The Great Recession pushed suicide rates higher

A new report finds a marked increase in men who took their own lives as the financial crisis took away jobs.

By Bruce Kennedy Sep 19, 2013 10:39AM

Headstone (© Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc Green/Getty Images)That sense of despair many of us felt as the great recession deepened several years ago was apparently too much for a lot of people. An international study of data from over 50 countries concludes that suicides climbed markedly -- particularly in Europe and the Americas -- after the economic crisis started in 2008.


Researchers from Hong Kong, Britain and Taiwan examined suicide reports from around the world, along with information on GDP and unemployment figures supplied by the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the Centers for Disease Control.


Their results, recently published in the British Medical Journal's BMJ.com website, attributed nearly 5,000 suicides in 2009 to the recession. They said these deaths "appear to be associated with the magnitude of increases in unemployment, particularly for men and in countries with low unemployment levels before the crisis."


Researchers noted the greatest increase of suicides in the Americas was seen in men ages 45 to 64, while in Europe the largest jump was for young men between 15 and 24 years old.


"Unemployment appears to lead to an increase in anxiety and depression -- two psychiatric symptoms that might be intermediate steps toward suicide," Robert Dicker, associate director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at North Shore-LIJ, in New Hyde Park, N.Y., told HealthDay News regarding the report. "More unemployment, more family distress, more losses (of status and friends) also most likely are involved."


The increased rates of suicides among middle-aged men in the U.S., he added, is also significant.


"At a developmental time when one should be settled and comfortable (with) plans for the future and retirement before them," Dr. Dicker said, "the stress wrought by the economic crisis appears to be even more stressful for this age group. With decreased available money, people may be even more reluctant to seek evaluations and treatment from mental-health providers."


And even as the global economy appears to be limping toward recovery, the study's researchers say the risk of people harming themselves over growing financial burdens hasn't decreased.


Government austerity programs in many countries, they note, are "resulting in further job losses, posing additional suicide risks. Urgent action is needed to prevent the economic crisis leading to further increases in suicides."


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36Comments
Sep 20, 2013 1:09PM
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Hey idiots. It isn't over. The current rate of 18% REAL unemployment is having a drastic affect on many souls......
Sep 19, 2013 1:05PM
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Dying is easy, living is hard, very hard.
Sep 24, 2013 1:35PM
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"It requires more courage to suffer than to die." 

 

                                             Napoleon Bonaparte

 

 

 

Sep 24, 2013 4:17PM
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Life is a gift.....Death is the beginning or the end depends on what you believe.

Jesus said "Fear Not for I am with You" Blessed is the Meek for they will Inherit the Kingdom of God"

Sep 24, 2013 7:20PM
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I grew up in a small town where there some really good people. Since most of us had the same religion, it was easy to know the people around you. I always felt happy and my parents were always more on the happy side. I compare it to what it is like now and there is a huge difference. You know, even the church members seem to care less about each other. It is a dog eat dog world. So, when bad times hit, it often feels like there isn't much to live for.  Politics stink really bad. They fight to the point of driving people crazy! I hear all these christian people going on and on but it doesn't come from their cold hearts. We need hope and if people began to care more about others, it would bring the hope we need to make it through the bad times.

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It's going to get worse and spread to women too. The nation's dying and not everyone's going to be prepared to survive the fall or the impending civil war.
Sep 24, 2013 8:29PM
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The economy has been very hard on people.  I see families doubling up and lots of unemployed young men and older men.  I lost my job last fall and when unemployment ran out, I had to go on early SS.  SS doesn't come close to paying the bills, so the house is up for sale.  I don't need much.  A cheap trailer will do.  I no longer feel the need to keep up with the Joneses or impress anyone like I did when I was young.  Simple would actually be better.  A small trailer, microwave, small fridge, futon, tv, some clothes and my pets.  Ah the simple life - I'd rather have that than a mansion at this stage of the game.
Sep 24, 2013 12:03PM
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"Dying is easy, living is hard, very hard"

You must not have come close to dying.  Living is a piece of cake compared to dying!

Sep 24, 2013 1:22PM
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This all shows where these countries are "failing" In Europe, because of free education, getting into universities is very competitive and only the best get to go. Those young men who killed themselves were probably tested into a trade school and in many European countries those kind of jobs were the ones disappearing. So these young men knew once they left the trade school they would be without work.

 

In the US, the fact that men were killing themselves right before retirement shows that US citizens are very much afraid of life after work. There is no safety net for seniors or the elderly. People with alzheimers even have to figure out how to care for themselves because no one is going to want to help them. The men that killed themselves probably did so out of fear of being a burden to their families in their old age with very little monetary resources.

Sep 24, 2013 9:10PM
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Many can't cope. My husband was one . I feel for anyone who goes through this, the feelings of despair is overwhelming, those left behind is not only life changing , devastating, crushing but can also leave the survivors feeling despair and broken in more ways than one . Financially I may never recover from my devastating changes. It has been 3 very lonely months since he died , bills continue to mount and there is no light at the end of the tunnel that I can see.
Sep 24, 2013 9:55PM
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Suicide is a permanent  solution to a temporary problem.
Sep 24, 2013 9:49PM
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Paramedic from VA,  I was so sorry to read your post and I imagine you feel very lost.  Keep the faith and know that in time things will get better, I promise you.  God bless and comfort you.
Sep 24, 2013 12:59PM
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I believe  "  not to have any attachment with a great compassion "  is the key to the happiness in this life preventing suicide.


There are so many movies and  documentaries about what we are in Netflix, such as  Ram Dass,
Budda, I am,  Ama,  etc.  etc.

I believe our life is like a dew but so precious , only ONE in 6.5 billion. 

Sep 24, 2013 11:04AM
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the new economy , YES WE CAN!!! off ourselves so you don't  have to work the three jobs instead of the one you had originally.   America in decline, get on your sled it's a steep down hill from here.

Wait a few months, it will get worse.  Permanent solutions to temporary problems or the new normal?
At least you won't be impacted by Obama-care!!!!!!!!!

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take someone down you!  Like the ex!
Sep 24, 2013 12:41PM
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Of course it impacted men to a much higher degree as American Government, through the legalized bigotry called Affirmative action planned it this way.  If men needed 3 times more medical treatment lifetime, thereby equaling women and were able to get pregnant through irresponsibility and collect welfare it wouldn't have happened.
Sep 24, 2013 1:56PM
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I hope they were all republicans and members of the 1%. How sweet it could be!
Sep 20, 2013 1:39PM
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I hope they were all Democrats and members of the 47%
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