depression and poverty

(this is another reprint from my old blog)

an article on depression and poverty

Low-income people with depression are less likely to respond to treatment and more likely to be suicidal than those who have higher incomes, according to a study in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Socioeconomic factors, including income, education and occupation, have long been linked to health status, illness and death. Research has shown that people with lower socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to develop a depressive illness and that their depression is more severe than that of people higher on the SES scale. Several studies have hypothesized that socioeconomic factors, including income and education, would also affect how people respond to medications and other therapies for depression, but have ultimately proved inconclusive, according to background information in the article.

… and my response to it:

It is laudable that Harvard has taken up the research on the connection between poverty and depression. Not having read the full article, I don’t know into how much detail the authors go regarding this connection.

However, as someone who has worked with very low income populations, I would suggest that some of the connections are quite obvious and should be checked out. Let me just cite a few.

Poverty affects people’s lives on all levels; “bumping” into the issue of lack of money is incredibly stressful and grinds people down.

People with disabilities are more likely to be poor and more likely to suffer from depression.

Lastly, we live in a culture where success is measured by how much we earn. People with low income are automatically assumed to be unsuccessful. This impacts their self esteem. These are just a few examples. And they are examples of situations that tend to create or exacerbate depression in addition to other causes of depression (chemical imbalances, tiggers such as loss of a loved one, PTSD, etc.)

what do you think?

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

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