Is America’s ‘despair epidemic’ about to arrive in Britain?

At the Spectator.

Numerous commentators have linked America’s huge rise in early deaths with the decline of organised religion, in particular the sense of hope and community faith brings.

And perhaps just as importantly religion also offers some respite from the relentless competitiveness of life, since it emphasises the importance of acceptance and dignity. Never mind if he isn’t rich or famous or especially talented, a man doing an ordinary, honest job and looking after his family can hold his head up – so says the cultural background chatter found in Christianity. But where the cultural background noise is basically the Daily Mail sidebar of shame, of rich, idiotic celebrities living a better life than you – and at a time when good working-class jobs have eroded – the cultural protections against intense competition are gone.

Competition is a similar problem with teenagers, in particular the most brutal form of all, intrasexual competition, especially among females.

Read it all.

What do you think?