At the Anarchist bookfair last month I met some people from the German organisation the Socialist Patients Collective.
Reading their famous book "SPK - Turn Illness Into A Weapon" I came across this fascinating quote:
Since the Civil War in Northern Ireland is raging the number of depressive illnesses and also the rate of suicides has fallen to a flabbergasting degree, being now only half of their former levels. This can be found with men of the lower social classes, who are the persons most engaged in those struggles. Men of the upper classes and in some of the quieter parts of Northern Ireland are now suffering more from depressions than before.Dr H.A. Lyons, Purdysburn Hospital, Belfast. Originally quoted in Frankfurter Runsdschau, 21 August 1972.
Put simply - "the troubles" gave people something to live for, that was more exciting than pressing buttons in a factory, or shuffling paper in an office. It does not say much for day to day, "normal" Western societies, does it?