I believe each generation "expects" more out of life than the previous one. The more hardships and disappointments one faces the more difficult it is for them to cope.
Not long ago 60 Minutes did a segment on the happiest nation on earth and it was Denmark. They concluded their citizens were much happier than the U.S. A. citizens (because they did not expect as much out of life.)
In America every child grows up believing they will have the perfect marriage, the big house, the great job, a circle of loving friends and family, luxury or sports cars, money to travel...etc When those dreams fail to materialize we see ourselves as failures. Continuous 24/7 news channels reporting negative events simply add fuel to the feeling of hopelessness one feels.
It's up to us find ways to stay positive and feel good about ourselves no matter what our station is in life.
Exercise, eat right, use affirmations, read positive books, listen to your favorite music, and learn to take one day at a time. We always have a choice in how we react to things in our life.
"When we change, our circumstances change"