five years ago, I seemed to work my way out of it during the jobhunting process and by the time I bought “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” – I cheered up. So I only got retail therapy out of buying the book 🙂

    Maybe I will get another copy and have a read some day (I since gave it away to a friend who was clinically depressed), but therapy’s working and my depression never got to the medication level. Now I’m jobhunting again, I have that to take up my time and, strangely, keep me optimistic regarding whatever I might do next.

  3. Steven,

    I had forgotten the line about tuberculosis, that actually is very similar to what I’m talking about. The depression may not be their fault, but it doesn’t mean I have to take abuse from them! 🙂

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