Modern science has cured so many physical diseases. The problem is that the modern world has introduced many new things that as opposed to making us physically ill, are making us mentally ill. Here they are.
In the US, the share of adults living alone has doubled over the past 50 years. Incidence of divorce has increased on the one side and fewer people are getting married on the other side of the age spectrum. We no longer live in communities. In the old days, you may have been a member of a village that was famous for making whiskey. Some of your identity was tied to this village. Today, it is only the individual that matters which means the burden of performance is unshared and that is a lot of pressure to live with.
We are told that anyone can make it provided they apply themselves. In a world where a three-times bankrupt reality TV star can become US president, and an awkward kid born in the southernmost country in Africa can become the richest man in the world if you don't make it you feel like a total loser.
We have turned our backs on religion and this comes with consequences. The great thing about believing in something/someone bigger than yourself is it takes the pressure off you. Secularism removes god and says that everyone is a mini-god with limitless potential. This increase in our sense of self-importance is stressful.
The romantics will tell you all you need is love, and that one person will make your life complete. Not only does this place inordinate pressure on that "special" person, but it leads us into relationships with people who are very nice in a few ways, but very awful in many other ways, and they make our lives stressful and complicated.
5) The Media
The news in its purest form is designed to inform and educate. Modern media, however, is all about getting attention and traffic. There is a difference between what we need to hear and read, and what we like to hear and read. The media focuses on negative and sensationalist topics - sexual scandal, corruption, deception, and doom. This stresses us out and makes us more anxious.
The world tells you you can have the perfect career, wife, family, home, and friends. So what happens when we don't come even close to this? We beat ourselves up, feel weak and convince ourselves we are losers.
So what is the takeaway from all this? The solution is simple: find a religious cult with a strong sense of community that encourages polygamy, cuts you off from the media, and celebrates your mediocrity! Joking aside, the solution is simply put into words but a little more complicated to put into practice. The first thing to realize is that you are not a god and not capable of achieving anything you put your mind to. If you are 150cm, weigh 45kg, and are 45 years old, you are never going to play in the World Cup Rugby. You need to go easy on yourself, accept your judgment is faulty, that your passions get the better of you, that you are prey to superstition and irrational fear, and drop things at elegant dinners. This is encouraging and takes the pressure off the belief that everything in your life needs to be perfect.