Gallup Finds 25 Percent Hike In Depression In Gulf


Orange Beach, Alabama – People along the Gulf Coast just aren’t as happy as they were before the massive BP oil spill.

A Gallup survey released Tuesday shows that depression cases are up more than 25 percent since an April 20 oil rig exploded, triggering the gusher that ruined many livelihoods along the usually idyllic coast.

The findings from almost 2,600 coastal residents polled are consistent with trends seen in smaller studies and witnessed by mental health workers.

A “well-being index” included in the Gallup study found that many coastal residents are stressed out, worried and sad more often than people living inland. That indicates that the spill’s emotional toll lingers even if most of the oil has vanished from view.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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