Depression and depression!
January 4, 2009 4:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in essays, articles or books on the intersection of economic conditions and our mental health.

Sparked by news stories as various as the suicide of Thierry de la Villehuchet and the Saguenay suicide pact in which a couple agreed to kill themselves and their three kids because they were out of work, I'm becoming more curious what's been written about how people respond to financial crises and how we can resist internalizing the negativity that's floating around at times like this. It seems a pressing question but I haven't seen much of anything said about it yet – basically, how do people avoid feeling worthless when that's what the economy's telling them they are?
posted by zadcat to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Absolutely germane but maybe denser than what you're looking for, A Thousand Plateaus by Deleuze & Guattari. Starting with the User's Guide is OK.
posted by rhizome at 4:50 PM on January 4, 2009

Barbara Ehrenreich raised these questions in her article, The Suicide Solution. It's grim reading and she offers no easy resolutions for financially stricken individuals:

"...The alternative is to value yourself more than any amount of money and turn the guns, metaphorically speaking, in the other direction. It wasn't God, or some abstract economic climate change, that caused the credit crisis. Actual humans -- often masked as financial institutions -- did that... Most of them, except for a tiny few facing trials, are still high rollers, fattening themselves on the blood and tears of ordinary debtors. I know it's so 1930s, but may I suggest a march on Wall Street?"
posted by terranova at 4:50 PM on January 4, 2009 [4 favorites]

I've not read it, but Durkheim's "Suicide" might be what you're looking for. Here's a website detailing the book, look especially at the bullet points.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 5:04 AM on January 5, 2009

Not exactly what you're looking for, but related and very interesting nonetheless: Andrew Solomon's tour of depression, 'The Noonday Demon,' has a section entitled 'Poverty,' in which he discusses the vicious circle of economic disadvantage and depression. He focuses on financial problems a bit more abject than the ones you're describing, but you might find it informative.
posted by Darth Fedor at 5:55 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Good answers, all. Here's a Guardian article talking about the same topic, for anyone who still may be checking back here.
posted by zadcat at 5:33 PM on January 8, 2009

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