Why aren't more people depressed?

Depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder : Corona problems do not only take place in the wallet

Everyone is still in the middle of the corona crisis, but the long-term losers have already been determined. It is the people who actually always lose when there is something to lose in Germany: the poor and the chronically ill. You could have seen it coming, yes, it should have. However, the government does not seem to take this social reality into account.

This was recently shown by the discussion about a stricter mask requirement in public spaces. The social rift that runs through the republic became so concrete that poverty could no longer be ignored for a moment. Suddenly it became apparent that there are people in Germany - still one of the richest industrialized countries in the world - who cannot afford FFP2 masks. Only three days after the introduction of the extended mask requirement, the government decided to provide the needy with a set of free masks.

Partial blindness to those in need is symptomatic. Often enough, they and their needs are treated like an annoying side note. Unsurprisingly, it took a year for the poorest and their problems to move onto the political agenda.

If higher Hartz IV crisis rates or special grants are now required, this can be called overdue. It quickly became clear that the coronavirus worsened social inequalities, and it has often been pointed out. Auxiliary jobs fell away faster during the crisis, many poorly paid people were and have been on short-time work and thus slipped into the performance-related insignificance.

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Often enough, financial emergencies, which are an easily calculable and manageable problem, then turn into much elusive mental emergencies. Stress, insecurities, loneliness are reactions of the soul that are often suppressed anyway, and all the more so in a pandemic - especially if you still live under socially difficult conditions. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It is difficult to predict who will recover and who will not. What is known, however, is that a lot of things that normally help in mental emergencies are currently not possible: social contacts, everyday routine. What can you do? A first step would be to recognize the socio-psychological consequences of the crisis more clearly than before. From a political point of view, this only happens occasionally.

Angela Merkel recently stressed surprisingly emotionally that it breaks her “heart, how many people died there in loneliness”, and every now and then the possible psychological stress emerges that school closings can be for children and their families. But these considerations have no real space. Rather, it sounds like "Can you please pull yourself together".

When it comes to fate, it is that of companies

Politics does not seem to make sense of the psychological of the situation. The pandemic questions of the day, the more technical discussions about contact restrictions, financial questions, economic aid, are more preferred and more detailed. If the fate of companies is the subject of intense debate, it is that of companies, and billions are invested in saving them. Mental illness and poverty are apparently - never supposed to appear on any balance sheets? - Collateral damage rather tolerated. But they too have a price.

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The situation is made more difficult by a paradox: Although the pandemic increases both social tension and psychological problems, it also makes both more invisible at the same time, since everyone is called to retreat into private life. That is why the discussion that has now flared up about a Hartz IV crisis surcharge should finally be the political focus of those who are only too happy to be forgotten.

And the citizens, too, have a responsibility to look there and to help where not only the viruses but also poverty and depression are rampant.

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