Mental health problems manifest in a number of ways and encapsulate a wide range of conditions, including substance abuse disorders, crippling anxiety, schizophrenia, and suicidality. A person’s susceptibility depends on genetic, social, and environmental factors. These contributors are believed to be intertwined; psychological stressors can activate a genetic predisposition, so life circumstances matter a lot. And the U.S. is home to some particularly challenging ones: stagnant wages; rising health-care costs; the proliferation of highly addictive opioids after a marketing push from major drug companies; the disappearance of well-paid blue-collar jobs and the emergence of the gig economy; the lack or limited availability of treatment and services. The destructive powers of technology, be it in the form of social isolation or cyberbullying, have been cited in the rising number of teens killing themselves. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 10- to 34-year-olds. Then there’s the prevalence of guns, which are used in half of all suicides.
These articles (this one is from Bloomberg Business) almost always leave out the most obvious psychological stressor in the U.S., the breakdown of the family. We have a 40% divorce rate and a 40% out of wedlock birth rate, each significantly higher among those with fewer economic resources. There seems to be a tacit conspiracy of silence among the journalistic elite and the “experts” to not mention that this may have something to do with the feelings of desperation of loneliness and desperation that could lead to mental health crises (including substance abuse).