04-21 The vicious cycle of mental illness and poverty

Posted in Depression, Mental Health Treatment

The vicious cycle of mental illness and poverty

Mental illnesses affect 18.6 percent of Americans every day, according to the National Institute on Mental Health. That adds up to 43.7 million people in the United States alone. This population represents people across all walks of life and, unfortunately, the topic remains controversial and those dealing with mental illnesses are often still faced with stigmatization.

In the same vein, the United States Census Bureau recorded that there were 45.3 Americans living in poverty as of 2013. Poverty and whether or not someone has access to resources like mental health treatment can have an immense impact on an individual’s well-being and mental health.

Poverty and mental health

Substandard living conditions, financial insecurity and constant anxiety over providing necessities like food and shelter are stressors that can drive many to break down mentally. The Low Income Housing Coalition did a study that indicated the impossibility of affording a two-bedroom apartment at market value while working at minimum wage in any state. In California, it was recorded that individuals who desired an average two-bedroom apartment would typically need to work 130 hours or more at minimum wage to afford it.

These staggering statistics serve to point out a tremendous gap between wages and expenses amongst a large portion of the American population. They also act as an example of how much of a toll financial insecurity can take on a person and his or her loved ones. Those who suffer from mental health conditions face an entirely new set of demands when dealing with poverty and mental illness simultaneously.

Mental health disorders and poverty have shared a complex relationship over the years. They both tend to operate along a vicious cycle in which poverty is linked to increased rates of mental illnesses. Likewise, certain kinds of mental illnesses tend to lead to greater chances of poverty as employment might be difficult to maintain. A study titled “Socioeconomic Status and Mental Illness: Tests of Social Causation and Selection Hypotheses” showed results that implied a correlation between socioeconomic status and rates of mental illnesses. Research indicates the possibility of mental health treatment programs as a means of decreasing poverty among mentally ill individuals.

Research indicates that those with mental health disorders have higher healthcare costs, suffer social stigmatization and are more likely to live in poverty. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, roughly 60 percent of those who struggle with mental illnesses do not get mental health treatment for their condition.

Depression Treatment Centers of California is dedicated to helping those who struggle with mental illnesses find appropriate means of treatment. Depression along with other mental illnesses can trigger harmful habits and other dangers and the condition should be treated promptly. If you or someone you know is in need of depression treatment, please contact the Depression Treatment Centers at 855-687-0400. A representative will assist you in finding the best depression treatment center for you.

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