While I was tempted to grab a quick bite at the The Brooklyn Diner, which incidentally is in the borough of Manhattan and not Brooklyn, it closed at midnight while I was composing the shot of the day. They have two locations, this being the W. 57th joint. If you love night photography, it’s just a couple of blocks off Central Park, so lots of cool things to shoot in the vicinity.
MIDTOWN MANHATTAN STUDY
While doing some research for another blog entry I came upon a very interesting study done back in the 1950s and 1960s. It involved interviewing 1,660 randomly chosen New Yorkers in Midtown out of the 175,000 who were living there at the time. The primary purpose was to learn more about the mental health of the citizens. Questions about depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and overeating – things we still ask about today – were included in the survey.
When the results were published many were surprised to learn that nearly 25 percent of New Yorkers were found to have mental health symptoms similar to those who showed up for treatment at that time. Another 50 percent had mild or moderate symptoms. Twenty years later some researchers tracked down 695 of the original participants to learn about changes in mental health over time. The results showed the prevalence and rate of problems remained fairly consistent throughout life.
Today, many very well designed studies measuring mental health and substance abuse rates all across America are conducted yearly. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health is just one example. And not surprisingly, mental health and addiction problems continue to plague our lives with great consistency.
Perhaps the big take away from all these studies is that life is challenging no matter what time period you happen to live. Sure, things are always changing, but I doubt there will ever be a time when people don’t struggle with moods, addiction, and stress. And why would we want these things to go away, they happen to be some of life’s greatest teachers.