Financial worries can cause a "cognitive deficit" says scientists
- 30 Aug
When struggling to make ends meet when facing financial difficulty it is being claimed that it can reduce your IQ by 13 points, which is the same as losing an entire night's sleep.
Differing from the effects of stress, this problem comes about from having too many things to worry about which results in your ability to think clearly becoming limited. If someone is worried about rent, feeding and clothing their family and paying household bills, they can suffer a genuine mental handicap says scientists.
Economics professor Sendhil Mullainathan, from Harvard University in the US, said: "Our results suggest that when you're poor, money is not the only thing in short supply. Cognitive capacity is also stretched thin.
"That's not to say that poor people are less intelligent than others. What we show is that the same person experiencing poverty suffers a cognitive deficit, as opposed to when they're not experiencing poverty."
The impact poverty can have on mental capcity is reflected in the general phenomenon that is related to scarcity says researchers. When something is lacking, whether it be money, time, social ties, and even calories, it puts a strain on the brain.
"When you're poor you can't say, 'I've had enough, I'm not going to be poor any more, or 'forget it, I just won't give my kids dinner, or pay rent this month," said Professor Eldar Sharif, another member of the Princeton team.
"Poverty imposes a much stronger load that's not optional and in very many cases is long lasting. It's not a choice you're making, you're just reduced to a few options. This is not something you see with many other types of scarcity."
Proffessor Shafir believes that services to those struggling financially should take into account the mental effect poverty can have and provide simpler forms as well as making it eaier to seek assistance.
"The poor, who our research suggests are bound to make more mistakes and pay more dearly for errors, inhabit contexts often not designed to help."
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/747910
- 11 Sep
People in Bedfordshire can find mental health support through an audio guide
The guides have been written by clinical psychologists and are available to download in print or listen to as an audio file, reports Bedfordshire News.Dr Judy Baxter, Clinical Director with BCCG and...
- 10 Sep
Police officers in Dorset to receive mental health training
The partnership with the University comes as part of the county’s Mental Health Street Triage Project. It is hoped to equip officers with improved knowledge and skills to assess members of the...
- 09 Sep
People in Peterborough can refer themselves for mental health services
Through a drive to offer support to more people and ease pressure on doctors, people living in Peterborough can self-refer themselves to mental health services, reports Peterborough Today.Dr Adrian...
- 08 Sep
The first mental health centre for men
The site has been set up by Alex Eaton, whose dad took his own life and has suffered with mental health problems himself, in Burton upon Trent, reports BBC Newsbeat.Mr Eaton said: "We are the only...
- 07 Sep
NHS trust told no mental health beds available
Dr Bohdan Solomka has said that on Sunday a lack of beds were applied across the NHS and among private providers, reports the BBC. The director of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trusts...
- 07 Sep
Over 16,000 mental health referrals for young people have been rejected
Between July last year and June this year, data from the NHS has found that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services rejected 5,396 referrals, reports STV News.Over the last three years 16,565...
- 04 Sep
New mental health centre to open in Ardwick
Plans to build a new £6m treatment and recovery centre in Manchester have been revealed. It will be built in Ardwick and be run by Alternative Futures Group, reports the Manchester Evening...
- 03 Sep
Research finds more chance of re-offending if mental health issues are present
Research has found that ex-prisoners with mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse are more likely to commit violent offences after release than other former prisoners, reports the...
- 02 Sep
Drop in the number of people with mental health issues held in cells
Recent figures have found that the Crisis Care Concordat has seen over 10,000 people receive care from mental health nurses with the support from police officers, reports the Burton Mail.Figures have...
- 02 Sep
Mental health social work scheme accepting applications
100 places are now available for applicants who have a 2:1 or above undergraduate degree and can demonstrate attributes such as resilience and empathy, reports Community Care.The Think Ahead...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Found the seminar very informative and gave an interesting and full insight into current thinking about the consultation. Michael was a very engaging and knowledgeable presenter and encouraged interaction with the audience which led to further relevant points being shared with the room. I shall certinaly look out for future events!" M.E. - Care Housing Association