Uptick In Suicides Blamed On The Economy

unemployment suicide

The news that famed 68-year-old movie director Tony Scott ended his own life Sunday brings the issue of suicide to the forefront. There are the inevitable questions: Why would someone with so much success feel like life was no longer worth living? While his suicide note hasn't been released, it's likely his livelihood wasn't the issue (ABC News reported that the director had inoperable brain cancer.)

Yet a slew of recent reports say there's been an uptick of adult suicides throughout the U.S. and Europe -- with the lagging economy being blamed. This of course isn't a new phenomenon. As a recent study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development notes, the image of the financially ruined committing suicide by jumping out of buildings is one closely tied to the Great Depression.

A Rash Of 'Economic Suicides'
According to a new study published this week by the British Medical Journal, Great Britain saw about 1,000 more suicides a year from 2008 to 2010 than historic trends would have suggested. The researchers from the BMJ also said that the regions that saw the greatest rise in suicides were those that had the largest increases in unemployment. While the authors concede that a link between unemployment and the rise in suicides is still not conclusive, they also note that a slight decrease in suicides in 2010 coincided with a minor improvement in male employment that year.

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Economic Suicides: 'Europe's Crisis Point'
The idea that unemployment is causing a spike in suicides isn't even in doubt in European countries such as Greece, Italy and Portugal, where the economies have taken a nosedive. Greece has seen suicides jump 40 percent in the first half of 2011 compared with the same time frame in 2010. The country's experience with suicide was profiled this week in a feature by The Washington Post, which put a human face on the grim statistics. The report focuses on a struggling Greek musician who ended his life by leaping from his apartment building. He was joined on the jump by his 90-year-old grandmother, whose Alzheimer's disease he couldn't afford to treat. He'd lost multiple gigs in the wake of the recession and friends said he blamed the "powerful of the Earth" for his situation.

What About U.S. Workers?
Sixty-three percent of American workers between the ages 55 to 64 say that they are feeling stressed at work. The No. 1 source? Too low of a paycheck, with 13 percent citing inadequate pay as the main issue. Other workplace issues reported as causing the most stress: unreasonable workloads; difficult commutes; annoying co-workers; lack of opportunity for advancement; fear of being fired; and poor work-life balance. And as for the suicide rate among Americans, that number is creeping up too. During the first year of the recession ending in 2009, the suicide rate rose 2.4 percent in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC also reported that in 2008, 13.4 percent of those in the U.S. who committed suicide had experienced problems financially or on the job.

Job Losses At 'The Tonight Show'
And in the United States, it looks as if no one is immune from layoffs. "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" may still be the highest-rated late night program on television, but financially it's only breaking even, reports the Los Angeles Times. Consequently some 20 workers have been laid off, and the host reportedly agreed to take a $5 million pay cut from his current rate of $25 million to $30 million a year, so as to preserve jobs.

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September 22 2012 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what is weird is that money is spent on "studies" to figure out something that is oh so obvious to the rest of us

August 27 2012 at 4:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

a big source of stress for me is that my paycheck has shrunk to less than half of what I was making 3 years ago and as a result credit cards that I planned on paying off within 5 months I have been able to only put a dent on the balances, people are having a hard time so what do the banks do? make it harder on people, every last one of my credit cards, (except Discover, thank you for that Discover) have more than doubled their interest charges and in one case ( F--k you Capital One) they tripled them even though I have never missed or been late with a payment.
And yes, the thought of just saying to hell with it and offing myself has crossed my mind but there's no way I could do that to my family

August 27 2012 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

turning to God can and will prevent these things, all one has to do is give God a chance..

August 25 2012 at 9:46 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bonbita's comment
Chase Kruger

I truly wish it were that easy.

July 02 2013 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The economy isn't just causing suicides. Just pick up the paper or, God forbid, read HufPo. There appears to be a huge increase in violent crimes of all types: people shooting up large gatherings, mothers killing their children, men killing their families. People can jump off bridges or in front of cars, shoot themselves, or whatever but what is prompting people to kill their families first?

August 21 2012 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Time for some real "HOPE & CHANGE" in November!!!!

August 21 2012 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mtnjoeiv's comment
Franklin Newman

Presidents don't have any real power. They're just puppets. You want to fix something, fix Congress.

August 22 2012 at 12:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Many people also live beyond their means and in my own community, I see those that are deep in debt, and it is debt they chose to take on. I also have seen those that complain about their debt, but when the weekend comes, they are out partying and again, instead of cutting back, they just keep on spending money that would best be put to bills. These people then want others to bail them out and the people they want to help bail them out, have their own bills, and know how to live within their means. Many of the younger generation also believe that they ae entitled, and don't want to work and take on their own responsibilitys. America has been living far beyond it's means for generations and we kept kicking the can down the road, and now that can can't be kicked down the road, the bills are due.

August 21 2012 at 1:21 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to AL1PA's comment

I took on some debt but at the time I was making great money and thought I'd be able to pay off within a few months, 4 - 6 but then in 2009 it came crashing down, now I don't have the money for the little perks, just enough to keep the wolves from the door and man, it's hard to maintain a positive outlook when I see the unfair interest rates that bank are charging, don't get me wrong, I realize that banks are a business in business to make money but damn! how do they justify doubling or trippling interest rates on someone that has never missed or been late on a payment?
But a lot of people are taking our government's approach to debt, spend more, a LOT more, weird huh?

August 27 2012 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

we got a problem when people are homeless

August 21 2012 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a demoralizing, disgraceful **** hole we all live in and are made to suffer in. Those at the very top who destroyed this place are not suffering one bit nor are they being made to pay for what they did to us. But, on the other hand, the people who had nothing to do with destroying the economy (regular Americans) and everyone's lives are paying dearly for this and not a soul seems to give a ****. No slack, no understanding or economic accommodation made, nothing but constant harassment, berating, punishments, incarcerations, fines, fees and shut offs--all because people no longer have the money to fulfill their obligations. I cannot fathom how rotten our country is. The government has done nothing to help all the newly dislocated and destroyed people. They've simply paid banks off and then still allowed them to get paid twice on their government paid off loans by throwing Americans in the streets and selling off their homes. What a total **** hole this place is. Rotten. I can completely understand why someone would contemplate killing themselves. I certainly have. This place is a ******* hell hole and it should be ******* destroyed.

August 21 2012 at 11:05 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to esstgee2000@yahoo.com's comment

my thoughts exactly!

August 27 2012 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People aren't as grateful as they used to be. The very fact that we are alive is a miracle. I see men coming home from the war without limbs and they smile run and play with their artificial limbs and have more guts than anybody. Sure the economy is in the toilet but what the heck it's been bad before. Just wait tell after we get a new president and we get rid of Pelosi Reid Holder and the rest of those who are trying to destroy America things will markedly improve...

August 21 2012 at 10:40 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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