The NYT is deeply in a funk, obviously. But some of us (who hold more conservative values) are pretty much the opposite. It's wrong of the NYT to try to speak for everyone.
So we're fucked and you have to be pretty aware and insightful in order to get any real sense of what the hell is going on, both good and bad. It's the joy and the horror of democracy, markets, and people.
Note this is not the same as the real increase in anxiety from 2016 to 2017, nor is there evidence to suggest this is a good proxy for it. In fact the only good evidence cited for an increase in something, is suicide from 1999 to 2017. But clicking through to the study shows a steady increase during that entire 18-year period, which makes the following seem ridiculous:
Right now the first 5 or so "recommended" comments are commenters blaming Trump for the rise in depression. That is simply implausible to me. Sure, he might plausibly be a symptom of such a rise in the past 2 decades, but I don't think average Americans go through their day-to-day worrying about how the actions of their president might negatively affect their lives. A bad manager at work, relationship troubles, financial stress, or any number of "smaller" issues would be much more likely to cause that.
Second up is economics. The US economy has been hollowed out. Unless you are in a few industries (tech, finance, upper management, high end sales and marketing, doctors, some lawyers) you are looking at dead end jobs with low pay and poor benefits. High earners are not immune either. Most high earning jobs are concentrated in a few large cities with consequentially outrageous real estate costs. A lot of your earnings are eaten by the "law of rent."
There are other causes too but I think those are the largest.
The problem is that when economy or your health gets worse, you start to depend on your family and friends more. In a culture where isolation is norm, I can imagine that it takes lot of time and effort to reverse the trend.
Capitalism and greed is baked into our culture. It's everyone for themselves, and everyone is trying to get their own slice of the pie.
You know what really sucks? You spend your whole life busting your butt in a 9-5 job, saving every penny you can for retirement. You finally retire at the age of 65, only to realize that you are no longer healthy enough to do all the things you wanted to do (travel the world, etc).
I'm so so so tired of working all the time just to get by. I honestly feel like America has just replaced slavery with indentured servitude, and corporations are the new masters.
We are constantly told what our friends and neighbors think about subjects that we care deeply about, that results is us hating them for thinking differently than us.
I personally am also exposed to the uninformed’s opinions on subjects in which I have 30 years of study. Their opinions are completely bogus, and they won’t even attempt to listen and learn something. Continually pisses me off.