In an article by Robert H Lustig about his new book ‘The Hacking of the American Mind,’ there were some intriguing revelations about the impact of modern society’s constant need for instant gratification.
The bad news:
It makes for sober reading – depression and suicide rates are on the increase in the UK, as well as in the US, Germany and China. Prescriptions for antidepressants in the UK are up by 108% from 10 years ago. Diabetes, heart disease, dementia and fatty liver disease are snowballing into epidemic proportions.
How is our pursuit of pleasure to blame for all of this? It’s precisely how we seek to feel happier that is contributing to the upsurge in these conditions. Our addictions to tobacco, alcohol, sugar and, more recently, technology (which can lead to sleep deprivation) have been shown to be major factors in the development of these diseases and can also be link to ballooning rates of depression.