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Q: Why do you think there has been an increase in mental health issues in Americans despite the increase in affluence that has occurred since the 1950s? What does this say about the correlation between
money and happiness?
A: There is a growing contribution of mental health problems to the global disease burden - neuropsychiatric disorders now account for about 13% of the total.[1] The link between poverty and mental health is well known. [ Arguments regarding the causality of the relationship continue but it seems likely that it is bi-directional: Those with low incomes are more likely to suffer from poor mental
health and poverty effectively causing or contributing to poor mental health. Observationally, both individual and neighbourhood deprivation increase the risk of poor general and mental health.[2] The rates of admission for acute psychiatric care tend to be higher in deprived areas.[3] Conversely, a study of older people in Hertfordshire, UK, who had a strong sense of cohesion within their neighbourhood and reported fewer neighbourhood problems, had higher levels of mental well-being.[4] Whilst this suggests more serious mental illness in deprived areas, it does not mean that poverty causes mental illness. Do urban, deprived areas lead to mental health problems or do individuals with those problems gravitate towards them? Those with mental health problems are more likely to experience poverty: once incapacitated, an individual's socio-economic status is likely to fall further ('selective social drift'). One study, for example, showed a decline in social position and financial circumstances over time in people who were depressed.[5] In another study, the GHQ-28 (a general health questionnaire used for the detection of psychiatric conditions) was employed to assess a cohort of people born in 1947. Poorer reported mental health in men (although not in women) was associated with downward socio-economic trajectory over the whole life course. ]
hersheys|Points 97|
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Asked 7/2/2013 6:30:59 AM
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