Living with a depressed loved one can be hard on your mind and your wallet.

Living with a depressed loved one can be hard on your mind and your wallet.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024 — New study shows that people who live with a loved one who has depression are more likely to have less money, be unemployed, and have mental health problems.

An economics consulting firm in Boston called the Analysis Group’s Paul Greenberg led the study. In a news release from the American Psychiatric Association, he said, “These results suggest that depressive symptoms may have an effect on other adults in the affected individuals’ households.”

They wrote about their findings in the Journal of Affective Disorders on December 27. Greenberg and his coworkers looked at the financial health and quality of life of almost 17,000 adults in the U.S. All of them filled out a normal form that asked about their health, income, jobs, and other things.

About 1,700 of the people who took part lived with someone who was depressed.

People who lived with a sad person made $4,720 less a year on average than people who didn’t live with that person. Greenberg’s team found that this means that people are making 11.3% less money on average.

Living with an unhappy person also caused people to miss more work and be less likely to have a job.
Living with a sad person was linked to lower scores on tests meant to measure mental and physical health, the study found. This meant that their quality of life also seemed to go down.

This all, “further supports the value of adequate treatment to address depressive symptoms for adults and reduce the spillover effect to others in their households,” said Greenberg.


  • A news statement from the American Psychiatric Association on December 29, 2023

Disclaimer: Note that the statistical information in medical articles only shows broad trends and does not apply to specific people. Different things can make a big difference. When making decisions about your own health care, you should always get personalised medical advice.