“Is the World More Depressed?”


Tanya Luhrmann writes in the NY Times that, although diagnosis and pathologization of human experience has increased, “there is reason to believe that mental illness is indeed increasing around the world, if only because urbanization is increasing. By 2010, for the first time in history, more than half the world’s population lived in cities. Cities are places of possibility: They are, as E. B. White said of New York, “the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying that the way is up.” But cities also break traditions and fracture families, and they breed psychiatric illness.”

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