Why the "civilized" western world experiences such an increase in mental health issues is still something that perplexes us. We have everything that each and every other generation of humans would have put on their top 20 wishlist of paradise items.
We have better shelter, we have better and more plentiful food than ever, we have access to health care that has not only bumped up our life expectancy, but also improved our well-being. We are fairly safe, there is very little risk of being eaten by a bear, falling prey pilfering attack, and the risk of ending up homeless and starving is mild. Our work load is though sometime hectic, not bone crushing and though some occupation carry an immediate responsibility to humans, in most cases a failure or mistake won't mean the end of the world or your tribe.
Is that the reason? We have learnt that allergies soared when we went overboard with killing germs, our immune system turned inward, when the outside threat was limited or undermining the system- is this what's happening here too?
Is our anxiety turning inward due to a lack of outside threats? Or rather are we humans not yet able to deal with this new sort of stress? This inside stress, that comes out of being "Bored" or "burned" out? I mean, seriously how many people in war times had anxiety? And frankly, if ever there was a time to panic, that should have been it. But the attacks came later.
Adding to this, the social media with the "shiny happy people" and the virtue signaling, the perfection makes us believe we are failures for not feeling like doing pastoral dances all the time.
Experts on depression agree, that among other things three remedies stand out in the fight against depression and as modern western humans we tend to neglect each of them enormously:
direct and face to face contact with people
We text, whatsapp and Facebook, we might also spend an hour on the phone with a friend, but until a few years ago, people went out to bars and community centers, went dancing, you'd see people sitting on their porches gossiping with neighbours, there indeed was your neighbourhood bar "where everybody knows your name" - all almost gone.. Look at our youngsters: the little ones have scheduled playdates, the teenagers (instead of hanging out at a pop. place or someones house) are one with their phone..
yeap, some of us are almost militant with their work out, but most people move less than a table, we use cars, elevators, escalators, we have everything delivered and spend our time sitting at desks or on couches.
While we all pretend to adhere to the new trends on eating, mostly we do that in order to stay attractive and thin, we eat far to much junk (and I include a lot more into junk than just the classic junk food of the fast food chains) we also like to eat on the run, and our digestion is something we won't think about until it simply refuses to work properly.
Add to this the new epidemic of suicide, that almost seems to be "in" and we have a major problem on our hands, that will only get terrifyingly worse before we might be able to find solutions.