That's a good question, to me it seems that both may be true.
Depression may be caused by a decline in socioeconomic status, at the same token it is also readily feasible that mental illness will affect the ability to better the chances of increased income.
It's interesting to play with scenarios to prove the above.
A decline in financial security may set off a domino effect, with loss of access to a club where all share the same socioeconomic status, this might also be accompanied by feelings of low self-worth.
Of course, we might also ask whether the mentality of frantic acquisition itself, when taken to an extreme, might induce mental illness.
On the other hand, if one has a diagnosis that features personality disorder, it's harder to get hired and the stigma associated with mental illness may make the road to financial security that much harder.
I'm afraid that I haven't offered much in the way of an answer, only more questions.
Great question 😁
@Daniel Sumner I feel the problem of poverty and homelessness here in the US is mostly mental illness related. They can’t just “get a job” if they do not have access to adequate healthcare and quality of life with basic needs. I also think that growing up poor can cause mental illness as they may have been brought up with malnutrition, an anxious parent, and lack of adequate healthcare, emotional and mental support and their education my suffer as well in these environments.
I think it’s interesting also to see how this may be connected to politics in terms of the working class, and their additude toward money. Greed is also a factor and I have seen genuinely nice altruistic people with good values become self absorbed and narcissistic about money. We often place value on a person based on their job or financial status, rather than valuing human beings we value human doings. This can have an effect on one’s self-esteem, sense of purpose, and sense of belonging in society. Is this even an area that is being considered in the criminal justice system?
@Eve Fritz Great points.
I doubt these concerns that you raise are part of the criminal system - as it concerns itself only with binary statements such as guilty or not guilty. There isn't a great deal of room for nuance. This may be added via psychological insights.
Some of these arguments just remind me once again that we don't live in a meritocracy, some have headstarts and sure some without these headstarts manage to push ahead. But if we gave some runners in a race a headstart and others without a headstart, would we describe it as a fair game, is it really true that all those who try really hard succeed, or could it be that despite these efforts the game was never set up with the right conditions?
Another example would be chess with one side having all its pieces while the other player being denied several key pieces. We can carry this analogy further by noting that the person with the black pieces always goes second, a fine fact when it comes to the actual game of chess but in real life a pernicious social inequality.
With this analogy, we can consider the person with the black pieces being denied several key pieces such as 'socioeconomic security growing up, and educational educations as well as mental illness.
This is a deviation from the point no doubt, however, if one of the pieces missing when the game begins is good mental health, then the game becomes unbalanced and the question becomes, how are we to provide an equal playing field without handicapping either individual?
Of course, the analogy breaks down in that in the ideal system we aim to create not a zero-sum game but one in which all participants get what they need to live meaningful and happy lives.
I wonder how we can balance the game with those considerations you mention.