I've been kicking around this thread idea for a few days, and what's stopping me is how to phrase the focus delicately. Here goes nuthin'. There have been a few posts here and there talking about anxiety disorders, mental disorders and subsequent medications used to treat them. Xanax (great word if you're playing Hangman, BTW), Ritalin, Prozac...I'm casting the net wide as it relates to mental issues and drug treatment. It occurred to me - has it always been this prevalent? "The doctor prescribed Xanax because I would get panic attacks while [doing whatever]" seems to be more and more common. I don't remember hearing about my parent's generation requiring this much medication. I CERTAINLY don't remember hearing about panic disorders with my grandfather's age set. When I lived in countries with abject poverty the children were happy and, although substance abuse seemed to be more generally accepted, I don't recall anyone I worked with having a panic attack or a nervous condition. Focus: Is it all in our heads? Is our media-saturated culture that tells us nothing is our fault and everything can be cured with a pill what's driving the spike in mental health issues? Or is it because there is now more research going into it that we are seeing problems coming out of the closet? Disclaimer: I am trying as best as possible to leave out the "extremely mentally ill" from this discussion. Obviously a paranoid schizophrenic who completely dissociates from reality has a genuine problem that needs as much treatment as possible. I'm more interested in the "regular" (for lack of a better term) people who manage to successfully go about their daily lives but sometimes require pills to manage their conditions.