If you are close to someone who is depressed, it is probably not hard for you to believe that when research subjects interacted for even a short period of time with a depressed person they never had met before, they reported feeling down too. More surprising perhaps, subjects who interacted with depressed strangers also reported more anxiety, hostility, and unwillingness to spend time with them in the future than did the subjects who interacted with nondepressed strangers. Researchers concluded that something about spending time with a depressed person, even a stranger, is intrinsically difficult and alienating to others. Importantly, these results have showed that the depressed person’s behavior was off-putting and held people at a distance. This finding is particularly bad news for depressed people because close supportive relationships are essential to their recovery from depression.
- pg. 5, When Someone You Love Is Depressed, ISBN 978-0-684-83407-8