IS AMERICA IN A DEPRESSION? SHRINK SAYS SO
America is in a deep depression pronounced Kark Young, chief psychiatrist at the General Delivery University Medical School and Insurance Overpayment Institute.
"There is no difference between clinical depression suffered by individuals, and a national economic depression which is what we're all experiencing now," said Young.
"All the news about the economy we're seeing and hearing is depressing," Young added. "And it is contagious."
"Not only are people feeling uncertain and down, they are losing their homes and jobs, which are rather direct causal factors for individual descents into personal depression." he said.
"It is a viscous circle...stock prices and 401k values drop,...home prices shrink...and people don't see a way out of the hole," Young explained. Then they wake up and find out they don't have the money to pay their bills and things start looking grim."
The sharp decline in retail sales is one sign of the personal epidemic of depression and the national economic depression.
"People go shopping to feel good and buy feel good things," Young said. "But if you don't have any available credit, and no income, what's the point of even going to s store. All you see is stuff you want but can't afford."
Even those people people who have jobs are not feeling secure. "Many people are fearing they're going to be next in being laid off, so they are hording what little cash they have so they can keep the lights on when the ax falls," Young said.
A national dose of Prozac won't alleviate the problem.
"I wish there was a magic pill we could have everyone take, especially at the banks and on Wall Street, where they'd wake up in the morning with a positive outlook on life and the economy," said Young. "But the shadows are running wild in this country, with new fears and anxieties cropping up everywhere one looks."
"People are now expecting a really major economic catastrophe to happen, like the Dow Jones dropping 2000 points, GM going bankrupt and dumping millions of workers on the streets, and banks all but shutting down," said Young. "The problem with this kind of view is it can make the fear become reality if everyone acts like it is going to happen."
"The government is actually doing very little to reduce the amount of depression in the country, with all the bailouts going to people who most don't think deserve taxpayer money, when millions are afraid they're going to have to file for bankruptcy," Young said. "This is adding to the sense of powerlessness and futility people feel."
Suppressed anger is a major underlying cause of depression, Young noted.
"There is an enormous amount of stuff anger in the country over how we got into this mess in the first place," said Young. "And a lot of that anger is self-directed because people relied on optimistic projections of home value increases, job opportunities, and the like...only to realize they were stupid."
Taking on the blame for one's dire financial circumstances only deepens the hole of depression, said Young.
"There's only one way to get out of a hole," said Young, "and that's to stop digging it deeper."
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