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Economy Got You Down?

A new Gallup poll says you're not alone.

Posted by Sarah Clark

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Sixty-two percent of Americans described themselves as either "struggling" or "suffering" due to economic fears according to a new Gallup poll. Debt depression is a new term that has arisen in the financial crises.

The World Health Organization has issued a warning that the global financial crisis will lead to an increase in mental health problems, including suicides, as people struggle to deal with poverty and unemployment. The health consequences of all this stress? Nearly half of Americans admit they're overeating to cope, and nearly a fifth are drinking and smoking more. The survey also found anger, depression, headaches, and insomnia on the rise.

Fighting Recession Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that lasts for a period of at least 2 weeks. Moods are often described as depressed, sad, hopeless, discouraged, or down in the dumps. It is not unusual to experience depression when dealing with a loss, such as losing one's job.

Family or friends may notice social withdrawal or neglect of enjoyable activities. The severity of depression may be determined by the symptoms present. For instance, there may be some impairment in social or occupational functioning in mild cases. In extreme cases, one may be unable to perform minimal self-care or maintain personal hygiene.

Some symptoms of depression: (not all of these symptoms need to occur for depression to exist)

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Less able to think, concentrate, or make decisions
  • Thoughts of self-harm
  • Negative self talk
  • Panic-attacks (sometimes the symptoms of depression include bouts of anxiety)
  • Body aches or pains
  • Persistent anger or outbursts of anger
  • Social withdrawal
  • Significant weight loss or gain


  • What to do if faced with job loss:

  • Maintain contact with family and friends.
  • Avoid isolation. Stay in community with others.
  • Make self-care a priority.
  • Check for structure. Maintain your daily life as if you were working. Keep a consistent schedule.
  • Focus on strengths
  • Seek professional assistance if needed