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The 'Cure' to My Depression Is Money

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There is a cure to my depression, and it’s not medication, going on walks, or reaching out to friends. It’s money. Cold hard cash. Benjamins. A bag, if you may. It’s literally what will solve 99% of my problems that ultimately lead back to why I struggle with chronic depression and anxiety. 

Maslow knew a thing or two about priorities, and it shows, as his well known hierarchy lists out what’s most important to a person’s survival, to what’s least important. From the bottom to top, the needs are as follows:

The largest block are physiological and safety needs which dials down to food, clothing, and shelter as core higher level needs in comparison to being able to go out to happy hour with your friends. If you can’t afford basic food, clothing, or your rent, then your entire core foundation of needs is shaken up and unstable, which can lead to depression and oh boy does it.

Many people say that money isn’t everything, and in a lot of ways they’re right. Money isn’t everything except for when it is. The depression I’ve felt at my most financially insecure is only second to the depression I’ve felt at the hands of grief and loss. When you struggle with aspects of suicidality, you need reasons to live. Knowing you can’t physically afford to do so doesn’t exactly help you find reasons to stick it out. It’s not being materialistic, it’s being realistic. The problems I have are contributing massively to my depression, thus money would literally fix all my problems, both financial and mental. 

OK, maybe not all, but most.

The cycle of financial insecurity is dangerous. Depression ignites when you realize how broke you are, anxiety flares when you remember you’re going to have to eat and pay your rent but you have no idea how, only to hopefully make it work and feel some reprieve, but just for it to happen all over again within a week to a month. While some would argue that we should just “get a better job,” they don’t realize how difficult it really is out there. Industries are doing mass layovers, hiring freezes, and companies aren’t promoting a lot right now. Let’s also look at people who are on disability and cannot make more than a certain amount or else they lose their disability benefits. Getting a better job or making more money just isn’t that simple or available to everyone. 

On top of that, self-care is that much harder to partake in if you can’t afford to. On a foundational level, self-care is making sure your bills are paid, food is in your fridge, and that you can afford your medications. Self-care thus is ruled out simply due to the number in your bank account. So what do you do when you can’t afford to take care of yourself, can’t afford to live, and there’s no “solution” in sight?

I’m done pretending that there is some deeper resolution that can be found through self-work. Quite frankly, there isn’t. Money would solve my problems. I need more money, and it’s not materialistic or wrong to feel that way.

Getty image by We Are

Originally published: August 16, 2022
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