Economic suicide

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.

  • I AM

    I believe that the greatest POWER an individual can have is believing in themselves.

  • Linda Reed

    Larry and I take time out every day to pray and thank the good Lord for what we have. One of our 5 children is now out of work and it is very hard on him and his misses, not to mention their 3 little ones. We survived the 70’s and know that the Lord will provide. Meanwhile, we will pray and help with the babysitting.

  • Gretchen Dee

    What does the APA know about stress?Most of their profession are far removed from the realities we gen xers face. The last one I saw couldn’t even operate a computer. Religion is fine if it helps you but it really isn’t much good to me, as I face my job loss.

  • c

    Gretchen-

    I a sorry that you lost/are losing your job. What I found/find helpful is removing yourself from the material society and look at yourself within. This is where you find REALITY. No bank can take this from you. -ever. And when you discover how strong and powerful and beautiful you are and look back at the so called society norms of get more, look better, have this and that you realize how silly that game is. And it is those who need to strut their beautiful wealth who are truly insecure about themselves. This is true.

    What really throws me is that the banks have made no efforts to help society. It seems that they take on the stance of “business is business” Really, what does that mean? You are excused of any humane compassion for your brothers and sisters? why haven’t the banks done some serious brainstorming meetings in how they can help their home owners get through this difficult time. what good is an empty house and a multitude of people living on the street?

    I have often wondered if their money can show love as humans do?

  • V

    This is a horrific event that has occured and I fear more to come. My mother has worked in the mortgage business for over 30 years! and she is feeling the rath of the economic crisis. She also knows a few people in her business and the real estate business that have also committed suicide.

    My mother has always been able to providing my brother and I a comfortable lifestyle with all the luxuries she never had as a child. Now she is barely able to pay the mortgage and provide for us. We may go into forclosure as well.

    In times like these its amazing how we have to really appreciate all the fortunate things the lord has provided us. For my family we thank the lord for giving us each other and our health with that we can work together to make it through these tough times.

    I pray for all those he need the lord in their lives to help stray them from making horrible decision such as suicide.