Economy causing recession depression

February 19, 2009 8:53:55 AM PST
A new AP poll shows nearly half of all people recently surveyed are now worried about losing their job. That's almost double since the same survey was done last year. The ailing economy is pushing some people well beyond simply worrying and into something far more dangerous - something that's being described as recession depression. SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

Just when things were looking up for San Leandro carpenter Mark Varney, just when Kaiser helped him overcome his chronic pain problem and get back to work - work dried up, and that is taking a mental toll.

"It's that impending sense of doom you get, it's depressing, it affects my marriage, it affects my outlook on life totally," said Varney.

With the economy in freefall, and people being laid off in just about every field, mental health workers say more and more people are feeling that way.

"People are worried and sometimes they have a lot of symptoms if they are under stress. They may have trouble sleeping, they might have a lot of anxiety, the might get distracted and not be able to pay attention to the task at hand," said Dr. Robert Dolgoff, psychiatrist Alta Bates.

Ninety-two percent of respondents to a survey by the company Compsych, which runs workers assistance programs, say they've lost sleep over the economy; 81 percent of the people surveyed by the American Psychological Association said money was the major source of stress in their lives.

Dr. Dolgoff says it's not only important to remember you are not alone -- it's therapeutic.

"Talk to their family members and their friends and what they're going to find out when they do that is they are not alone, that a lot of people are worried right now and that it's kind of normal to be worried," said Dolgoff.

But, some people will need to do more than talk to friends and family.

"You would seek professional help if you can't function, and if your worry is interfering with your ability to do the things of daily life. Or another reason is if you're feeling hopeless and feel like giving up," said Dr. Dolgoff.

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