Tuesday 23 January 2018

Severe depression linked to collapse of economy

Eilish O'Regan, Health Correspondent

Severe depression, linked to the mental strain felt by the Celtic Tiger's entrepreneurs now in financial trouble, has been identified by doctors.

The symptoms are directly linked to the collapse in their finances. It causes them to suffer serious domestic and personal stress for which they blame themselves, new research published in the 'Journal of Affective Disorders' shows.

Doctors at St Patrick's Hospital in Dublin and the Department of Psychiatry in Trinity College Mental Health Services said sufferers have severe depression associated with economic recession and are at a high risk of suicide. But they tend to recover faster.

Dr Thekiso B Thekiso, one of the lead authors, revealed: "The new breed of Celtic Tiger depressive are often great entrepreneurs who have an internal locus of control – they tend to blame themselves for their problems.

"Some with an external locus of control would blame the economic collapse."

Dr Noel Kennedy, psychiatrist at St Patrick's, said these patients were presenting with different symptoms to the "classical" depressed person and may not ever have been referred to the mental health services were it not for the recession.

"This study . . . allows us to emphasise that recovery is possible," he said.

The report warns: "The higher risk of suicide and severity of illness have clinical implications for practitioners to recognise the needs of this group and to target and implement early treatment to prevent suicide and allow early recovery."

Irish Independent

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