Escape

Today in Economics class my teacher remarked that when economic times are hard the market for entertainment increases. The reason for this historically documented phenomenon? Because people want to escape from their problems. This observation really got me started wondering why we feel the need to escape from life. Is life really so hard that we just can’t deal with it? When did the idea of escapism begin? and why? What should our response to the hardness of life be? Is escape even possible? or ethical?