In a new scientific study conducted on 250 Philadelphia homeowners currently undergoing foreclosure procedures, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have determined that this situation is directly tied to a very high risk of these individuals developing major mental depression. The study has revealed that 50 percent of participants showed signs of the terrible condition, while 37 percent showed clear indicators of major depression, LiveScience
In their analysis, the experts defined major depression as the mental disorder with symptoms like troubled sleep, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, irritability, trouble focusing, extreme fatigue, as well as thoughts of suicide. Another very important factor was the fact that some of the families had to scale back on their meals, or eat two times per day rather than the usual three, because they did not have enough money to buy food.
As far as medical care goes, disease symptoms were found to be getting worse in those with foreclosures on their hands. While the deterioration can be attributed to factors such as stress, 48 percent of study participants said that they skipped filling out prescriptions for their usual drugs, because of the prohibitive costs of health insurances, and the fact that they had no money to spare. Among those with no foreclosure, the percentage was as low as 15 percent.
The authors of the new statistical report argue that federal authorities in the US should take note of these finds, and include measures of combating the health effects of the economic crisis into their response package. Details of the investigation can be found online, in the latest issue of The American Journal of Public Health. “The foreclosure crisis is also a health crisis. We need to do more to ensure that if people lose their homes, they don't also lose their health,” Penn Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar Dr. Craig E. Pollack, the lead author of the new study, says.
The authors also add that the situation they surveyed may be only the tip of the iceberg, considering the small scale of the study, and its small spread. A nationwide study could reveal even more devastating consequences of the US real-estate bull burst, which could, in the end, push authorities into taking more concrete measures to mitigate the effects of the crisis.