Is economy driving people to suicide?

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 18, 2009 - 11:20 PM

Local medical examiners say they are hearing surviving family members tell stories that link job losses to suicide.

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lorelei65Dec. 19, 09 5:38 AM

I have had many sleepless nights lately. I lie in bed and turn over and over in my head-how am I going to pay the rent, fill the fridge with food, give the boys lunch money. Pay sports fees, continue to clothe and shoe my 9 yr old who has gone through 3 shoe sizes since school started. I HAVE a job, but can't get any extra hours due to the losses the hospitals are taking on bad debt. Widowed twice and lost the house my second husband owned before our marriage due to predatory lending and his devasting fatal cancer. I have had to move 3x in the last 13 months because the townhouse I rented had a Sheriff's sale 10 DAYS after I moved in, moved to another one and got papers on that one on the 3rd anniversary of husband #2's death by Prostate cancer at age 42. A lotof this was tolerable when I was able to work extra hours and give us a comfortable living but I haven't been able to do that in over a year. I have been looking for a part-time job during the day (I work 12 hr nights) since before last Christmas. SO I have contemplated pulling the car into the garage. Several things prevent me from doing this: my first husband committed suicide 17 yrs ago and I doubt our son would survive it, wouldn't want the kids to find me, and I know things have to turn around. The "experts" can go suck an egg because the economy is causing people to do the unimaginable like committing crimes and suicide.

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bgmach3Dec. 19, 09 7:37 AM

I see the strain every day with some of my clients. Middle and lower income America has gotten slammed very hard. Wallstreet profits are through the roof, the separation of rich and poor is growing very rapidly and no one seems to care. Free enterprise is something I cherish being in business but fairness and honesty is something to cherish even more. I cannot understand how easy it is to slam and condemn your neighbor if they fall on hard times. But when wallstreet, bankers and insurance companies with thousands and thousands of financial and decision making support staff tank thats OK. Lets bail them out, screw the average person, forget your neighbor, its because of their "Poor choices in life". All I can say is what goes around comes around, you may make it in this world by being greedy and dishonest but I have a strong feeling there is something not so good waiting around the corner for those who "Choose" the dishonest way of running their lives and businesses in the next. We have alot more to fear from wallstreet financial terroism than middle east terrorism. Anyone hurting out there, don't let them win, you still have you, your thoughts, your dreams, your character and dignity and people that need you to be here. This whole economic breakdown was a perfect storm created by the so called "smartest and best" on wallstreet and Washington that are running the show. Give me an honest person with a caring giving heart,a conscience,and a reasonable amount of intelligence and he is the person I would like to see hired or elected.

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whilomeDec. 19, 09 9:37 AM

We are in a recession, not a depression. Our great-grandparents had to deal with potential starvation. People were scrapping money together for coal to their homes, not to pay for sports fees. In a nation that has become used to luxury, we tend to think of things as necessities that aren't. When depression and despair kick in, we must consider this: are our children healthy? Is there someone we know who can spare a room? What do I NEED to survive? If your children's bellies are not bloated from malnutrition, if you're not on the verge of selling your body for a safe haven...there is hope. We're the wealthiest nation in the world, where even our impoverished pay for cable tv! If that's too much to bear, well...

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lothlornDec. 19, 09 9:49 AM

Every year at Christmas time is when hospitals see the majority of suicides because of family and drug/alcohol problems. This year is worse because of job loss. I know someone who works at a hospital and their business increases at this time of year. It is sad. Maybe gov. should encourage everyone not to commit suicide over problems they may have. Maybe the postal service could run it.

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pfbramDec. 19, 0910:06 AM

I think there's a tendency to over-diagnose suicide as having a strictly internal/chemical cause, and therefore a chemical solution (Huxley's "soma", or the real-world equivalents today). There are powerful economic forces, and large-scale industry built around diagnosing and treating depression along chemical lines, but what's the "industry" solution that will help out people whose source of depressive stress is not chemical -- but loss of job, foreclosure, credit calamity, business collapse, relationship troubles, etc? There may be no easy solutions, but it would be unwise not to include social/economic pressures on a person's mental health.

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johnsssDec. 19, 0910:20 AM

I have contibuted to Save in the past. I no longer will after the riduculous statement made by its director. Can't either one of these clowns see the correlation

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wwallace67Dec. 19, 0911:45 AM

Don't bother reading this story.

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juciero20Dec. 19, 09 9:57 PM

Somebody mentioned Currently, a 60-year-old likely would pay five or six times more for private medical insurance than someone in his twenties but it may not be true always check http://bit.ly/7bwEx2 for lower price coverages

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nicolas_jorge_staberDec. 20, 09 4:44 PM

All Amoricans please continue to hope and change. I know the only change I have seen is the spare change left in my pocket. Listen to your Savior President Hussein Obama. The only correlation between suicide rates is job loss...ummmmm...ja right. When someone loses their home to foreclosure, lost there job or are underemployed like I am with (2 University degrees) you have to get innovative. To some that's a struggle when their entire life has been put into the American debt lifestyle. When you invested your entire life into something you can't afford and now you are going to lose it all (home, job, and possibly family) I can see where some would kill themselves. I am 26 and I am moving to Germany to flee this oppressive country. Good Riddance.

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nicolas_jorge_staberDec. 20, 09 4:48 PM

Before people get angry and correct me. Their instead of there. Opps. Any guesses on how long before I am censored by the Red Star?

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