In a way, it’s surprising there haven’t been more stories like this.
In Taunton, Mass., south of Boston, a woman killed herself, hours before her foreclosed home was to be auctioned.
But there have been some stories like this, the most recent being an elederly woman in Central Oregon.
The foreclosure crisis is taking an emotional toll, of course. An article in USA Today a bit ago seemed to establish — if not prove — a relationship between economic tumult and suicide.
In an article published in 2005 by Cambridge University Press, researchers compared suicide data in Australia from January 1968 through August 2002 with economic problems such as unemployment and mortgage interest rates. The study found that economic trends are closely associated with suicide risk, with men showing a heightened risk of suicide in the face of economic adversity.
“For some people, suicide is the rational option when they see no future,” says Ken Siegel, a psychologist in Beverly Hills. “One’s house is very much a projection of one’s self. To have a home taken away is tantamount to having part of yourself taken away. There is embarrassment. For many, it’s overwhelmingly unconquerable.
Angel Brownawell, a spokeswoman for The American Psychological Association, says there’s no established connection between the housing crisis and suicide per se. “Most of what we see has been anecdotal,” she said. But the APA has issued some tips for dealing with the stresses of a lousy economy.