... the worship of reason and science, by encouraging the notion that human beings can control their environment, has created a terrible fault line in the modern psyche, although not all societies suffer equally. Mexicans have lots to worry about but don’t. The World Mental Health Survey, conducted in 2002, found that only 6.6 percent of Mexicans had ever experienced a major episode of anxiety or depression. Meanwhile, to their north, 28.8 percent of the American population has been afflicted with anxiety, the highest level in the world. Mexicans who move to the United States adapt, becoming more anxious.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Wages of Assimilation
From "Neurotic Who Makes Scary World Her Banquet," a review of Patricia Pearson's A Brief History of Anxiety, the New York Times, March 19: