Feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the future is a common experience during tough economic times. Economic recessions often bring job losses, financial instability, and a general sense of unease that can be difficult to shake. Such events can trigger stress, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness–which take a toll on one’s mental health and well-being. As a result, individuals often find it hard to manage day-to-day tasks or plan for the future during an economic recession.
Fortunately, psychotherapy (aka professional counseling) can provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to process and manage their emotions, develop coping skills, and build resilience during tough times.
Still, some individuals tend to hesitate to invest in therapy and counseling during an economic recession. Often this hesitation can be due to financial concerns or the belief that psychotherapy is only for severe mental health issues.
The truth is that investing in counseling is a good investment and can lead to long-term benefits that extend far beyond your current financial situation. In this article, we’ll discuss certain reasons why it’s worth investing in therapy during an economic recession or downturn.
A study conducted by Cozzi, Galli, and Mantovan in 2018 found that receiving psychotherapy was associated with an increase in income of 13% in men and 8% in women.
Mental Health & Well-being During an Economic Recession
When the economy goes through tough times, it’s not just our financial situation that worsens. In fact, our mental health and well-being can also take a hit, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and social isolation.
Research has shown that during economic recessions, there is an increase in mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and even suicide rates. In particular, negative financial situations such as the sudden loss of a job, a decline in income, or increasing debts that are difficult to manage are significantly related to poor psychological well-being. This, in turn, may also lead to harmful behaviors such as substance abuse and sometimes even suicide attempts (Frasquilho et al., 2015).
While some people struggle with unemployment during an economic recession, others have to deal with increased workloads or reduced wages in order to keep their jobs. The added pressure and stress can make it difficult to manage daily tasks and can impact their mental health as well. For example, a 2020 study showed that changes in work organization during the economic crisis of the last decade had a significant negative impact on mental health. Among study participants, middle-aged men tended to develop depression most often (Marazziti et al., 2020).
Given these findings, it’s clear that investing in mental health and well-being during an economic recession is crucial.
5 Reasons Therapy Is a Wise Investment in Yourself
Investing in something always requires a commitment of resources, whether it be financial, time, or energy. The same applies to investing in your mental health through therapy and counseling. It may require a financial investment, as well as a commitment of your time and energy. However, the long-term benefits that you receive are undoubtedly worth your resources.
Let’s discuss 5 pragmatic reasons why counseling may be a wise investment in yourself during an economic recession:
1. For long-term mental health benefits
The most obvious reason why receiving therapy may be crucial during economic difficulties is that it can provide long-term positive benefits for your mental health.
People who have a hard time during an economic recession usually consider receiving counseling to overcome anxiety and relieve its symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.
However, counseling is not just about addressing immediate problems or challenges. It can also help individuals develop long-term coping skills that extend beyond the current economic situation. Research has shown that psychotherapy has a long-term positive impact on individuals diagnosed with depression (Schwartz et al., 2019). In addition, a 2019 study found that the effects of CBT lasted for years after the treatment ended (Brachel et al., 2019).
2. You’ll better cope with your life challenges
Therapy and counseling can help individuals develop coping skills that can be applied to other areas of their lives. These skills can include stress management techniques, communication strategies, and problem-solving skills.
In the process of psychotherapy, you can develop coping skills to navigate difficult situations and manage stress. For example, you may learn how to identify and challenge negative thought patterns, set healthy boundaries, and practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques. These tools can help you better cope with challenges during an economic recession or other challenging times.
While many people feel like they’re stuck in their current situation during an economic recession, therapy can provide a sense of hope and the possibility for change. Developing adaptive coping strategies, in turn, will result in better subjective well-being (e.g., Hyn Kim et al., 2022; Galiana et al., 2020).
3. To become more resilient
Another significant reason why counseling can be a wise investment is that it promotes the development of resilience – the ability to bounce back from difficult situations and cope with stress and challenges in a healthy and effective manner.
This can be especially beneficial during an economic recession, when individuals may face significant challenges like job loss or financial instability. Investing in resilience can help individuals navigate these challenges and emerge stronger, not only during the recession but also after it has passed.
4. The results of therapy may promote an increase in your income
It may come as a surprise, but seeing a therapist can have a positive impact on an individual’s financial situation over time. A study conducted by Cozzi, Galli, and Mantovan in 2018 found that receiving psychotherapy was associated with an increase in income of 13% in men and 8% in women. This highlights the economic benefits of therapy for individuals who are struggling with mental health problems.
At first, this result may sound a bit strange, but when an individual’s mental health is not optimal, it can affect their productivity and performance in various aspects of life, including their work. Investing in therapy, on the other hand, can help them become more focused, motivated, and productive, which can lead to increased job performance and promotion opportunities.
In addition, therapy can also teach individuals valuable skills such as effective communication, conflict resolution, and stress management. These skills can be applied in other areas of life, including work, which can increase the chances of getting promoted.
5. Psychotherapy can improve your physical health as well
Finally, therapy can have a positive impact on an individual’s physical health. Studies have shown that there is a strong link between mental and physical health (e.g., Ohrnberger, Fichera, & Sutton, 2017). When an individual is struggling with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or stress, it can manifest physically in the form of headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, and other physical or physiological problems.
One of the main purposes of all types of therapy is to address these underlying mental health issues. Consequently, it can reduce the risk of physical health problems. For example, processing past traumatic experiences through therapy can improve immune functioning (Pennebaker, Kiecolt-Glaser, & Glaser, 1988). Not surprisingly, this can also reduce medical costs.
Investing in psychotherapy, therefore, not only improves mental health but can also have a positive impact on physical health, leading to a better overall quality of life.
How counseling can help during an economic recession
During an economic recession, many individuals may experience significant stress and anxiety related to financial difficulties. Seeking therapy and counseling can be an effective way to overcome these emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Therapists can provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to process and manage their emotions, as well as develop skills to manage stress and anxiety.
If you’re struggling with financial stress and anxiety during an economic recession, consider getting help from professional therapists at Health for Life Counseling. Our licensed counselors can assist you in handling your mental health issues and gaining support during tough economic times.
So, reach out to us at our offices in Grand Rapids, MI, or Ada, MI, or talk to us online. Investing in your mental health is always a wise decision and can lead to long-term benefits in all areas of your life.