America & Depression…

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I received this e-mail today from Andy McQuitty (the pastor of Irving Bible Church) concerning some recent findings on depression in America… It definitely makes you think about what’s going on in our country…

According to a new study by the World Health Organization and the Harvard Medical School, Americans are the unhappiest people on Earth. Because you drive on rush-hour freeways in Dallas, you already knew this. But now there’s statistical proof.

Researchers found that 9.6 percent of Americans suffer from depression or bipolar disorder. That’s the highest rate of the 14 nations surveyed. No longer is the old USA solely the land of opportunity; we’re now the land of therapy as well.

Get this: America has a greater percentage of depressed people than war-torn Lebanon (6.6%); unemployed Mexico (4.8%); hedonistic Italy (3.8%); and overworked Japan (3.1%). If that’s not enough to astound you, get this: Nigeria, an impoverished, conflicted, and corrupted land, had the lowest depression rate of all-just 0.8%.

How can this be? The theory is that when your life is a struggle to survive, you’re too busy to contemplate despair. Existentialism truly is a luxury of affluence. Also, in poorer societies, relationships tend to be tighter-knit and faith stronger. When you have nothing, family and faith is everything. I myself have observed this in Nigeria, as a matter of fact.

It’s not that we don’t have faith and family in America. Obviously, we do. It’s just that there’s so much else as well. Being continually distracted from experiencing and investing in what truly matters is little different from not having what truly matters at all. I just have one word to say about that: Less-is-more…

Do you think maybe Jesus was right when He said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6.20)?

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~ by Shea Sumlin on March 29, 2007.

One Response to “America & Depression…”

  1. I remember reading about a year ago a list of the most depressed cities in the US. I was surprised by the findings that Loredo, TX was the least depressed city in our country. I would have thought that hope ended where I-35 ended. Ask Russel and maybe he will describe a place much like the other countries the article mentioned. The article you posted isn’t that surprising, we somehow need to develope a war-time mentality in our land of opportunity.

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