Losing Your Home While Pregnant Makes You Depressed

Kermit Cole

Data derived from a study of 662 new mothers reveal that the 8% of them who had lost their homes to foreclosure in the previous two years exhibited a 1.76 greater risk for severe depressive symptoms during the week prior to birth than women not experiencing foreclosure.

Abstract → 

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]


  1. “Women who have recently experienced foreclosure are at risk for severe depressive symptoms. The mental health needs of pregnant women experiencing foreclosure or other housing stressors should be considered in clinical practice.”

    What does the woman need that “clinical practice” will provide?

    Losing one’s home causes GRIEF, not a medical or mental disorder. Grief is not unnatural. Grief is not a flaw. Grief is not a disease. Grief is not wrong or bad. Grief is not an enemy or foe.

    When you lose your home (major loss), the appropriate response is to hold, comfort, console, support and encourage. I know, that’s all SO icky.

    When you lose your home (major loss), you experience GRIEF! … NOT “severe depression”.

    What exactly will “clinical practice” provide? You can’t even determine the difference between grief and depression!

    Grief = natural and normal human responsive experience
    Depression = manufacture of a for-profit, non-human entity

    The question is “on the table”: What exactly does the “clinical practice” claim to offer and provide?

    • Would it be better if we transposed?

      Original = The mental health needs of pregnant women experiencing foreclosure or other housing stressors should be considered in clinical practice.

      Adjusted = In clinical practice, foreclosure or other housing stressors should be considered in the emotional and mental treatment of people.

      How’s that? Harvard? Yale?


  2. The conclusion is scarier than the research! You mean we want to TREAT people for feeling bad about losing their homes? So that they DON’T feel bad about losing their homes anymore? Apathy appears to be the main goal of current psychiatric treatment! “Mom died, but hey, life goes on. I know I’m living on the street, but hey, there are bridges, no problem. Yeah, I was sexually abused, but really, it didn’t hurt that much and I am sure he had problems, too.” Seems that being upset about ANYTHING is now a mental disorder. The Stepford Wives would be the only ones not needing drugs!

    —- Steve