Tonight on a television show, I saw people defending children being bullied. The people didn't know that the children were actors and that they were being filmed to see what people would do. For nearly ten seconds, I thought to myself that I was glad that I was not bullied. Then, I remembered that bullying was an important trigger for my depression. Suddenly, I realized tears were now falling down my face. Although I knew that the bullying on the television was not real, I felt a strong sense of empathy.
Then, I wondered if people with depression are more likely to defend other people or to be more accepting of other people. If the answer is affirmative, is it because we can empathize with their situation? I certainly understand what it feels like to be sad, hurt, lonely, isolated, confused, and all the other feelings that people in need of help may feel. I, also, enjoy helping other people. Though I may not care much about myself, I care a lot about people regardless of whether I know them or not. I wonder if this is also fairly common for people with depression. Do we take that love of ourself and give it to others?
Now, after typing that, I wonder why that last question used "we". I seem to be separating people into "depressed" and "not depressed". Isn't that segregation? I don't do it consciously and I don't think that I would act that differently if I knew someone was depressed (though I would be more aware of my words and actions). However, I know that I really do feel that there is a disconnect between people who have or had depression and those who have not. It's a matter of understanding what depression is and how much it affects lives that makes a difference.