Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Poverty and State of Mind

According to the Association for Psychological Science, people who are in poverty prove to be more prone to mental disorders. 

A long time ago, I spent three years doing urban poor work in a large squatter community. 

I held group sessions there almost weekly. One time, a teenage girl suddenly broke down while in our meeting.

She convulsed uncontrollably, as if possessed by an evil spirit. A few minutes after, we brought her to her home.

Upon entering their house, there before me was the sight of her mother, almost naked, lying on a long seat, staring at us.


They are so poor, and could only afford to eat once a day. Her three other younger siblings just hid behind a broken door during our home visit.



Studies appear correct in showing the link between state of mind and poverty. 

There have been evidences that those living in poverty, especially persistent poverty, are more likely suffer from psychological breakdowns, depression, panic, and attention deficits.

The psychology of poverty is complex. And complex problems rarely have simple solutions.

Is the state of poverty the one factor producing mental disorders? Or, is it the mental disorders that lead to the condition of poverty?

Poverty is an economic issue. Yet, unavoidably, understanding the role of psychological processes associated with poverty is bound to enhance economic reform.