The only light at the end of the tunnel Mike Whitfield could see was the glowing red arches of a local McDonald’s in his hometown of San Jose, California.
Unemployed after losing his job in the Great Recession back in 2009, the Dollar Menu was all he could afford once his only source of income was gone.
For nearly four years after the economy tanked, the only place he could lay his head at night was a park bench, an overcrowded shelter or on a friend’s couch (before he inevitably overstayed his welcome).
On an average day, the unemployment rate for Black men and women is double that of whites, according to a 2019 Duke University study.
In a recession like the one currently looming in the U.S., unemployment isn’t the only thing on the rise.
Depression and anxiety are ramped up too.
For Mike, the severe depression he battled his entire life worsened when he found himself homeless, hungry, and broke.
And for many others like Mike, this chilling reality is all too familiar – and all too possible.
The effects of an economic downturn can last far beyond when the stock market rebounds, inflation eases up and groceries and gas become more affordable.
According to the Clinical Psychological Science Journal, people of color who faced hardship like Mike did in the Great Recession suffered from agonizing and debilitating anxiety, panic attacks, and depression for years after the market improved.
I say all this because as a “technical” recession seems to be apparent one day and not-so-apparent the next, you may be feeling more and more anxious about the future, especially if you already have mental health challenges.
And if you don’t, the memory of the last recession alone is enough to unearth some unpleasant feelings. Not to mention the emergence of monkeypox, rising prices on essentials like rent, gas and food, and the fallout from two years of isolation, loss and pain from the global health pandemic.
Listen, daily life can be difficult to manage.
But can I share something with you?
You’ve spent enough time trying to deal with this by yourself.
Now, I know therapy and mental health have a certain “negative” connotation in our community.
I know struggle and pain can feel like rites of passage among us, too.
But you don’t have to subscribe to those ways of thinking. These are trying times and there’s no need for you to carry such a heavy burden on your back.
With therapy, you can drop off some of that baggage, pain, anxiety about potential job loss – all the things that feel overwhelming and hard – in a safe space.
Schedule a session here and let’s find a way to get through this together.
The thought of losing your livelihood while facing another potential pandemic and still reeling from the losses of COVID-19 is a cross that can feel way too heavy to bear. Therapy can lighten your load. Schedule a session now so I can show you how to do exactly that.