The Economy and Mental Health ~ nannymm

The current economic crisis is taking a toll on the physical and emotional well-being of many Americans. Physicians and mental health professionals are seeing a significant rise in depression and suicide, as well as anxiety and stress related disorders.  Some people have chosen to end their lives rather than be forced out of their homes by foreclosure. Last year, Raymond and Deanna Donaca of Prineville, Ore. commited suicide only days before they were to be forced out of their home of more than 20 years.

In 2008, more people reported stress-related physical and emotional symptoms than they did in 2007, and nearly half of adults said their stress has increased in the past year. More people reported stress-related fatigue (53% vs. 51% in 2007), feelings of irritability or anger (60% vs. 50% in 2007), and lying awake at night (52% vs. 48% in 2007).Though most Americans think they are managing their stress well, less than half are exercising to deal with stress. Passive techniques seem to be more popular, including listening to music, which 52% of participants said they do to relieve stress.

There are also some unhealthy coping strategies. Forty-eight percent of people say they overeat or choose unhealthy foods to deal with stress. Eighteen percent drink alcohol to cope, and 16% smoke.

Here are some tips to help cope with what appears to be a long-term economic downturn:

• Focus on positive aspects of your life. Look to family and friends to support you.

• Exercise, maintain a healthy diet and a normal sleep schedule – physical and mental health are connected.

• Plan for the future as much as you can. The more action you can take, the more in control you’ll be and the less stressed you’ll feel.

• Try to take a long view. Realize that it may have been bad yesterday, it may be bad today, but things will get better over time.

• Volunteer and look for ways to answer needs in your local community. Helping others will take your mind off your own worries and give you a sense of accomplishment.

• Take charge of your immediate environment. If you’re troubled by media coverage and conversations about the worsening economy, change channels, turn the page, or excuse yourself from the conversation.

If sadness and anxiety begin to adversely affect normal functioning – relationships, work, sleep, appetite and sex – professional help may be needed.

Contact your personal physician or local mental health clinic for assistance.

Additional Materials:

Economic and Mental Depression
Posted by Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, PhD on Tue, May 13th 2008

Economy and mental health

New York psychiatrist and author Dr. Gail Saltz talks with CNN about the psychological toll of markets and offers tips.

Economy takes a toll on mental health

As economic fears rise, families on verge of unraveling



Filed under Uncategorized

92 responses to “The Economy and Mental Health ~ nannymm

  1. Great post nanny, and something that needs to be said. In some ways I think those lower on the economic ladder are better able to deal with our current situation as they’ve been dealing with these issues for a very long time and it’s not coming as such a shock to them.

  2. dnd

    Great post Nannymm. One other thing I’ve heard to deal with anxiety or depression is to watch comedic movies. Or listen to something funny. Laughter is the best medicine.

  3. dnd

    I’m really starting to feel sorry for Jindal. They’ve trotted out Mary Matalin to defend him. You really know you’re in trouble when you need Mary Matalin to defend you 😉

  4. chefsheila

    WELL DONE NANNY! I’m going to post this else where. Now to getting ready for another big day with the mrs…..

    I’ll be glad to get back home so others can take on some chorse and I have more time….

  5. dog's eye view

    Good post, nanny. And ironic that localities are reducing public services, due to budget cuts, just as ever more people are endangered and in need. Vicious circle there.

    In typing up my advice, see it’s similar to a lot from the medicinenet post. (Good find, nanny! We should cut and email it around.)

    But, since already typed, and slightly different:

    I think staying away from 24/7 cable and local news (seriously!) is a first start. The hysteria just feeds on itself. Were I a bank or public location, I’d put up the weather/travel/animal documentary channel or, even better, some film classic shorts (a la dnd’s suggestion).

    Also, if you suspect your friends or associates are suffering depression, reach out to them, again and again. It’s the nature of the beast to try to go to ground.

    Get involved, be a compassionate pest.

    And maybe get yourself and your friend involved in some volunteer work. It is one of the best remedies out there. You always find someone in more need (physical or psychic) than yourself; it’s rewarding and time spent in service and community with others.

  6. Nannymm

    Thanks, Brian, dnd, Sheila, and dog’s eye. Obviously this is an issue I care greatly about. It’s becoming a very serious issue all across this country. I hope Obama’s health care plan includes full mental health coverage for all. We’ve treated mental health care like the bastard step-child for far too long.

  7. BevnTempe

    Very interesting and informative post, Nanny. I think this subject is one that needs to be made aware to everyone. The stress level of most people has definitely risen, even those of us who are retired. You provided many informative sites to gain information and help. Great job!

  8. Nice post Nanny,

    I think that so many people are having trouble coping, and are not really equipped to handle such uncertainty and fear. I struggle at times, but have learned recognize when I am heading south emotionally , and do what I can to ward it off….laughing is key… and exercise…..but laughing is sure easier than working out…. 🙂
    “Today’s Economy: What Myth Are You Stuck In?”

    “That is perhaps best summed up by the Greek Stoic philosopher, Epictetus: it’s not what happens to you but how you respond that matters.”

  9. Marijuana is MotherNature’s anti-depressant.

  10. Wow, I’d like to have been at that party!

  11. Thanks for the lnks

    Music another mood lifter….

  12. Sure aint George Bush’s White House anymore!

  13. dnd

    Sra Burrito,
    “Wow, I’d like to have been at that party!”

    Not me. Everyone was sitting politely, bobbing their heads to the beat, and politely applauding. I would have grabbed Michelle and started dancing in the aisles, singing along.

    The Secret Service would have arrested me on the spot 😉

  14. dnd,
    I can’t imagine they stayed in their seats….I hope they had some fun…..

    …..and thank the powers above (or wherever) it’s not the Bush White House anymore!

  15. dnd

    I would have had more confidence in this administration had the President and VP grab their wives and started dancing, and encouraging everyone to do likewise. This is a generation that grew up on R&B and rock and roll. Proper etiquette requires one to get up!

  16. Didn’t look like there was too much room for dancing dnd.

  17. dnd

    “Holder Vows To End Raids On Medical Marijuana Clubs”

    Well, if the President wants Willie Nelson, one of his biggest supporters, to perform at the White House, he’s got to make a few concessions to the stoners 😉

  18. dnd

    “Didn’t look like there was too much room for dancing dnd.”

    Who cares? Roll up the rug, move the chairs to the walls. It’s Stevie Wonder fer crissake.

  19. Nannymm

    I’m with dnd, on this one. Ya gotta get up and dance to Stevie!

  20. dog's eye view

    I’ll bet last night was a thrill for Stevie Wonder. He began his career around the time of LBJ’s Voting Rights Act; he has now played the White House during the first month of Barack and Michelle Obama’s residence there. He smiles a lot anyway, but you know he was beaming throughout his visit and performance!

    Signed Sealed and Delivered.

    How many people were there thinking, I never thought I would live to see this moment? Most of them, I would bet.

  21. Obama Plans Major Shifts in Spending

    By redirecting enormous streams of deficit spending toward programs like health care, education and energy, and paying for some of it through taxes on the rich, pollution surcharges, and cuts in such inviolable programs as farm subsidies, the $3.55 trillion spending plan Mr. Obama is undertaking signals a radical change of course that Congress has yet to endorse.

    The next sound you hear will be the GOP having a collective cow!

  22. dnd

    “When asked by the Secret Service why they arrested dnd for dancing with Michelle, they replied: ‘Did you see him dance? And who told him he could sing? Holder’s gonna throw the book at him'”

  23. Yeah, you better be careful dnd, style now counts in DC!

  24. Nannymm

    This paints a bizarre picture of Jindall. Check it out,

    “Did you know about the exorcism? The name that came from The Brady Bunch? Those and other surprising facts about one of America’s fastest rising young politicians.”

  25. Nannymm

    It’s all about movin’ and groovin’.

  26. Nannymm

    Thanks UB and Bev. Glad you find this post useful.

  27. Wow, scary piece on Jindal. Doesn’t look like prayer helped him out too much on Tuesday night!

  28. Nannymm

    Why the repugs will continue to lose:
    “Colorado state senator says HIV testing for pregnant women rewards ‘sexual promiscuity.’”

  29. dog's eye view

    Per AP: SecDefense Gates lifts ban on photos of returning soldiers’ coffins.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — News organizations will be allowed to photograph the homecomings of America’s war dead under a new Pentagon policy, defense and congressional officials said Thursday.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decided to allow photos of flag-draped caskets at Dover Air Force Base, Del., if the families of the fallen troops agree, the officials told The Associated Press.

  30. What’s really scary nanny is that these right wingers really believe the crap they peddle!

  31. Nannymm

    I wish Congress could allocate some money to study the brains of repugs. There has to be something faulty in their wiring.

  32. Now that would really send the deficit sky high!

  33. dnd

    Schultheis is from Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family. It’s a hotbed of righteously religious conservatives who believe government should regulate your morals (though they seem to sprout great examples like Ted Haggard).

    Most of the Republicans in Colorado, particularly those on the western slope, are fiscally conservative and believe the government should butt out of your personal life.

    Here’s a little more in depth piece on this:

    ps. Democrats control the Colorado House, Senate and Governor’s office. Both of the US Senators from Colorado (Bennett and Udall) are Democrats.

  34. They not only believe it, but the teach it to their children…..and so on.

    Which makes me pretty proud of Bristol Palin for speaking her own mind regarding abstinence.

  35. dnd

    Political preference has been studied. Some believe it’s part genetic:

  36. Nannymm

    Gail Collins hits the nail on the head with this statement:
    “Louisiana has gotten $130 billion in post-Katrina aid. How is it that the stars of the Republican austerity movement come from the states that suck up the most federal money? Taxpayers in New York send way more to Washington than they get back so more can go to places like Alaska and Louisiana. Which is fine, as long as we don’t have to hear their governors bragging about how the folks who elected them want to keep their tax money to themselves. Of course they do! That’s because they’re living off ours.”

  37. Nannymm

    Thanks for that link about Dave Schultheis, dnd.

  38. dnd

    “Colorado’s oldest newspaper will publish its final edition Friday.

    The Rocky Mountain News, less than two months away from its 150th anniversary, will be closed after a search for a buyer proved unsuccessful, the E.W. Scripps Co. announced today.”


  39. dnd

    Mike Littwin, Rocky columnist and friend of Mudcat Saunders on the teetering Republican party:

    “Sometimes political analysis is almost too easy, but I try not to let that stop me. So here goes: Colorado’s Republicans, reeling from a rash of crushing defeats, face two readily identifiable problems:

    One, Barack Obama’s Democrats. Two, Colorado’s very own Republicans.”

    I hope the Denver Post hires him now that the Rocky will close it’s doors. Littwin, and many other Rocky columnists are really great.

  40. “Mr. Whipple Left It Out: Soft Is Rough on Forests”

    The country’s soft-tissue habit — call it the Charmin effect — has not escaped the notice of environmentalists, who are increasingly making toilet tissue manufacturers the targets of campaigns.

  41. Citigroup Nationalization Deal Could Come As Soon As Today: Wall Street Journal

    Holy Shit Batman!

  42. I love the rocket man… cool.

  43. I bet it’s annouced after the close….holy cow!

  44. dnd

    I’m announcing a new cabinet position: Secretary of Fun. My nominee: Rocket Man!

  45. dnd

    If any of you missed the Russel Bishop piece that Sra Burrito posted earlier, I highly recommend it.

  46. dnd

    Former Colorado Senator Gary Hart:

    “Now, in a new time of national peril, rather than considering it a luxury, we need to see national service as a necessity for the rallying of the national community behind our common good and our common goals. No single step would revitalize our fearful national spirit more than a new era of civic republicanism.”

  47. dnd

    Yeah Brian, it is a nice piece. And fits in perfectly with Nannymm’s thread today.

  48. dnd

    Well, somebody’s got to 😉

  49. I’m shameless, haven’t you heard?

  50. dnd

    Year, that’s the rumor going around the internets…

  51. 3 charged in La. swap of 2 kids for pet bird, cash

    “The Romeros had good intentions from what we see,” said Keith Dupre, a detective with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.

    Can’t believe this story…….so sad and disturbing on all fronts.

  52. BTW Stevie Wonder at the WH will be airing at 9:00 PM tonight on PBS.

  53. dog's eye view

    Terrible about the Rocky Mountain News. Wishing for a soft landing for Mike Littwin and other gifted writers.

    interesting email from that wonderful independently-owned theatre (shows indie and artsy movies, deep in the Virginia burbs — 3 cheers for the Cinema Arts Theatre in Fairfax):

    “January turned out to be the best January in box office history! I really believe people need movies as a part of their “dealing” with the economy and such. We had one of our best months ever. ”

    So marvelous they have found a business that thrives in a downturn. Got to support your small business owners, especially those who struck out on their passion.

    ALTHOUGH: I wonder if January was big because they had so many of the Oscar contenders and there was an unusually good crop of movies up for awards this year.

  54. dnd

    Curious. Today, for the first time,Tweety got frosty with Rep Issa about calling the Democratic Party the “Democrat Party.”

    Is he reading our blog?

  55. All the better pundits do dnd, it’s only the second rate ones that shun us!


  56. dnd

    Well sure Brian. I don’t have any problem with Tweety using our material. He’s welcome to it. I just wish he’d give us a few thread posts here…



  57. Tweety if you’re reading let us know, LOL! In all honesty though I think we all have the same sources. So much of the stuff I see in the evening on MSNBC I’ve read about hours earlier on HuffPo.

  58. dnd

    And what you’ve seen on HuffPo, you read hours earlier here!

  59. I guess that makes us the be all and end all!

  60. I’m watching the PBS show…it’s like watching a movie.


  61. It’s a mood lifter for sure…..with all the bad news that abounds to see this is really quite refreshing. and …you guessed it …hopeful.

    I hope you check it out.

  62. I wouldn’t miss it for anything!

  63. I’ll be watching HD, with the surround sound cranked up high!

  64. Time to rock and roll with the Obamas

  65. Loving the way they lit the East Room.

  66. How amazing this must be for Tony Bennett, a man who really put his ass on the line repeatedly during the civil rights battles of the 60s.

  67. dnd

    Tony Bennett is among the generation of Italian-Americans who were discriminated against. Not surprising that he put his ass on the line during the civil rights battles.

  68. I thought the lighting was masterful….without a doubt there are real talented professionals directing this show.

  69. Well that was seriously cool!

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