I Think He Wants People To Snap: Stress of Living in America
Rush Limbaugh recently shared with his radio listeners that he thinks ‘Obama [is] literally pushing people to snap, attacking the very sanity of the country‘. He exclaimed: ‘Everything that people hold dear is under assault -[he is] deliberately making people upset!’
Some republican reporters harvested it on the spot to infer that Obama team is solely responsible for ‘the sheer stress of living in today’s America‘. America under Obama is undergoing such a fundamental social and economic transformation that it can be directly linked to the high rates of addictions, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and depression. David Kupelian reports in the WND that 1 in 4 American women are on antidepressants and half of all ‘millennials’ (18 to 33 year olds) experience a level of stress that keeps them awake at night, including ‘large numbers diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder‘.
Apparently, a variety of mental conditions are caused by the present administration’s allegedly deliberate strategy to make Americans ill.
I came across this curious pronouncement a couple of days after returning from a 3-week trip to Norway and Sweden, two countries in Europe that had been similarly transformed a long time ago.
I began to wonder if Limbaugh and Kupelian could be on to something
In my research, I reviewed and compared two expert sources on mood/mental conditions in Europe and the US. The European source is a recent study published in the European Neuropschycopharmacology Journal. This report included Norway, which, when I visited last July, gave me an impression of an idyllic place where everyone seems to be taken care of very well by the state. Norway and its Nordic neighbors were declared ‘probably the best-governed in the world‘ by The Economist. Norway is ‘sometimes mistaken by Americans as socialist, while simultaneously being criticized by Scandinavians as overly capitalistic, the Nordic model could best be described as a type of middle ground. It is neither fully capitalistic or socialistic, and attempts to merge the most desirable elements of both into a “hybrid” system‘ (Wikipedia). In other words, the Nordic system is based on the principles of maximizing employment, equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth and public responsibility for those unable to take care of themselves (namely: capitalism, democracy and welfare).
My American source is the National Institute of Mental Health. For the sake of fairness, I decided to use the sets of data from 2004 and 2005 even though the European study does have more recent statistics. Keep in mind that Barack Obama would not become the US President that wanted people to snap for four or five more years.
In his previously mentioned article David Kupelian echoes Rush’s assertion that Americans are stressed out because they fear Obama administration’s efforts to turn this country into a welfare state, which, as in the case of Norway, has the following characteristics:
– social safety net
– free education
– universal healthcare (that covers moods and mental conditions)
– public pensions
– strong property rights
– contract enforcement
– ease of doing business.
Supposedly, Americans are collectively fearful, anxious and ill at ease to live in a state where all, or most of the above mentioned characteristics are present. The growing number of ‘seriously troubled people’ is the result of present administration’s deliberate efforts to provide universal healthcare for its citizens suffering from physical or mental conditions.
Kupelian suggests that the Obama administration is responsible for ‘tens of millions of inexplicably damaged brains‘. Apparently, many of us are upset and angry with ‘Obama and the maniacal left‘. Kupelian goes on to suggest that this is exactly what the adversary wants, ‘because when you’re upset and angry and overreacting-pardon me for putting it this way-you become stupid‘.
Yes, apparently stressed out or depressed equals stupid. ‘Stupid’ (anxious, panicked, depressed) is cowardly, contemptible and ineffective, so it has to be cured not by medical science, therapy or counseling but by God and the return of right-wing values.
Moods, mental conditions in Europe versus USA in numbers
As suggested earlier in this piece, comparing mental health statistics for Europe and the US some four or five years before Obama became the President seemed to be a fair ground for my inquiry into whether or not Obama’s administration ‘wants people to snap‘.
Based on the two sources cited earlier, I was able to compile the following comparisons:
In 2005, in the EU countries tested (approximately 300 million people) depressive disorders (including bipolar disorder) accounted for 7.8% of the population. In the US in 2004 (again the latest stats available from the National Institute of Mental Health) there were 9.3% of Americans affected by depression and bipolar disorder combined. 1.5% more Americans than Europeans suffered from depressive disorders at the same time. Four years before Obama became President.
In 2005, 16.4% Europeans tested were affected by anxiety disorders, which include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia & specific phobias, as well as OCD. The same anxiety disorders, at the same time, affected 25.6% of Americans. That is over 9% more Americans than Europeans dealing with anxiety disorders. Again, four years before Obama became President.
Kupelian is correct. Americans have suffered from high rates of addictions, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and depression and those rates were higher than among comparable number of Europeans at the same period of time. However, we were affected by mood conditions before the current administration took over.
It is always a matter of perspective, isn’t it?