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Great Recession Linked to Rising Suicides Among Middle-Aged Americans


Great Recession Linked to Rising Suicides Among Middle-Aged Americans

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Economic crises kill in more ways than one.

The Great Recession can be tied to a jump in suicides among middle-aged people in the U.S., a new article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reveals.

Suicide rates among Americans aged 40 to 64 have been climbing since 1999, far out-pacing other age groups, the researchers note. This included a drastic increase in suicides in 2007, at the outset of the financial nosedive.


Shattered dreams, loss of income, loss of home, loss of friends, fear replaces love and a sense of security in the present or the future…no wonder that suicides occur. Meanwhile the perpetrators of the recession: bankers, investment firms, insurance companies, mortgage lenders, and other predators sit in their mansions/boardrooms/penthouses counting their ill-gotten gains without a care in the world (short of how to make more money)…they only jump out of buildings when their priceless Persian rugs are ripped out from under them or they are indicted for their crimes.


No problem, the banksters have surely developed derivatives to short human resources. Yes, relax; the banksters will be fine.


The deaths from a thousand cuts


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I think people should look at a longer time frame than just since this last recession. The map for this kind of thing was drawn up in the 1980’s, the Great Recession brought it home. I’m 56, I had the distinct belief that during the Reagan period all the rules were being thrown out the window, permanently. The 80s saw the acceptance by large numbers of people that traditional policies towards fairness for the middle and working class were going to go. People then had (to some degree) the chance to say no to this. Many of these people losing jobs and homes voted Republican at some time, hopefully knowing full well that middle class status was not even being considered by the GOP, like it was during Eisenhower’s period. So, to some degree, I have to say “you bought it you broke it.”
Yes, there is tremendous victimization of so many folks by the finance class. There has also been a mistaken faith that it would always be business as usual for middle class people trying to make it. Anybody watching the national scene during the 1980s might have come to the conclusion then that the finance, banking, and real estate sectors were being given everything. How else could all of this go but potential loss for anyone not in the top tier?


My friend and I both worked for the same company until 2007, when they closed the local office and moved it up to Illinois. An educated, erudite man, he never again found work like that job, which had been his dream job. He taught college at a for-profit for a while, then lost that job as well. He was 54, unemployed and in declining health when he ate a bullet. His suicide note read “No job, no money, no hope.” I miss him.