Self-awareness. Of late I have become very self-aware. I’ve always been rather connected with my emotions and thoughts and myself as a whole, but maybe it’s the medication? I just seem to be even more conscious of every little thought and feeling that flits across my mind. I discussed this with a close friend a short while ago, and she explained that when I was feeling strong enough to function without the medication, this clearer self-analysis would continue. I’d always done this anyway, it’s just acknowledging this awareness of self.

I’ve always been one for speaking to myself anyway. First sign of madness? Or is it just a simpler way of coming to the right conclusion by offering many different scenarios and outcomes to situations. I’m not alone though, many whom I have spoken to with Depression have expressed a similar inner dialogue, analysis of situations and people, and most importantly themselves. So does having Depressive illness make you more aware of your surroundings and of yourself? I think it does.

I often hear comments from friends ‘how did you notice that? I had no idea’, or ‘wow I never noticed that’. Usually in response to someone’s strange reaction to an event or comment, but something that to me seemed obvious. I’ve been tested as having a high EQ (Emotional Quotient) for reading people and situations, but again, I am not alone in this. Many Depressives also excel here. Which is funny really, when so many see Depression as a huge affliction and perhaps people that they would not want to mix with. Chances are, that person you go to when you really need an ear to listen, someone to understand your inner workings and thoughts, your confidant and most reliable person in times of stress – is a Depressive.

One theory I have read is that Depression and Mental Illness is actually evolutionary progress. An opening of the mind to adapt with the new life compared to our initial emergence from the wilderness. At least one thing is true, Depression is a lot more common than people realise, and since starting this blog, not hiding my illness and talking openly with people, so many friends and acquaintances – and even strangers, have opened up to me and discussed that they are ill too. So – we either have an epidemic, or something that perhaps needs more study to understand truly what is happening. It is understood that there is some genetic link between generations, but what else might there be?

The big question is what effect do Depressives have on society? Do we detract from society and place an untenable burden on it? Or if we were nurtured and helped, would we be more considerate? More creative? Without those who are aware of themselves and others emotions, feelings and needs, would there be less volunteers and carers? As mentioned before, everyone needs a listening ear from time to time, and I for one am always willing to hear and help anyone who needs it – it’s almost like a compulsion for me. I do not feel happy or fulfilled if I haven’t at least felt like i’ve helped someone. OCD? Evolutionary need? Who knows. All I know is this is who I am, and i’m lucky that I have so many very understanding friends who support me through my dark times, and that I can repay that favour when they too are struggling with modern day life.