Why jaded adults are buying stacks of coloring books

Now this sort of thing is definitely in the same category as bringing college students fluffy animals to help them deal with the horrible stress of taking several tests close together, even though generations of students before them, who had more difficult classes, somehow managed without furred assistance.

Curiously, the growth in therapizing everything has occurred just as our lives have become markedly easier. Just think air conditioning, penicillin, and washing machines. Yet our psychological disorders have markedly increased, almost in tandem with our technological advances. 2015’s “State of the American Mind” gave a thorough, documented overview of this reality. “The burden of mental illness in our society has increased in the past three decades, rather than decreased,” writes Robert Whitaker in his essay for the book.

This startling reality provides something to ponder as we sit down with our colored pencils at the end of a busy day or week. Why do we feel a need to flee adult life for the comfort of child’s play? Are we trying to escape our lives—and, if so, why? Humans throughout history have developed coping mechanisms to get through life. But there is also a difference between drugging oneself—whether through coloring or martinis or anything else—and actually dealing with the issues at play.