Friday, April 10, 2009

An Uncertain Future: A Stressful Present

Over the weekend I read the article: "Recession Anxiety Seeps Into Everyday Lives," by Pam Belluck. It is a feature article that weaves together the separate stories of five people, all different ages, all living in different parts of the United States. They all have one common problem, they have all slipped into serious anxiety and/or depression due to the failing economy.

None of them have lost their jobs and they are all in relatively good financial positions but they cannot help but worry about the "what-ifs," what if they loose their job, what if they cannot get work?

The story that struck me the most was that of was Anne Hubbard, a 52-year-old graphic designer. She had not lost her job and her and her husband were financially stable and yet she had panic attacks that caused her to loose 12 pounds.

"She said the weakening economy made her 'fear that even if you do everything right, something bad can happen to you.'" Belluck also gave statistics that showed how the recession is affecting the economy nationally. "In an American Psychological Association poll in September, 80 percent reported the economy’s causing significant stress, up from 66 percent last April. The National Sleep Foundation said 27 percent of people surveyed last fall had sleeplessness because of economic anxiety."

I found this article to be both informative and eye-opening. It is easy to think of how the economy is affecting people who have already lost their jobs, their 401ks or their homes, but this article showed how it was affecting the mental health of those people who are anticipating the worst.

I really liked the way Belluck took the stories of five unrelated individuals to show how anxiety can touch people from every walk of life. I would have done less stories, however. I would take two or three people and go into depth, maybe to a follow-up or talk to their families. It felt that just when I was understanding the individual the writer would go onto the next. But overall, I really enjoyed a different point of view on the how the economic crisis is affecting the health of all Americans.
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1 comment:

jatwater said...

Interesting article.