Poverty and State of Mind
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.
There have been evidences that those living in poverty, especially persistent poverty, are more likely suffer from psychological breakdowns, depression, panic, and attention deficits.
Is the state of poverty the one factor producing mental disorders? Or, is it the mental disorders that lead to the condition of poverty?