Poverty and Mental Illness: A Strong Link

Does poverty cause mental illness? Despite high rates of both poverty and mental disorders around the world, researchers only started probing the possible links about 25 years ago, according to this piece by NPR.

Since then, evidence has piled up to make the case that there is a connection. People who live in poverty appear to be at higher risk for mental illnesses. They also report lower levels of happiness.

According to the article, in a 2010 review of 115 studies that spanned 33 countries across the developed and developing worlds, nearly 80 percent of the studies showed that poverty comes with higher rates of mental illness. Among people living in poverty, those studies also found, mental illnesses were more severe, lasted longer and had worse outcomes.

And there’s growing evidence that levels of depression are higher in poorer countries than in wealthier ones.

But so far, the strongest evidence suggests that poverty can lead to mental illness, especially in cases of disorders like depression.

Read the full article here.

Adam Wahlberg

Founder of Think Piece Publishing