Welcome to the real world. We would all like to think because we live in America or belong to the middle or upper class, we are better than those that live on next to nothing in other parts of the world. Better than those who suffer from any one of the many mental illnesses that plague society today. Anxiety, depression, alcoholism and drug addiction happen to someone else, not us. The truth is, these illnesses have no boundaries. They cross socio, economic, cultural, age and gender lines equally.
Not everyone’s problems look the same, but stress is stress; anxiety is anxiety. Learning how to stay sober has the same learning curve no matter what background you came from or what problems brought you to this point in life.
“Being rich does not insulate
someone from problems,
whether it is an addiction,
mental illness or even obesity.”
Statistics Don’t Lie
National statistics include surprising data. It turns out that alcohol use among people who had jobs in 2011 was 10 percent higher than people without jobs, according to the National Survey of Drugs and Health. Similarly, a group called Voices of Welfare reported that illicit drug use in 2010 was 9.6 percent of employed people and 2.6 percent of the unemployed.
Money Might Make Things Worse
A 2013 study by University of Arizona researcher Suniya Luthar found that incidents of mental illness among wealthy Americans was increasing faster than other groups because parents often demanded more from their children than they could deliver. Children from wealthy families were often pressured to excel at home, at school and in extracurricular activities. Unrealistic pressure came from parents, teachers and coaches.
Being rich does not insulate someone from problems, whether it is an addiction, mental illness or even obesity.
One would think that in America, the middle class and up would have access to sporting activities, attention from good doctors and nutritionists, and a higher level of education that would offset incidents of poor diet. But, this turns out not to be the case. Countries with high incomes have higher incidents of obesity and this pattern stays true in places like China and India, which are not considered wealthy countries, although the middle class is growing in both places. It turns out, as middle-class wealth spreads, so do their waistlines.
Having Money Doesn’t Make You Better With Money
It is harder to find statistics that make sense regarding problems with money and relative wealth. There are too many variables that would make the data confusing.
For instance, is there a larger percentage of rich people declaring bankruptcy than poor? Well, what would that tell you? Wealthier people can afford bankruptcy lawyers, while poor folks must file and take their chances. So, that doesn’t tell you much.
There are also untold numbers of articles on what wealthier people do with their money that poorer people could learn to emulate. This makes it sound like all wealthy people know how to handle money, while all poor people do not. However, for every poor person who throws money away on lottery tickets, there’s a poor person who knows how to make a dollar go farther than sunlight. So, let’s leave this one alone for the moment.
What do you think?
Can money can buy mental health?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.