Recession and Sense of Self

Self doubt. Diminished sense of self. Fear and diminished expectations. Depression. Anxiety. Lack of sleep. These are some of the symptoms being predicted as a result of the upcoming (if not arrived) recession. Washington and Lee University (quote from Shrink Wrap) warn of the following:

What’s really interesting is that this compromised sense of self becomes hardens and is better described as a permanent scar rather than a blemish. Even when people become employed again, the adverse impact of unemployment on psychological well-being lingers.

At the New York Times, David Brooks takes a broader sociological view, but comes to some of the same conclusions. He notes a cynicism from the 70s that never really went away. He notes:

Recessions breed pessimism. That’s why birthrates tend to drop and suicide rates tend to rise.


But recessions are about more than material deprivation. They’re also about fear and diminished expectations. The cultural consequences of recessions are rarely uplifting.




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Clinical Psychologist practicing in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

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