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Anxiety Epidemic:

Are we importing anxiety into our

mind and life?

Anxiety Epidemic
Nearly one in five -- 40 million American adults -
- suffer from anxiety disorders, the most
common class of psychiatric ailment we have. By
comparison, a mere one in ten are plagued with
mood disorders like depression, the second
most-common class of psychiatric problems.
- Daniel Smith, author of the new anxiety
memoir Monkey Mind
USA World Anxiety Champion
"According to the 2002 World Mental Health Survey,
people in developing-world countries such as Nigeria
are up to five times less likely to show clinically
significant anxiety levels than Americans, despite
having more basic life-necessities to worry about
What's more, when these less-anxious developing-
world citizens emigrate to the United States, they tend
to get just as anxious as Americans.
- Taylor Clark, author of Nerve
Is anxiety caused by the state of the economy?

Even when the economy were in great
shape, as it was in 2004, Americans spent
$2.1 billion on anti-anxiety meds, almost
double the amount spent in 1997
Anxiety is the consequence of materialism

cintam aparimeyam ca
pralayantam upashritah
etavad iti nishcitah
They believe that to gratify the senses is the
prime necessity of human civilization. Thus until
the end of life their anxiety is immeasurable.
(Bhagavad-gita 16.11)
The Anxiety of Choice
Stanford psychology professor Hazel
Markus asked Indian and American
participants to report how many choices
they'd made while doing a series of small
tasks. "Though everybody made the same
series of decisions" -- choosing a desk to sit
at, choosing a pad to use, choosing
whether or not to eat free candy,
The Anxiety of Choice
"Americans thought that they'd made
twice as many choices as the Indians, 20
compared to 10. Too much choice can
paralyze people and make them anxious.
The Anxiety of Choice
Thus [they become] perplexed by various
anxieties and bound by a network of illusions.
(Bhagavad-gita 16.16)
The Anxiety of Fashion and Status
"Anything about a decision that ... [is] less
than perfect is a rebuke to the decision
- Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of
Choice: Why More is Less.
The Anxiety of Fashion and Status
"For Chinese (and other Asians), sense of self
and self-worth are not tied up so much with
notions of individual autonomy and choice. So a
bad pair of jeans is just a bad pair of jeans. In
the U.S., it's a bad pair of jeans AND a statement
about you. Think how much weightier your
decisions are if every one you make tells the
world something about who you are.
- Barry Schwartz
The Anxiety of Status
ishvaro 'ham aham bhogi
siddho 'ham balavan sukhi
adhyo 'bhijanavan asmi
ko 'nyo 'sti sadrisho maya
I am the lord of everything. I am the enjoyer. I
am perfect, powerful and happy. I am the richest
man, surrounded by aristocratic relatives. There
is none so powerful and happy as I am.
(Bhagavad-gita 16.14-15)
Lets stop feeding anxiety - 1
W - Work
W - Watch
S - Shop
Lets stop being a part of World Wide
Lets stop feeding anxiety - II
Are we seeking these in materialism?
I Identity
S Shelter
P Pleasure
ISP: I (am a) Spiritual Person
Lets stop feeding anxiety
When we decrease our materialism
and dont bother unduly about
superficialities like fashion & status,
we cut off the channel that feeds
Be intense, not tense - I
When we decrease our materialism
and dont bother unduly about
superficialities like fashion & status,
we cut off the channel that feeds
Be intense, not tense - II
When we connect with Krishna who is the
eternally unchanging and unchangeable shelter,
we find a refuge of serenity in a storm of