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Gallup: 25% Hike In Depression On Gulf

From an unquestioning Associated Press:

Gallup: 25 percent hike in depression along Gulf

By Jay Reeves, Associated Press Writer
September 28, 2010

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – Before the BP oil spill, the Gulf Coast was a place of abundant shrimping, tourist-filled beaches and a happy if humble lifestyle. Now, it’s home to depression, worry and sadness for many.

And how much of these problems were brought about by the hysteria from the politicians and their apparatchiks in the news media?

A Gallup survey released Tuesday of almost 2,600 coastal residents showed that depression cases are up more than 25 percent since an explosion killed 11 people and unleashed a three-month gusher of crude into the Gulf in April that ruined many livelihoods. The conclusions were consistent with trends seen in smaller studies and witnessed by mental health workers.

People just aren’t as happy as they used to be despite palm trees and warm weather. A "well-being index" included in the Gallup study said many coastal residents are stressed out, worried and sad more often than people living inland, an indication that the spill’s emotional toll lingers even if most of the oil has vanished from view…

And why not? There are 20 billion good reasons to be depressed at the moment.

The Gallup survey was conducted in 25 Gulf-front counties from Texas east to Florida over eight months before and after the spill, ending Aug. 6. People reported 25.6 percent more depression diagnoses after then spill than before it, although the study didn’t conclude the additional cases were tied directly to the oil.

Why was Gallup doing a mental health survey eight months before the BP spill? Were they looking for people who were still depressed five years after Katrina?

The survey said people along the Gulf reported feeling sad, worried and stressed after the spill, while people living inland reported less over the same period. More than 40 percent of people in coastal areas reported feeling stress after the BP geyser blew, a 15 percent increase from before

But an earlier study conducted in 13 counties and parishes with a total population of 1.9 million showed that 13 percent of coastal adults from Louisiana to Florida suffered probable serious mental illnesses after the spill.

The level of mental illness was similar to that seen six months after Hurricane Katrina decimated the coast five years ago, and experts aren’t yet seeing any improvement in mental health five months after the oil crisis began. Before Katrina, a study by the National Institute of Mental Health said only 6 percent of area residents had likely mental illnesses

Again, why was the NIMH doing a mental health study in the area before Hurricane Katrina? Are the denizens of this area guinea pigs?

BP has provided $52 million for mental health care in the Gulf region, with $15 million going to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals; $12 million each to the states of Alabama and Mississippi; $3 million to Florida; and $10 million to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Even though the oil stopped flowing in July and the BP well was finally killed this month, some officials say the toll on mental health may get worse as the financial strains of summer persist into the fall.

After all, it’s a lot easier to claim ‘mental health problems’ than it is to prove you have lost income due to the BP spill.

"It’s like a virus that’s spreading," said Tonya Fistein, one of four counselors hired by AltaPointe Health Systems specifically to help people deal emotionally with the spill in Bayou La Batre, a tiny Alabama fishing community hard hit by the disaster.

And Ms. Fistein should know. After all, her job depends upon people claiming to be emotionally disturbed.

AltaPointe’s clinic is seeing twice as many new patients as in 2009, an increase it blames on the spill. In Gulfport, Miss., 42 percent of the patients surveyed at the Gulf Coast Mental Health Center said they were sad or depressed because of the spill

What people will do to get some ‘free money.’

It’s depressing.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Gallup: 25% Hike In Depression On Gulf”

  1. proreason says:

    Depression is a serious illness for some people. The 95% who claim it untruthfully do a grave disservice to the 5% who actually suffer from it.

    But why should we be surprised. Who wants to bet that 95% of depression suffferers are liberals?

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    PTSD with a price tag cure!
    Or…….Obama Care…..if you will.
    Now get in line and the compensator will be with you soon…….8 or 9 months hopefully.
    (interest must be made first on 19.6 billion $$)

  3. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Not a total surprise, learning the person you put all your hope and change into is an incompetent boob who cares more about financially punishing a big oil company then fixing the mess that is supposedly destroying you life has to be a big letdown.

  4. Right of the People says:

    I’ve been depressed since November of 2008, can I get some of that BP money?

  5. Petronius says:

    For over 80 years Liberals have promised to deliver us from economic anxiety.

    Yet here we are.

    How can this possibly be?!

    • proreason says:

      “How can this possibly be?!”

      1. Imagine how much worse it would be without them.
      2. They just need a bit more practice
      3. The public is too stupid to do what they dictate
      4. Evil rich people using evil capitalism
      5. Racism
      6. Greed
      7. Bush

      I think that about covers the top reasons.

    • Adam Moreira says:

      Or the world economy rises and falls as one, especially since the end of the gold standard about 40 years ago.

  6. confucius says:

    This article is not to be taken seriously.

    Gallup’s survey was conducted by Healthways, a company described by AP as a “wellness and alternative health care company.” This is code for new age quackery.

    The survey also consisted of phone interviews with residents who self-reported a diagnosis of depression. Unless these “diagnoses” were verified using accepted clinical parameters, they aren’t to be trusted.

    AP then conflates Gallup’s results with others from the National Institute of Mental Health, Ochsner Health System, Gulf Coast Mental Health Center, Centers for Disease Control and the Alabama Department of Public Health. Each of these organizations conducted their studies at different times using different parameters and techniques. Mixing the results in order to draw a unifying conclusion is dangerous.

  7. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    Wow…….. after reading that I feel something welling up within me……. Oh it was just gas, carry on.


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