Is Depression a ‘Luxury’ of the Rich

If you live in the third world, it is common across the analogy that depression is for the rich and not a health problem common in the ghetto or tough neighborhoods. When you read online articles and journals, you come across similar sentiments that people struggling to survive don’t have the luxury of being depressed. They go to jobs they don’t want to go to because they have to work those jobs and put food on the table first before being concerned by other emotional needs such as being respected, liked, or included. In third-world countries or tough people neighborhoods, it is only the rich citizens who care about oppression, the rest wouldn’t care less if they might have a mental breakdown at work as long as their survival needs are met.

This has always been a fascinating concept because the only king’s disease known to man is gout, not depression. You can be depressed whether you are a king or a homeless man. It is like obesity, you can find it in the slums and you can also find it in the upper echelon of society. When society begins to accept that mental health struggles are experienced at every level of society, then there can be a more inclusive approach to handling deep-seated psychological issues that are experienced by people from all walks of life as opposed to an alienating approach that shames a certain group against being depressed or coming out to speak about issues.

The bad stereotypes about mental health can make access to and management of mental health challenging. One part of treating a health problem, especially a psychological problem like anger or mental health is the acceptance that one has a problem despite their standing in society. Majority of the health problems don’t discriminate based on race, color, or income. Yes, a white man or woman might need sunscreen lotion because of their skin as opposed to a black person. However, burnout at work can be experienced by anyone whether black or white.

Anyone can suffer a loss

A similar stereotype had been long experienced in drug addiction problems. It was tough for certain groups to admit they had a drug problem because they wanted to be seen as tough or capable. Whereas, it is possible to develop addictions from many sources and anyone can be vulnerable. Think of an addiction such as opioid addiction which is not even self-induced because, unlike other drug addictions, opioids are administered by doctors and certain individuals are less tolerant to it.

When we look at depression as a universal problem that affects individuals despite their economic situations, we can have a very inclusive solution. Anyone can be bereaved, divorced, hurt in a fatal accident, fall sick, or lose an income and these can be stressors that lead to depression if not handled or solved.

Happy men’s mental health month.


By Slade Jeff

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