When reckless Republican policies
take over, disaster, depression, hopelessness, and suicide is sure to rise.Oil Spill Causes Depression To Rise 25 Percent In Gulf Region: Gallup
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.
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.
Margaret Carruth is among those fighting to hang on.
Her hairstyling business dried up after tourists stopped coming to the beach and locals cut back on nonessentials like haircuts. All but broke and unable to afford rent, Carruth packed her belongings into her truck and a storage shed and now depends on friends for shelter.
"I'm a strong person and always have been, but I'm almost to the breaking point," says Carruth.
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.
The survey found that 19.6 percent of people reported receiving a clinical diagnosis of depression after the spill compared with 15.6 percent before, an increase of 25.6 percent. The study didn't conclude the additional cases were tied directly to the oil, however.