Looking in my direction

I don't have statistics or links at hand but I expect I can find some.

Manic depression is known to be more prevalent in the United States than in the world in general. I don't know how it compares to other industrialized countries though.

Someone, I think the World Health Organization, found that the chronic mentally ill do better in general in third world countries than in industrialized countries. The best explanation I have heard for this is that in the third world, the mentally ill are more likely to live with their families. The legions of homeless mentally ill are a well known sight in the US.

I don't think my illness in particular had anything to do with the internet. I was diagnosed in 1985. I can't say the internet does me any good though. I can see how the time I spend online serves more to harm my mental health than help it.

The number of people i know personally who are on medication has very recently risen from zero to something like 50% of my close friends (people affected cover a wide range of ages and are from all walks of life). While i tend to drift through life oblivious to this kind of thing in general, there is definite marked increase which i cannot put down to either coincidence or my own personal increase in awareness of the subject (see below).

Recently i have become aware that i am also suffering from clinical depression. It should have been obvious to me for a long long time, but several articles i have read on k5 have inspired me to read background material that has made me realise what it is that i am experiencing myself. The reasons/triggers are obvious (to me). The treatment and cure is also obvious. Which, of course, doesnt help one iota in actually forcing myself to do something about it.

Another reason that i have been forced to realise what is going on inside my head is that the large number of my that friends are suffering from depression all recognise my blatantly obvious symptoms and are advising me to do something about it. Or maybe its just that i am pissing them all off. Cause and effect are getting VERY subjective right now.

But, for fuck's sake people, i seem to recall a statistic often quoted in the eighties and nineties that 10% of the population would suffer from mental illness throughout their lifetimes. What i am seeing now is like an epidemic. What the hell is going on?