Depression and Empathy

One thing I hate about my depression: it breaks my empathy.

This is hard for me because I care about the people in my life, and what is going on with them. I care to the point where I had to make a conscious effort a few years ago to acknowledge that it is okay to put myself first, sometimes.

With depression, that’s not an issue.

What’s an issue is getting myself to care about anything, particularly anything to do with other people.

You’re my friend and you:

  • are going through trouble in your relationship?
  • just sold your story for a million dollars and a movie deal?
  • are so broke you can’t afford to eat and pay rent?
  • are finally moving to a foreign country just like you always wanted, and are saying your goodbyes?
  • found out you have some terminal illness?
  • won the lottery?

Normally I would celebrate with you, comfort you, or in the very least care what was going on in your life. But not with the depression there. The depression doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t care about me. It’s a black hole that forms behind my sternum, slowly sucking me in, allowing me to only focus on it, and only it and the god-how-am-I-going-to-get-past-this it inspires?

And I hate it. I hate that I have to rely on social training to give adequate replies to situations that I want to care about, but can’t. This time it’s not a lie depression is telling me, but rather the lies it is making me tell.

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2 Responses to Depression and Empathy

  1. Ronnie says:

    Are you on meds? I was scared of them for years and refused to take them. If your anything like me, you’ll find the difference to be night and day.

    • weylyn42 says:

      Yes I am, though we have only just (knock on wood) found one that works for me. It is a frustrating process to have made the step to seek help, and to try different medications, but not find the perfect fit the first time -because sometimes the symptoms don’t get better, or even seem worse. But I kept with it, and as of middle of January, I’m actually feeling pretty good lately.

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