USA Today: Bad Economy Forcing People into Therapy

     The economy is now so bad people are spending more of their limited amounts of money on therapy, according to the July 23 USA Today.

     “Requests for therapists increased 15% to 20% in the past three months,” Marilyn Elias reported on the front page of the nation’s most circulated newspaper. However, she made no mention of the part the media has played in added to Americans’ stress.

     “The struggling economy is hurting many Americans mental health: Anxiety, depression, sleep problems and money- rooted marital conflicts are growing,” Elisa reported, blaming skyrocketing stress over money.

     And the analysis hit below the belt for men in management positions. According to Elias, “Male managers who never had trouble switching jobs before now see their options closed, and they feel their masculinity eroding.”

     Americans are so worried over not having enough money to send their kids to school, Elias’ counterintuititve logic asserted, that they are spending more of it on expensive therapy.

     Painting the economic picture out to be worse than it actually is has become a trend for the media. Half of Americans believe the media make “economic conditions appear worse than they really are, according to a July 2008 Rasmussen Reports poll.

     And while Americans’ view of the economy as a whole is not positive, more than 75 percent said their family’s financial situation was “holding steady” or “getting ahead” in a May 2008 Quinnipiac University poll.

     Elias quoted Priscilla Marotta from Plantation, Fla., who said, “You wouldn’t believe how much the economy is talked about in therapy these days.” But that didn’t take into account how much negative coverage the media has offered on the economy.

    A recent report by the Business & Media Institute, “The Great Media Depression,” found networks compared the current economy to the Great Depression more than 40 times in the first four months of 2008. USA Today was just talking about a different kind of depression.