With unemployment driving foreclosures nationwide, a quarter of those polled said they had either lost their home or been threatened with foreclosure or eviction for not paying their mortgage or rent. About a quarter, like Ms. Newton, have received food stamps. More than half said they had cut back on both luxuries and necessities in their spending. Seven in 10 rated their family’s financial situation as fairly bad or very bad.
But the impact on their lives was not limited to the difficulty in paying bills. Almost half said unemployment had led to more conflicts or arguments with family members and friends; 55 percent have suffered from insomnia.
“Everything gets touched,” said Colleen Klemm, 51, of North Lake, Wis., who lost her job as a manager at a landscaping company last November. “All your relationships are touched by it. You’re never your normal happy-go-lucky person. Your countenance, your self-esteem goes. You think, ‘I’m not employable.’ ”
A quarter of those who experienced anxiety or depression said they had gone to see a mental health professional. Women were significantly more likely than men to acknowledge emotional issues.