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“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” – Benjamin Franklin
Unfortunately a growing number of Americans seem to be running away from true happiness rather than toward it. No generation has had greater access to health care or educational opportunities, yet depression and other emotional and mental signs of fatigue from daily living have never been more evident.
- One-third working adults report chronic debilitating stress, and more than half of all “millennials” (eighteen-to-thirty-three year olds) experience a level of stress that causes them to lose sleep at night. A high percentage of young adults also have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder.
- Over 10 percent of all Americans aged twelve and older take SSRI antidepressants. These are the same drugs that have an alarming correlation with school shooters. Women are especially susceptible to depression, with 23 percent of American women in their 40s and 50s taking antidepressants.
- Suicide now results in more injury deaths than car crashes in America. And, more U.S. soldiers died last year by suicide than in combat.
- New research from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that one in five of all high-school-aged children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD. One in five preteens in New York City have been medically diagnosed with either ADHD, anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder;
- Research shows that stress leaves people susceptible to serious illness, and a growing number of studies confirm that chronic stress plays a major role in the progression of cancer, the nation’s second-biggest killer. Heart disease, which causes one in four deaths in the U.S., is also known to have a huge stress component.
- Add to that the tens of millions of users of all other types of psychiatric drugs, including the 6.4 million American children between the ages of four and seventeen that have been diagnosed with ADHD and are prescribed Ritalin or similar psycho-stimulants. 28 percent of American adults have a drinking problem (more than 60 million) and 22 million use illegal drugs.
Fifty-six of America’s Founding Fathers understood the truth that all people should be able to pursue a better life when they proclaimed: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
It is doubtful that any of them imagined their new nation would come to pursue that goal in the way that a growing number have.