I mentioned before that my doctor was surprised at how many students at university suffer from depression and anxiety and I felt today was the right time to consider more how I felt about that as some rather surprising news came my way the other day and I have been so preoccupied with other affairs that make me fret more that I filed it away to be worried about in due course. Well, now is the time!
My friend group has always been somewhat of a mish-mash of personalities, shapes, sizes and talents and I adore all my friends so much for just that reason. We are a strong group because we all provide different things to the group. Yet a few of us have one thing in common: recent, past or current suffering from depression and I find that really intriguing. This is specifically the group of friends I have just managed to retain from school thanks to my best friends also being in Exeter and succeeding in keeping me in the loop, I will get on to my minuscule university friend group in good time.
I can count just now in my head (don’t worry I haven’t kept a spreadsheet!) five people in my friend group, including myself, who suffer/have suffered from depression and please enlighten me if this is perfectly normal, but having been reliably informed that I have a rather unique group of friends who are more my family than anything else, I do find it curious that such a large ratio of us have/had the same mental disorder.
I could blame it on environment or upbringing, but I will do a separate post on my alma mater at some point and between us we go from the working class to upper middle class quite nicely so upbringing simply cannot be the common factor. The only common factor is the depression itself – the way I see it, anyway – and I am more convinced of this on account of my university chums.
Now, I just ought to state clear-as-crystal that I do not seek out like-minded people and befriend them as best I can. I’m not insane you know? *Wink* Hence, why it has surprised me so much when yet another person I know reveals themselves to be depressed and it has happened frequently enough for me to notice.
I wonder if there is something in the manner or even pheromones (but I’m not scientifically minded enough to speculate more about that!) of depressed people that lets other sufferers know that they are not alone and are safe, even if it’s simply a manner of sitting or speaking, there is a visceral and subconscious message sent out, like a cell broadcast that is transmitted to all the depressed people in a 10 metre radius. Sorry, I’ve just been reading a lot of Aristophanes recently, so the metaphors and similes are coming a bit too naturally at the moment!
The presence of depressed people in my university-specific friend group is extraordinary and almost incomprehensible to me, as the net has been cast even wider yet the catch is still kippers (see what I mean with the metaphors!). I had to interrupt my studies last year so that I could be less suicidal away from home and I know a few people who had to do the same for similar, if less drastic, reasons, but what a coincidence it is…yet I wonder if Albert Einstein has it right:
~ Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous ~
I am a Quaker at heart and an ignorama (I’m over declining again, aren’t I?) to a fault, but I do believe in a higher power – God, if you will – and it is the greatest comfort believing that somewhere out there, someone is taking care of people who need it by gathering people together.
That was a bit of a happier post and less dark and dreary than the previous ones, but I hope it gave you something to think about nevertheless.