Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Unemployment Is Not Good For Your Mental Health

From the NYTimes, "Poll Reveals Trauma of Joblessness in US" by MICHAEL LUO and MEGAN THEE-BRENAN

The article notes:

With unemployment driving foreclosures nationwide, a quarter of those polled said they had either lost their home or been threatened with foreclosure or eviction for not paying their mortgage or rent. About a quarter, like Ms. Newton, have received food stamps. More than half said they had cut back on both luxuries and necessities in their spending. Seven in 10 rated their family’s financial situation as fairly bad or very bad.

But the impact on their lives was not limited to the difficulty in paying bills. Almost half said unemployment had led to more conflicts or arguments with family members and friends; 55 percent have suffered from insomnia.

“Everything gets touched,” said Colleen Klemm, 51, of North Lake, Wis., who lost her job as a manager at a landscaping company last November. “All your relationships are touched by it. You’re never your normal happy-go-lucky person. Your countenance, your self-esteem goes. You think, ‘I’m not employable.’ ”

A quarter of those who experienced anxiety or depression said they had gone to see a mental health professional. Women were significantly more likely than men to acknowledge emotional issues.


fishofdeath said...

I thought the news was supposed to report on things we *didn't* already know. :)

tracy said...

Amen. i wonder how much money was spent on t h a t study.

Rach said...

This is a socially determined issue... Way beyond psychiatry.

(See Raphael's endless articles and books on the subject)

The fact that there are psychiatric sequalae does not surprise me at ALL. It's surprising that it's taken for this type of research to surface, though.

Happy Holiday Season, y'all.

Anonymous said...

However you do have the time to eat lunch in French restaurants.

Anonymous said...

The financial stresses of unemployment make life pretty unbearable, for sure. It affects everyone in the family. And there may be damage to the spousal relationship or adult child-parent or sibling relationship caused by fights over money that lingers on way past the point of financial recovery.

Personally speaking, it's much worse if the unemployment is for a lame-o and illegal reason, such as being terminated because you dared to have a mental breakdown (manic episode w/psychosis) while at work.

Good times.

Anonymous said...

Rach - love your comment about Raphael. He does great research, but boy, does he ever write a lot on the same topic :-)

Rach said...

Anon #3 - I just finished reading a whole textbook written by him. Yes, Raphael's area of focus is very narrow - but his research really has broad applicability across a range of fields.