Is it ethical for a depressed person to limit social interaction with friends, based on the idea that the friends might find such interaction unpleasant? Part of the problem is that friends often don't openly admit to not enjoying the depressed presence, but, if the depressed person finds it difficult to live with him-/herself, would it not follow that other people also find his/her company difficult? Increased isolation would undoubtedly have adverse effects on the depressed person. Would it be possible for a philosopher to explain the ethical position of the depressed person as regards to social interaction, please?
When you are going through a depression your social identity is severely undermined. The mirroring effect that others have on your own perception of yourself- the way you "see yourself seen"- is so modified by your emotional states that one can argue that it would be probably safer to avoid too much contact with others. I'm not claimimg this on ethical bases: I agree with Thomas Pogge's idea that depressed people shouldn't avoid interactions on moral reasons, that is, to "spare" friends and acquaintances of their unpleasant presence. Still, I think that depression is a major distortion of the usual social feed-back we get from others in stabilizing our personal identities. Thus, one may argue that a mild isolation can be therapeutic. Jean Paul Sartre used to say that "Hell is other people". I think that depressed know very well the meaning of his claim and avoiding others in some circumstances can be a safe move.