Link Between Financial Hardship, Emotional DisturbancesFeb 9th, 2011 | By Dr. Jeffrey Huttman Ph.D. | Category: Addiction Treatment, Addiction Treatment and Rehab News, Co-Occurring Disorders - Dual Diagnosis
We’re in the throes of a national epidemic in mental illness that is compounded by fiscal depression. As economic problems grow mental health disorders are on the rise. The strain of unemployment, debt and home foreclosure are resulting in a surge of mental illness.
Dr. Jeffrey Huttman, Chief Clinical Officer at Challenges Treatment Center, talks about the connection between financial hardship and mental illness:
“Economic difficulties and emotional disturbances often go hand in hand. The recession has caused a significant amount of distress in individuals who may have previously been happy and stable. Individuals who may be predisposed to depression or other mental health problems can often be very resilient in avoiding true difficulties. However, increased financial stress is a trigger for mental health problems that may have otherwise lain dormant. During the past three years, we have seen many individuals who admit into treatment stating that their problems emerged when they lost their jobs. Early intervention is essential when people begin to lose jobs and show signs of increasing mental health struggles.”
The problem is exacerbated when those with newly developed or pre-existing illnesses can’t seek treatment because they don’t have health insurance due to unemployment.
According to a government report, the American youth population, ages 18-25, had the highest level of mental illness at 30% — almost one in three young people.
USA Today reports:
“After the events in Tucson, secret it can no longer be. A recent government report found that 20% of Americans had some form of mental illness in 2009. Let’s read that again: 1 in 5 Americans suffers from mental illness, including depression and anxiety. Undetected, these conditions lead to alarming rates of suicide or other violence.”
The reality of the situation is alarming and the high prevalence of co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness a stark reality. This is something we see often at Challenges Treatment Center, given the economic conditions of the past several years.