News that the crisis has left many families in psychological tatters comes from consumer watchdog DECO this week. Almost half those queried suffer anxiety in one form or another.
The study, included in DECO’s Protest magazine, was carried out in Spain, Italy and Belgium, as well as Portugal, and aimed to discover how families cope with daily struggles to stay afloat in these difficult times.
The authors of the study concluded that the consequences of the crisis are psychological, as well as material, and often hard to overcome. The main effects are: anxiety; irritability and difficulty in sleeping.
Additional data shows that 21% of those queried showed signs of depression while 17% suffer sleepless nights.
The team’s conclusions also show that 33% admitted to using sedatives in order to get through a “tough” day, while 5% confessed to resorting to alcohol or illegal drugs to try and forget their problems.
Unsurprisingly, some people questioned admitted to having had thoughts of suicide. One in every 10 Portuguese said they had considered suicide as the only way out.
DECO also found that 38% of Portuguese families reach the end of the month with a net loss of up to €300, while nearly 70,000 families did not have enough money to maintain a healthy diet.
“Single parent families, families with disabled or sick members and large families are the most affected by moments of great financial difficulties,” which is why DECO strongly recommends authorities to pay special attention in supporting these sectors of society.