Existential Death’s of Despair
In the article, “The Age of American Despair”, Ross Douthat argues that deaths caused by alcohol, suicides, and drug abuse are a more pressing priority than other problems in society. The solution, he claims, is a renewal of an existential meaning of life for society as a whole, which is a considerably difficult fix to conjure for the citizens of America. Although what are referred to as “deaths of despair” in the article have claimed many lives, there are other conflicts weighing more heavily on the entire world rather than just this portion of it. With no traceable causes, and a cognitive existential cure as its solution, this is a not a problem that officials, or the world, can really tackle.
Aiding those who are suffering from these deaths of despair is not a problem, however, devoting all efforts to them would be counteractive in the pursuit to cure them, due to their root being so openly up for debate. How can there be a plan enforced to stop a problem that has a plethora of personal causes? While the direct root of these deaths is said to be either spiritual, economic, or political, in order to stop them, what is provoking these ailments has to be known. However, why people choose to drink, or do drugs, or commit suicide, is not information that victims or their families always want to share. Therefore, it makes pin-pointing the true cause of these deaths hard to name, and thus, preventative measures to stop them even harder to implement.
Wrangling an epidemic with so many unknown variables will only lead to more questions and debacles with trying to fix it. Having no solution to this problem may also turn people away from wanting to help. It should also be taken into consideration that addiction is a very hard battle to fight. It takes dedication and hard work to climb that mountain. This can be turbulent for those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol or both, and do not want to get better. All efforts should not be devoted to those who are not looking or willing to be helped.
There is hope that, one day, we can eradicate these deaths of despair, however, we need more concrete ways of finding treatments for them before we label them as mission number one. In order to reduce the number of these deaths, it is going to take humanity hand in hand changing their lifestyle and looking closely at what society can do better as a whole.