Contagious Mental Illness?


Is depression contagious? Are negative people really emotional and psychic “vampires” draining and infecting another person? I guess it depends on the people involved.

 

I’ve had many relationships with people that drain me emotionally. Some say I let it happen. Others believe that some people “feed” like vampires off of other people they perceive stronger or even anyone that will let them in.

 

I have always attracted people that drain me because I like people and I see qualities beyond what other’s see. In theory it’s a nice thing but in reality it’s a no win situation. I have found that despite my innate self-absorption, I am extremely sensitive to other people’s moods that surround me.

 

It’s been written about in psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and personal experiences books, novels, poems, studies and blogs for years. Self help books emphasize the importance of surrounding yourself with the people that have what you want. Experts suggest that if you hang out with people that are happy and successful you can develop their qualities. The 12 step programs have a saying “Stick with the winners”. That is quite the ironic statement. It implies I must judge people as winners and losers. It also holds some truth.

 

I have always had an attraction to people labeled as outcasts, freaks, misfits, weirdoes, creeps, and anyone different from the norm. As it turns out these people are all emotionally damaged on one level or another and can be a negative influence on my life. Being sensitive to the energy, vibes and emotions of people that surround me I tend to compare myself to them and sometimes take on their negative qualities.

 

As human beings we are all naturally attracted to people that have similar qualities to ourselves. Myself. I spent years relating mostly to mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, abused, socially abandoned people. In my estimate it was my way of relating to and understanding my natural Paranoid Schizophrenic mother. I know this about myself and I still act upon it.

 

As I’ve written and expressed many times in the past I have increasingly become a recluse in the last 3 years. It is getting to the point of agoraphobia. Some of my friends are sick of hearing about at this point. As much as I want to be alone and don’t want to leave the house when I am in a social situation whether it be a trip to a convenience store, visit with family or even my room mate I can be extremely social out of habit. Most of my life I’ve been social and extraverted.

 

The past 8 months I have lived with a fellow mentally ill friend. Other people have suggested that living with him could be bad for me. Since I am sensitive to other people’s energy and moods I find myself feeding off of him. When he is aggravated it aggravates me. When he is depressed I get depressed. When he is manic I get aggravated. We do have times when our moods are centered and we get along but over all I am uncomfortable living with someone when their moods affect me. It’s not anyone’s fault. He once reminded me that about 95% of his moods and whatever he is going through has nothing to do with me. I try and hold onto that and move on.

 

I need a new life.

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