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Economic depression may result in emotional depression, based on another study published in the journal BMJ. Researchers from universities across Europe and Asia found that the economic crisis that began in 2008 led to a huge number of suicides, especially in working-age men, in America and abroad – a finding that demonstrates that economic problems affect a lot more than just our wallets.

There was a 37 percent escalation in joblessness global between 2008 and 2009, according to the study, and over the exact same timespan, there was a 3.3 percent increase in the number of suicides in working age guys. The increase was most severe in European states, which saw a 4.2 percent increase, and in the Americas, which found a 6.4 percent increase. The increased suicide rate of women globally was considerably smaller, at 2.4 percent.

“We found a clear rise in suicide after the 2008 worldwide economic crisis,” the researchers, headed by Shu Sen Chang, PhD, a research assistant professor specializing in suicide prevention at the University of Honk Kong, wrote in the analysis. “The rise in the total number of suicides is just a little part of the emotional distress caused by the economic downturn. Nonfatal suicide attempts could be 40 times more common than completed suicides, as well as for every suicide attempt about 10 individuals experience suicidal ideas.”

A lot of people fall into depression after losing their job, said Mark Rubinstein, MD, a clinical psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital, so it comes as no surprise that the 2008 economic crisis would be correlated together with by an uptick in suicides.

“Depression invariably follows some kind of major personal loss,” Dr. Rubinstein said. “You have a subgroup of those who have endured a major loss, not only of income, but of self-esteem and their capability to think about themselves of breadwinners. Blend this with all the nervousness that comes with fiscal issues, and it seems that it seems little more than common sense that you’re planning to have a mass of those who are facing depression.”

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But the uptick in suicide wasn’t only found in unemployed people, said Eric Caine, MD, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Rochester.

“Some people had their houses go underwater, but they’re still working,” Dr. Caine said. “Others are under employed or working part time. So while we don’t know what’s going on at the individual level, we understand that family financial issues are one of the large precursors that lead to chaos and potentially suicide. ???

???What we???re really inferring from this study,” Caine added, “is that as the economic environment changes, many more families are exposed to these aggregating variables. In that large pool of men and women, there are a few individuals where it is just too much.”

And while several folks would take advantage of mental health screenings, losing their job means losing their health insurance, at least in the U.S., Rubinstein said. In order to really reduce the amount of suicides, mental health screenings should be without needing insurance accessible.

“If someone loses their job as well as their health benefits, it argues very strongly to get a mental health system that’s independent of the job,” Rubinstein said. “There should be an improved system. The one we’ve that is linked to your employer does not work when people actually want it.”

Sadly, altering the system is not easy, Caine said.

“Conditions like that challenge us to think creatively,” he said. “A mix of things like greater support from the health system and greater attention from the unemployment office would help.”

So until a change is created, it’s up to friends and family to be aware of their loved ones that have been influenced by the downturn, Rubinstein said.

??”People should prepare themselves on the things to watch for, including lack of interest in activities, being withdrawn, weeping and loss of hunger,” ,” he said. “Having a family and a support network could be a lifesaver.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

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