National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Sometimes depression can lead to poverty, but it’s also common for poverty to lead to depression. Which came first becomes irrelevant for the person suffering from both and what can be done about it becomes the more pressing issue.
Ways depression can contribute to the poverty cycle:
- Loss of self worth and self esteem. When people are depressed they’re more likely to feel unworthy and not as apt to approach employers, counselors or family and friends for help. They may inadvertently drive people away with their negativity which contributes further to their isolation.
- Lack of motivation and energy. When motivation is low, self care takes a back seat and people may neglect themselves physically and mentally. Lack of exercise and mental stimulation contributes to the depression cycle. When someone can barely get out of bed, it’s not likely that they’ll be able to maintain a job which contributes to them feeling more depressed and may drive them into poverty.
- Higher likelihood of turning to drugs and alcohol. The risk of turning to drugs increases when people are depressed as they may be tempted to try to numb their pain by self medicating. This makes it increasingly hard to maintain a job or feed themselves properly since the money many drug addicts do get tends to go towards their drug of choice.
- Lack of understanding from other people. Some may think they’re helping by telling depressed people to simply snap out of it. People who are depressed are not simply lazy, they’re sick. Major Depressive Disorder is caused from a chemical imbalance in the brain and usually needs treatment such as medication, counseling and therapy or both. Major depressive disorder is a treatable illness, but many don’t seek help. If you notice someone seems depressed, try your best to convince them to seek help. Some depressed people become suicidal because they may feel as though they will never get better. It can be frustrating to try to help someone who doesn’t appear to want help, but it’s important not to confuse the illness with the person. Involving other people is often helpful so that you’re not as overwhelmed and prone to becoming depressed yourself. A friend, doctor or other professional may be able to convince them to get help if your attempts are not successful. It’s best to seek a professionals advice so that they can receive a proper diagnosis as there are various depressive and mood disorders that require different types of treatments.