Thursday, January 17, 2008

Captialism Makes You Miserable

Can it really be the case that as we've become more comfortable, we've also become mentally ill?

"The citizens of selfish capitalist countries are twice as likely to suffer from a mental illness as the citizens of countries in mainland western Europe, which practise 'unselfish capitalism'," argues psychiatrist Oliver James.

He says studies show that 23% of Americans, Britons, Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians - all English-speaking "selfish capitalist" nations - suffered mental ill-health in the past 12 months. But only 11.5% of Germans, Italians, French, Belgians, Spaniards and Dutch experienced mental problems.

"The media, advertising, reality TV shows and so on, they give people unrealistic aspirations that they simply cannot meet with their wages and living standards. As a result, people get sucked into competitiveness and workaholism.

"We end up tirelessly striving for material wealth and valuing it over family and friendships. This really heaps pressure on people, damaging their health."

The message is clear, he says: "Selfish capitalism is bad for your mental health."

Read the rest of the story here.

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