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Bad Economic News Taking Toll on Americans' Emotions
Date:8/9/2011

y experts really feel it's more than that. Recession fatigue is what people had been feeling. The recent furor on Capitol Hill and Wall Street turned it up a notch, they noted.

"If recession fatigue were a faucet, that would be the drip, drip, drip of things are moving very slowly," Greiner said. "This is more like the washer is broken, faucet is going and we don't know when it's going to turn off. . . This is much more concerning and starts bringing up the question of 'Where's the bottom?'"

The media's fixation with every twist and turn in the economy isn't helping.

"The financial media have made finance into a spectator sport. It's minute-by-minute like they're announcing a fast-paced basketball game," said Manevitz. "They create this fear that creates the bottom."

But the experts also agreed that there are things Americans can do to regain some sense of control and emotional equilibrium.

One would be to cut back on time spent tracking financial news. "I go straight to the sports section," Hilfer said. "We need to focus on what we're able to do and what we're able to control."

And Greiner advised against doing anything rash, financially or otherwise. "If you've got a financial advisor or someone in the family who's good with money, talk to them [first] rather than do something suddenly," he said.

People can also be grateful for what they do still have, Manevitz pointed out.

"If you're working, be grateful that you have a job. Don't be looking at what you don't have. Take action, whatever that may be. Start to spend a little less and focus on the other valuable things in your life, your family and your health," he said.

And remember that there is always room for optimism.

"We do bounce back," added Hilfer. "What would be useful would be to recognize that when things like this happen, things are designed to stabilize again. . . What people will hopefully be able to do is look at history and get some sense
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