“Depression is a selfish illness” one of my student leaders at church announced one evening. Spoken like a true saintly, non-sufferer! Thankfully we weren’t discussing my depression at the time nor did she know I suffered but I still felt the accusation. Logically I can see her point but logic doesn’t apply to depression.
Now, with my autism diagnosis, I have hit the double jackpot of selfish complaints.
“Why can’t you see my side?”
“Just think about what I must be feeling”
“You never consider anyone else.”
Yes, if you apply those rules to me, I am selfish. Try as I may, I cannot see your side, I cannot fathom what you are thinking and I do not consider other people without conscious effort. That’s not to say I won’t try to do all these things if prompted, but I usually jump to the wrong conclusions and my conclusions usually err on the side of pessimism.
This will be a short post. I cannot think of anything further to say because I am too angry and too close to the feelings here to really be able to process them, but I hope I can come back to this assumption and label for people with autism later because I’m sure my experience isn’t uncommon.