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5 ways to deal with mental health problems caused by poverty and unemployment

May 23rd 2022, 1:17:22 pm

Your finances and employment status can affect your mental health

May is mental health awareness month and poverty is a huge factor in mental health issues

Mental health issues can be caused by upbringing, genetics, substance abuse, physical abuse and a host of other issues.

However, poverty and unemployment are neglected yet frequent causes of mental health challenges.

According to Psychiatrictimes.com, “Poverty is one of the most significant social determinants of health and mental health.”

Poverty in childhood is associated with bad grades, cognitive and behavioural problems, inability to pay attention, high rate of delinquency, depression and anxiety disorders.

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Poverty in adulthood causes higher rates of almost every psychiatric disorder, "it is linked to depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, psychological distress, and suicide."

Look at Kola, after spending many years before graduating from university because of frequent strikes, getting a job was difficult for him.

After some years, he got a job at a medium-sized company, and even though he was underpaid, it was better than sitting at home.

Unfortunately, he lost his job in 2020 when Covid-19 came along and the company had to lay off staff.

With friends moving out of the country, buying cars and getting married, Kola feels the pangs of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

He invested in crypto, forex and numerous Ponzi schemes and lost money. Broke, he decided to borrow from online banks, now they are looking for him everywhere.

With astronomical inflation and the cost of living skyrocketing, you, like Kola, might find yourself teetering on the edge of a mental health collapse. How do you deal with it?

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Paying rent, buying food and other essentials when you don’t have a good job can get really difficult and exhausting, so do not hesitate to get all the help available.

If you have family you can stay with, then go ahead and stay with them. Friends and other members of your circle can also help until you can get back on your feet.

Just don’t bottle things inside when you can seek readily-available help.

Most people are learning how to code, UI/UX, web development and many other tech-related skills.

Tech is and will continue to pull people out of poverty, you will be wise to seek how to develop knowledge in that area.

It is better to use the money to learn a course or skill like photography or makeup than invest in volatile ventures and ponzi schemes.

Excess internet consumption will affect your mental health. Spending time on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram looking at people’s lives and achievements through rose-coloured glasses would make you feel sorry for yourself.

Log out if possible and focus on how you can improve your skills and make things happen for yourself.

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A man is only as good as the people he knows. Let people know your skills, talents, certifications and the fact that you are looking for a job.

Tell members of your church or mosque, friends, and alumni network that you are looking for a job. You can even post your resume on your social media.

A close mouth is a closed destiny, they say.

Many people lose hope too soon, they feel things will never get better, but one thing we know about life is that the seasons change.

You might feel you are knee-deep in debt or too old and you don’t have your life together but it is never too late for you to come back from anything.

Don't let your background limit you. True, some rich people came from generational wealth, but many billionaires like Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey came from poverty and failure to wealth. Their skills, talent and perseverance kept them going.

Start every day with optimism and passion, things will get better, even if it doesn’t look like it now.

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