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View Diary: The Psychological Effects of Living in Poverty (23 comments)

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  •  speaking as one who has often been very poor (13+ / 0-)

    in looking at your estimate of costs you use a middle class yardstick. Many of what you consider costs don't exist for those less well off and they live in different situations.

    People live as roomates, fix their own cars, don't pay for a vet as they don't have pets, there is no health insurance bill as there is no health insurance, there is a fair amount of stress. Most don't worry about losing a house they don't have. The worst is to be carless, almost everywhere you need a car. When the car breaks you walk and hitchhike.

    I think that being poor is worse than just the daily struggle. It's a state of mind.

    Living in a third world country gave me a different perspective and I've never felt poor again even when our income is at poverty levels. We eat on very little money, and eat well. I've noticed many immigrants are similar. They don't feel poor even though by American standards they are.

    I see it as having fulfilled your third social need. I've seen families living under bridges sending children to school in clean ironed school uniforms with books under their arms. I think if everyone around is in the same boat it helps. I avoid old friends that had very wealthy parents and now that they've inherited they mostly associate with other very wealthy people.

    I don't know what to think.

    I will be very very glad when Obama care is in place. Wish to fix my teeth.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:29:38 PM PST

    •  not everyone is you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep

      Nor is your personal experience better than actual research.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:32:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just what is research? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flowerfarmer, greengemini

        Other than documenting "personal experience", adding it to other stories of "personal experience" and maybe doing some statistics to get a mean, mode, and standard deviation.  

        Only a poor researcher says "this is just anecdotal".  Someone who is self-actualizing can take that anecdote and design an experiment to see if that is representative of a sub-population or look for trends.

        •  anecdotal = opinion (0+ / 0-)

          based on personal experience - no statistics or large samples are taken.  So it's just talking out your ass and trying to insist your farts fit other people's assholes.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:41:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll let you do the research (0+ / 0-)

            I'll even give you some jars to get a statistical sample of farts to examine.

            •  sorry, not interested. (0+ / 0-)

              But it's easy to make light of the actual proven effects of poverty for some people I guess.

              And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

              by Mortifyd on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:13:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Data relies on personal experience. (4+ / 0-)

            I have been crushingly poor after divorcing.
            The poverty was a result of having responsibilities i could not handle.
            Laying in bed every night worrying so much that sleep was elusive and incomplete, saps a persons mental and physical health. I fit the profile for clinical depression and have just begun to climb out of the pit after 10 years, not even realizing for the first few years that i lived in a state of depression!

            A house i fought for in divorce that had a huge mortgage i could not pay, even with two jobs and an economy in crash mode.

            Maintenance on the house- a broken water heater that left me with no hot water for three months in the winter, a leaky roof that i could not repair- kept me awake for  the three years i struggled to come out even.

            Finally finding a buyer and getting rid of 99% of my possessions finally set me free from the constant stress of never having enough to maintain.

            Stripping it all down to bare bones has been like a vacation from worry.
            My only worry now, aside from having no health care at all, is maintaining a 16 year old Subaru with over 200,000 miles on her, and that seems like a doable amount of stress.

            Being impoverished prevents most people from engaging in their lives in a positive way, from having the energy to even look for a new path that might bring needed change.

            I get what the diarist is saying and wish the opponents of our social safety net could feel, even for one day, the emotions of people caught in poverty.

            •  I had to crawl home to my parents (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              flowerfarmer, ladyrhiannon824

              because I couldn't take care of myself anymore.  I know what poverty is and how screwed up it can make you - read a few of my diaries if you want my opinion of how bad it sucked.

              But my experience is only my experience.  Anecdotal.  Until it is combined with others and more and more and patterns begin to show over all that poverty does indeed consistently produce certain bad results - it's just my shitty life and doesn't mean anything on it's own.

              Ban nock has a habit of dismissing anything that doesn't produce the experience s/he has had - and that's just not cool in my book.

              Personal experience is only the runoff, not anywhere near the damn iceberg of data.

              And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

              by Mortifyd on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:16:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  The Parameters of Poverty in the USA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mortifyd, ban nock

        is, indeed, different than the parameters of poverty in other places.  One of the necessities of good research is a statement of definition.  Maslow's hierarchy works for the USA because Americans have some agreement about what poverty means.  Applying his hierarchy in, say, India might prove problematic.  

        Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

        by tikkun on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:28:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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