Regardless of what government and media specialists want to "call it", many of us are feeling the effects of what I would safely say is a period of recession.
People cannot pay their electric, gas, telephone, mortagage, etc. bills. People are dipping into their savings just to cover basic costs. Folks are seriously contemplating dipping into their retirement funds just to stay afloat.
Small businesses across the country are reporting that they are paying their bills at least 30 to 180 days late. They can't pay if clients aren't paying on time. OR they can't pay if there are no customers.
Every time you turn on the news, you hear more about the miserable day on Wall Street and how the Dow hit an all-time low. Or how certain communities are like "ghost towns" because of the high foreclosure rates in those areas.
I'm sure in a couple of months, U.S. hospitals will be reporting that suicide attempts and suicide rates increased. This is only a natural result of the severe depression that the effects of this recession have created in both men and women across the country.
Experts are currently seeing even higher levels of stress and depression in women than in men. Women tend to be in charge of paying the household bills, buying the groceries, etc. and are feeling the impact of how tightening the budget feels a little more than men in the family. OR women are the only breadwinners in the home and are feeling the stress tenfold!
Think about how you are moving through each day...
Am I Blue?
Are you constantly worried about money? Are you worried about how you are going to pay next month's bills? This month's bills? Are you simply exhausted thinking about finances? Then you are definitely stressed out and probably feeling like you have a low-energy level. Remember that this will not last forever and that speaking to a financial specialist, lowering spending, making tough choices, and balancing your life with cost-free activities that you enjoy should see you through this tough time.
Am I Severely Depressed?
Were you already tottering on the edge of depression, but finances have seemed to push you right over the edge? Do you feel stuck? Do you NOT see an end to this? Are you feeling hopeless and can't seem to find any silver lining or light at the end of the tunnel? Do you feel like it would just be easier to give up? Then you are past the "financial blues" and are probably clinically depressed.
Try to remind yourself that it's absolutely possible to work through your depression -- but you have to take action. Contact a mental health professional immediately and get an evaluation. Don't worry about the cost, if you do not have any mental health or health insurance benefits -- call your local hospital and ask for a free or sliding scale referral.
Lisa Angelettie MSW, "GirlShrink" is a psychotherapist, author, and certified Life Coach. Her site GirlShrink.com is the #1 "Advice & Counseling" site on the web. For more information on how to beat your depression naturally - without drugs - visit her site: NaturallyDepressionFree.com