Monday, August 28, 2006

Poverty and Mental Health

There's an interesting article here on the Guardians Comment Is Free blog by a Psychologist saying depression is to do with poverty and therefore therapy can't help. I totally disagree; in my experience Depression is simply an internal clouding of vision, whereby you see the world through darker eyes. Being richer doesn't help at all, having a comfortable life doesn't help at all. It consistently surprises me how hopeful and positive people can be despite living in the most desperate poverty. I heard a guy on radio 4 the other day who had lost his home, his job, his friends, his family, everything because of the Katrina hurricane in New Orleans, yet he still sounded very hopeful, even sparky, and said everyone has to just find a bit of hope inside them and keep going. That's the difference between people with mental health problems and people without; whether you can have hope or not.

It could even be argued that people living in poverty are less likely to be depressed cos they're so busy working to keep alive they don't have time to read as much news as us more well off people; news which tells us more and more about the evils in the world and the despair and violence it has to offer us.


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