Wednesday, 11 March 2015 17:20

Worry: Another Price of Poverty

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In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses the anxiety associated to living below the poverty line. It cites a 2010 Princeton that shows people who make $75,000 annually have better emotional well-being than those who make less than that.

In past blogs, we have discussed the physical tolls taken on the body associated with poverty. This includes malnutrition because a lack of food as well as disease because a lack of proper health-care. There is also an underlying emotional prices poverty takes… worry.

A 2010 Princeton Study cited that “Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of ~$75,000.” The study defines ‘emotional well-being’ as, “the emotional quality of an individual's everyday experience—the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection that make one's life pleasant or unpleasant.” As the study suggest, those making less than $75,000 often feel both sad and depressed.

Just how sad does someone in poverty feel compared to a person living above the poverty line? Ronald Anderson, a former University of Minnesota professor who studies compassion and suffering states that, “poor people are reporting it at three times the rate of higher incomes.” In his studies, Anderson found that those below the poverty line were twice as likely to report both chronic pain and mental distress.

With all that data, what then can be done? We must start looking at poverty from multiple points of view. In order to treat the symptoms of poverty and alleviate it all together, we must also address people in poverty’s emotional health, as well as their physical health. If they are sad, depressed and lacking optimism, it will be harder for them to change their circumstance, even with assistance.

Depression can be emotionally crippling for those who are suffering. They can become catatonic and unable to better their circumstances, regardless of their mental capacities. If society is able to help those in poverty’s mental health, those suffering may have a better chance at rising from the shackles of poverty.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi, along with his brother Michael Omidi and mother Cindy Omidi, are co-founders of No More Poverty, a charitable organization that works to rid the world of poverty.

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