Foreclosures lead to depression and physical illness, long-term study shows

October 20, 2011 05:37PM

Another study has shown that losing a house to foreclosure can lead to physical and mental health conditions, with one in five people in default on their loans exhibiting serious symptoms of depression, according to recent findings by the University of Maryland cited by the Baltimore Sun.

“We knew of the link, but we were surprised by the magnitude of the problem,” said Dawn Alley, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “These people were more than bummed out.”

This is the first long-term study to show that foreclosures are causing health problems in people who were not previously ill, the Sun said.

“It’s becoming a coexisting condition,” said Bailey Susic, outreach program and professional education manager at the Pro Bono Counseling Project, a non-profit statewide mental health counseling referral service. “They didn’t have depression before.”

A previous study linked foreclosures with hypertension and diabetes, among people aged 20 to 49. [Baltimore Sun]