Economics is the science that studies the behavior of people about how to meet their needs; It is a very important science around the world because it affects people’s lifestyle, livelihoods, social relations, and mental health of individuals, and all these variables suffer a great destruction as the economy is negatively affected. Since youth and early adulthood are the most productive, active and active periods of an individual, they are the most affected by the negative fluctuations of the economy. Mental health has an important effect among the factors that the economy affects. When we consider today’s economy, we see that unemployment, decline in quality of life, hopelessness, future anxiety, unemployment affect the mental health of individuals negatively.
Keywords :economy, unemployment, quality of life, hopelessness, future anxiety
Economics is a branch of science that studies how to meet the unlimited and diverse needs of people with limited resources. Economics, “why are some countries rich and others poor?”, “how does an increase in income affect consumption demand?”, “how does a company determine its selling prices?”, “what is the cost of producing a product?” seeks answers to questions such as While the economy increases from time to time all over the world, it sometimes experiences a crisis and collapses to the bottom. Experiencing a crisis and observing declines in the economy adversely affect individuals of all ages. Although economic declines have been observed in the Republic of Turkey in recent years, a global health crisis has started all over the world with the COVID-19 epidemic. Not only with the health crisis, this crisis also negatively affected people economically, socially and psychologically. Even though COVID-19 is nearing its end, dark clouds continue to exist all over the world, especially over the Republic of Turkey.
There are many reasons for the economic crisis in Turkey. Today, Turkey has become the 6th country with the highest inflation in the world. Since Turkey has recently become dependent on imports, it is extra affected by the major crises in the world. In addition, with the political instability, trust in our country and the central bank decreased, which caused the rapid depreciation of the Turkish Lira, making life more expensive for the people and impoverishing the people.
Since there is a direct proportion between people’s economic status and lifestyles, the quality of life of all segments of the society has decreased greatly during the crises. As one of the results of this decline, “unemployment” emerges as one of the biggest economic problems today. Unemployment is defined in the simplest sense as “inability to find a job for individuals who want to work and accept to work at the current wage level” (Ekiz and Özel, 2019). Since adolescence and early adulthood are the most productive periods of an individual, being unemployed and forced to low living standards in this period causes individuals between the ages of 18-40 to feel hopeless and angry, to experience anxiety about the future and insufficient sociality. In our country, it has been observed that some of the change in the quality of life of adults who apply to primary health care institutions depends on the level of mental health. More than half of people in poor countries have more than one psychiatric illness. In some studies, it has been observed that factors such as being young, single, unemployed, not exercising, and low income are risk factors for negatively affecting mental health (Kılıç & Uzunçakmak, 2016).
Economy and Mental Health
Economic problems have devastating effects in countries, as well as affecting human behavior and mental health. Unemployment that comes with economic crises, increase in income gap between social classes, increase in poverty, decrease in quality of life lead to negative results in people’s mental states. The results of Koçoğlu and Akın’s 2009 research on “the relation of socioeconomic inequalities with healthy lifestyle behaviors and quality of life”, perceived economic status, social class, income status, number of households, healthy lifestyle behaviors of the number of individuals in the living area. proved to be effective on The results of the research emphasize that gender, age and perceived economic status are among the determining factors for the mental health part of the quality of life (Ağır, 2017). While the hopes of young people about their individual lives are generally determined by the conditions of education, getting a job and finding a job, their hopes for the future of Turkey and the world are determined by politics and ideology (Taştan, 2014). The economic problems of the youth, which affect the productivity and production capacity of the society and develop the country, cause problems such as hopelessness, helplessness, anger, unhappiness, suicide cases, brain drain, and also cause insufficient employment in the production of the country.
Some of the consequences of the deterioration of the economy are unemployment, the stress of unemployment and poverty. Employees who are faced with the problem of unemployment begin to question their lifestyles and worry about the future. Because they want to secure their future and trust the future with the thought that they will lose their current living standards (Budak, 2008). The thought of not being able to guarantee and trust the future creates feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, anger and aggression in people. When we look at the past, there is unemployment and helplessness in the stories of many suicide cases.
The feeling of hope shows that the individual has a realization idea to feel good psychologically and to reach his plans for the future. Hopelessness, on the other hand, refers to the fact that the individual has negative emotions in connection with the negative experiences he has had, and that the expectations for the realization of future plans or feelings such as goal setting disappear (Morselli, 2017). When the relationship between economic income level and hope is examined, an increasing level of hope draws attention in parallel with the increase in income level. In other words, as the income level of individuals’ families increases, there is an increase in the level of hope for the future (Zafer, 2019). In other words, an individual’s feeling of physical and mental well-being in his daily life, finding his economic security and social relations sufficient, will increase his sense of hope and commitment to life in the context of quality of life and values. The opposite situation may lead to a sense of hopelessness (Agir, 2017)
Individuals may be worried about any situation due to reasons arising from both their inner world and their outer world. Since the anxious person cannot control the situation in question, they are afraid and anxious (Zengin & Boran, 2019). Poor or inadequate economic conditions create unemployment and hopelessness, as well as intense future anxiety in individuals. It is expressed as the danger of the continuity of the work that the person has done or the risk of losing his job, depending on factors such as developments in the economic and social structure, organizational downsizing and revisions, unemployment rates, flexible practices applied in working life, unemployment level of the qualified workforce. With the job insecurity (Zengin and Boran, 2019), young people cannot foresee their future. In the results of the research, it was seen that the economic structure is effective in the career planning of young people, and the negative perception of the economic structure causes career and future anxiety (Tatlı et al., 2021).
In today’s world, epidemics, power wars, injustices and economic problems continue to exist worldwide due to many reasons. The facts mentioned in the article are in direct proportion to the economy; While the worsening of the economy pushes many things to destruction, the improvement of the economy enriches our lives. Fluctuations in the economy may cause individuals to be hopeless and live a quality life, as well as to be hopeless, worried about the future, and self-confident, but this will lead to negative social consequences. Since the young and adult population constitutes a dynamic, open and productive part of the population, we see that they are most affected by these turmoils. Considering that we are in an economic crisis in recent times, the mental status of individuals is adversely affected as there is an increase in unemployment, hopelessness, anxiety about the future, lack of economic security, and a decrease in the quality of life.
As a result, preventing the economic crisis with various studies will affect the well-being of individuals, will remove the worries and hopelessness of the youth and clear their way, and this can only be observed at the welfare level, and the quality of life will increase.