Recessions are a Depressing Time, Says New Link Data

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Over the last ten years the notion of income related depression has been studied, and it is now evident that there is a direct correlation. Income inequality can and does mitigate over other positive factors in our lives to influence suicidal tendencies. Over this ten year period the study was conducted in South Korea. The data showed that the rate of these depressive tendencies has doubled in that time.

The economic recession at the end of the last century saw a new beginning in income inequality pertaining to disparities in everyday life. From healthcare acquisition, to a host of other social conditions inequalities emerged. Polarisation of society occurred as a consequence of this recession, and with it came a deluge of attempted suicides.

The notes of the survey conducted in South Korea outline that yes, the worst effects were amongst the lesser well off, the lowest rungs who suffered worst in the income stakes. It was they who fared most likely to contend with mental illness. Not only does income account for increases in ‘reported’ depression to 5.6% from 3.1%, but education and environment played a role also.

The participants in the South Korea 10 year survey were non institutionalised inhabitants with gender and age differentials taken into account, to standardise the data. Self reported data is found in scientific circles to often come with a caveat, in that it is subject in many occasions to bias, but nonetheless despite its failings the survey is generally seen as sound. The main dilemma with the research was in that there was no mental health panel in the country, with which to attain a norm to check the findings against.
The reliability and validity of the measures used in this survey were questionable.  The use of a cross-sectional survey design is also not considered useful in studies dealing with health inequalities. However, the data did provide some early evidence in an area where there is currently no good source of a mental health panel in South Korea. The self-reported data, which is often subject to bias, could have been modified due to fear of social stigma towards mental health.

Only doctor-diagnosed depression subjects were included in the analysis. Since subjects from lower income groups might not visit physicians for this purpose, they might have been underrepresented. The change that occurs as a result of the income inequality is far more profound in mental health than in general health for South Koreans.

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