Friday, February 19, 2010

Poor women and post-partum depression

More than half of low-income urban mothers met the criteria for a diagnosis of depression at some point between two weeks and 14 months after giving birth, according to a study led by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers and published online by the journal.
It really sucks to be poor. The adage says money can't buy happiness, but studies say that is true only after you make enough for food and shelter and basics. The study I read some time ago and don't have a cite for said happiness increased with income up to about $50,000 a year.

Lots of bad stuff happens to poor people. Bad stuff happens to all of us, but more of it happens to poor people, and money really does ameliorate a lot of it for those who have it. Car break down? Call a AAA and a cab. Or walk home. Higher risk of post-partum depression is just another blow to the poor.

I guess I should say here that the answer is to monitor poor women after they give birth to see if they develop depression, and then treat it appropriately. But we all know that's not going to happen. This study identified a problem, but there is no solution our country is willing to undertake, because it would involve spending too much money on poor people. Does that make me a commie? No, I believe in a Scandinavian-style mixed capitalist-socialist economy.

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