Post-BP Spill, Gulf Residents' Depression Up 25%

A new Gallup poll shows that the mental health of people living in the Gulf has dramatically declined after the BP oil spill, with clinical cases of depression up 25%.

galluppoll.jpgApparently, when people’s livelihoods are destroyed, things they’re proud of are ruined, and they feel helpless to change their circumstances, they get pretty upset about it and stay that way for a long time.

Gulf Coast Residents Worse Off Emotionally After BP Oil Spill [Gallup]


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  1. craptastico says:

    but inland counties in gulf states have had depression reduced. just goes to show all you need to feel better about yourself is a miserable neighbor

  2. TuxthePenguin says:

    Why are they sad? They beaches are not covered in oil and the most dreaded fears of the predictors in the media haven’t come to pass – not even close. Heck, the spill has been sealed and how many weeks ago was the story that they couldn’t find the oil?

    Why would they still be said? The oil spill is over. What is the continuing problem that many are facing (as I can tell in Lafayette)… that’s right, a lot of people are out of jobs because of the moratorium that is still in effect. Good for Mary Landrieu to fight for her constituents.

    • El_Fez says:

      The oil spill is over.

      So how is the weather over there on Bizzaro-Earth, anyway?

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        How much oil has leaked from the well in the last week? The spill (ie, oil going into the ocean) is done. The cleanup is what remains.

        Oh wait… Florida has gone from cleanup to “maintenance and monitoring”. And if the spill is still ongoing, where are all the stories about it?

        • fredbiscotti says:

          You’re right, of course.

          Where’s the poll asking Midwesterners how they feel now that all of thier jobs have been shipped overseas and everyone is unemployed? I don’t remember Reagan kicking US Steel and GM’s ass for $20 billion to help us all get better jobs again in 1982.


        • c!tizen says:

          Hey, the recession is over too, what’s with all these people still out of work? I guess they’re just lazy, right?

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          The oil spill in Alaska decades ago is still being felt. In fact, the few fisher’s that stayed say that only now are fish populations reaching similar levels to what they were 20 years ago.

          So possibly the biggest source of depression is the fact that this doesn’t just end. It will linger.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Many of the Gulf Coast residents weren’t too high up on the income ladder to begin with, and many of them depend on the fishing industries in the Gulf to make money. Oyster and shrimp fisheries have closed entirely due to the oil, and some of them won’t recover.

      Just because it’s not still flowing, doesn’t mean it’s not still there. Public perception has made it so that even when many of these people can resume fishing, they aren’t as likely to sell as much product as before because the industries and people they sell to are going to be wary about seafood from the Gulf Coast. Local restaurants have less seafood supply and the entire region is seeing a drop in tourism.

      You’re mistaken in that they’re upset specifically and only because there was an oil spill – they’re upset about that, sure, but the Gulf is how many people made their living.

    • breny says:

      Tux, we’re sad because there is oil lying on the bottom of the gulf that is killing the marine life that lives on the gulf floor. We’re sad because millions of gallons of poison were sprayed in the gulf and we don’t know how it will affect the marine life and food chain over time. We’re sad that since the well is plugged the media has moved on even though the destruction of wildlife and livelihoods continues because of the remaining oil and dispersants in the gulf. We’re sad because our coast lost an entire summer of our “high season” business and claims payments are not forthcoming as we were promised. We’re sad because businesses are closing because they’ve run out of money and did not receive claim payments as promised. We’re sad because we keep finding out about lies we were told, data that was withheld, scientists that were blocked from conducting their research, oil in the sand and marsh when we dig down just a foot or so, media that were blocked from covering the story and continual lies from government officials.

      We’re sad because WE DON’T KNOW what will happen from here on out. We don’t know when our seafood will be safe (testing is minimal). We don’t know how the food chain will be affected this year or in subsequent years. We don’t know what long-term effects we may have from chemical exposure from oil and dispersants. We don’t know if our tourism industry will recover and how long it will take.

      You are mistaken if you think there is no oil in the gulf. Do a little research and educate yourself.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        You’re totally right…I mean, just because they didn’t know where the oil went, doesn’t mean it wasn’t actually there.

        This month’s National Geographic is about the oil spill and there are some fantastic articles there. Makes you really, really sad though.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        As a fellow coast resident, I say AMEN! You said it all and then some. Perfectly captures the feelings around here.

        A shorter version of it is: “now that the hole is plugged and the media has left, no one gives a shit about us anymore even though there is still an assload of work to be done, money to be paid and questions to be answered.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      The moratorium in gulf drilling by the Obama administration has killed the economy.

  3. Chief CL says:

    you do realize that most of the people who were directly effected by the oil spill made more money helping cleanup the spill then they usually make in 3-5 years of fishing?

    The spill pretty much kept my friends dad from going bankrupt. BP paid him unbelievable amounts of money to help with the cleanup… and it was steady money… everyday. He made more in 2 months working for BP than he usually makes in a year.

    • dolemite says:

      So…what’s he doing next year now that all the fish are dead?

      What’s the saying? Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish, and he eats for a lifetime, kill all of his fish with toxic dispersants and oil, and he goes on welfare for a lifetime?

      • Chief CL says:

        Look, i am not saying that it “Made it all ok” but have any of you who are commenting actually been down to the coast? huh? anyone? i live in MS and things are not as bad down there as the media shows and tells you they are. The fact is, BP f’d up… and they shelled out serious money to try and fix it. They have “Fixed” the problem, now things need to be repaired…. that takes time. What do you expect them to do?

        All of you need to stop acting like you go down to the Coast and step outside and instantly get sick… It is not like that at all. People were depressed there before… maybe that is because before this ever even happened, the area was already in the middle of a recession, and still is.

        It’s obvious that all of you who commented are pissed at what i said. All i am saying is that it would appear that the spill has been capped, BP did an adequate job of compensating the people who were directly effected. there is not BLACK colored sand everywhere from all the oil that has washed up on shore. And things will recover…. They always do…. YES, always.

    • c!tizen says:

      You’re missing the point. It’s not about how much money they made, which they aren’t making anymore, it’s about doing what you love and having that ripped right out of your life.

      If you love to paint and make a decent living doing so, then you’re happy with what you have. Painting is your love, it’s your life… it’s what you do. Then one day a company comes along, cuts corners in production and causes a massive paint shortage in your region, all of the sudden you can’t paint anymore. That company pays you double what you made painting by working a customer support line to control the mess they made… are you happier now because you make more money doing something you hate?

      Now all of the sudden that customer support job is gone and you can go back to painting, but now everyone is wary of the paint you use so they don’t buy your art like they use to… now you have to go find a way to supplement your income by taking on a job doing something you probably don’t enjoy doing, and why? You didn’t do anything wrong, and the company that caused the problem is long gone still making boat loads of cash. I don’t know about you, but that would make me pretty depressed.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      And you don’t think that adversely affected their mental health? They’re not automatons. They’re cleaning up their home and seeing the damage day after day. They’re encountering dead and sick animals and the runaround from the people responsible. They’re getting paid more than they were ever paid before, but you don’t think that some of them may have felt just a bit of conflict over the circumstances which led them to be paid so well? After all, 11 crew members of the rig died and this could be the largest oil spill in history. I don’t think any of those cleanup workers could remain unaffected by any of this.

    • breny says:

      So your friend’s dad was about to go bankrupt before the oil spill?

      I hope he saves some of the money he made because fishing will be iffy for many years.

      How is his health? Has he had any oil/dispersant exposure issues? Any breathing problems? Does he have good health insurance?

      If all is great with your friend’s dad, I’m happy for him. He is one of the lucky ones. Most have not been so lucky.

    • aloria says:

      Let’s say I shut down your place of employment by smearing cat poop over every possible surface. Would you be in a perfectly fine mood if I paid you a higher salary to wipe up the mess instead of your normal job? Or would you, perhaps, be mad at me and at the fact that you have to clean up cat poop all day instead of working in your chosen profession?

  4. elangomatt says:

    This is a pretty misleading title! Their depression is up 4%, there are 25% more depressed people than there were before the spill though. The way the title of this article is stated makes it sound like 25% percent of the population that wasn’t depressed before is now depressed or 40.6% of the total population is now depressed.

  5. czarrie says:

    Just a friendly reminder that Correlation != Causation, although in this case I’d say that a 25% change is pretty dramatic, although a 4% increase is pretty meaningless. This is obviously something that needs to either be address or something not worth our time and should be ignored.