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Is modern life too stressful?

There is plenty of evidence that our society is transforming and you can make the argument it isn’t all for the better.

We hear stories all the time of seemingly normal people who suddenly “snap” and commit horrible crimes against others or in many cases harm themselves.

The numbers don’t lie. In just the past few years, suicide surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of injury or death for Americans and the military recently announced that more soldiers died of their own hand than were killed in combat in 2012. Thirty percent of employees report suffering chronic debilitating stress and over 50 percent of 18- to 33-year-olds say they experience a level of stress that keeps them awake at night.

And it doesn’t look better for the next generation when you find out that 20 percent of ALL kids are diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, depression or bi-polar disorder with a large percentage of them taking drugs to deal with their problems.

So is it any wonder that these instances of people “snapping” seem to becoming more commonplace? These “once in a lifetime” events are happening more and more frequently and the overall effect is a general desensitization to these horrific acts. Something is going on and it is profoundly affecting millions of Americans, and by default, affecting ALL of us.

There is an argument that as opposed to trying to stop people from harming others (or themselves) once they “snap” due to stress, why isn’t more being done to reduce the causes of stress, or at least mitigate the negative effects? Why aren’t we researching the root issue of stress related diseases — both physical and mental — with the end goal being a reduction in the amount of people who reach the end of their rope?

Modern American life with its 24/7 connectivity, political hype, economic challenges and societal shifts are proving to be very challenging for millions of Americans. I would hope we could agree on the need to address this issue for our own sake, our children’s sake and maybe even for the sake of our fellow Americans.