A new study suggests that the latest economic crisis may have taken a heavy toll on the lives of many hard-working, middle-aged Americans, since many of them weren’t able to face the added financial pressure and resorted to a man’s most extreme act – suicide.
Researchers found that job loss, debts, and other crisis-related problems may have played a crucial role in nearly 38 percent of all middle aged suicides recorded in America since 2010. Since the financial crisis began in December 2007, financial crisis-related suicide rates rose from just under 33 percent which was the average level since 1998, the new study claims.
The study results were published Friday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Moreover, the research revealed that mental health issues was the top ranking cause that pushed many middle aged Americans towards their final act, while four out of five were suspected of having a mental health illness.
However, scientists explained that the extra financial pressure brought in by the crisis may have been the final straw for many people that were already struggling with their inner imbalance. On the other hand, the link between the recent economic depression and the boost in suicides among middle-aged, working Americans was not yet proven to be a cause-and-effect relationship, scientists disclosed.
Katherine Hempstead, lead author of the study and chief of the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University in Princeton, N.J., believes that midlde-aged Americans were the group that bore the burden of the major economic distress America was put through this recent years.
Hard-working, middle aged Americans had to pay their loans, faced lay offs, had to get money to send their kids to college or support their aging parents, while also having less time to compensate for the economic losses since retirement was getting closer. So, those already affected by internal struggles broke than, researchers believe.
Past studies revealed alarmed suicide rates in America since the number of middle-aged adults that had chosen to self-terminate their lives skyrocketed since 1999. Over the last 15 years or so the rates have risen by nearly 40 percent, study authors noted, but the major increase was recoded between 2007 and 2010. In December 2007, the world was officially undergoing an economic crisis.
The initial goal of the study was to find whether the last economic recession had something to do with the dramatic boost in the suicide cases that had involved middle-aged adults since 2007 and assessed possible links between the two in 16 states.
Image Source: Johnson Law Offices
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