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Dramatic Rise in “Suicides By Economic Crisis” in Europe

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The public health sector is behind two or three years, “one of the worst records in Europe,” according to Marco Beltrandi, a lawmaker from the Radical Party, who estimates the outstanding credit as between $118.3 billion and $131.5 billion.

In the ancient Roman Republic, Roman citizens could pledge their person as collateral if they could not repay a loan, a practice called nexum. Those who did so lost their libertas (freedom) but were supposed to retain their rights as Roman citizens and not become slaves, who were the res (property) of their masters and could be sold, killed or treated in whatever way their owners wanted. If a paterfamilias, the head of a Roman household, felt into debt, he could offer his son for nexum instead of himself. Nexum was abolished in 313 BCE and the Roman Senate passed the Lex Poetelia Papiria, under which property could be seized as collateral, but not your person.

Hearing about the “suicides by economic crisis” occurring in Italy, Ireland and Greece can make you feel that things haven’t changed so much since the days of nexum.


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Photo by Valerio Pirrera

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9:02AM PDT on May 17, 2012

There should be more support for people who are feeling the strain and contemplating suicide and the economic crisis has affected people all over the world. Some of the happiest people I have ever seen are the tribal & indigenous peoples who have very few or no material possessions. Their happiness is infectious and I would guess their suicide rates are practically zero as they dont have the pressures that the people in the western world have. It is difficult when our disposable income has decreased or dried up altogether and when the debts keep coming in but proper support and guidance can show there is light at the end of the tunnel.

10:58AM PDT on May 14, 2012

very sad

7:52AM PDT on May 10, 2012

As a doctor working in the ER of a Greek public hospital, I can also say that the percentage of people who come with anxiety attacks brought on by economic hardship is also high. Men seem to suffer the most (anxiety attacks in women are mainly due to sentimental reasons).

1:04PM PDT on May 7, 2012

Couldn't be on top of things during the boom time. OMG..


12:24PM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

i face suicidal ideation from economic woes too... (loss of work, loss of home, loss of family: spouse, children)
since 2008...

5:21AM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

This economic collapse seems to be orchestrated--it's happening all around the globe and is striking only the "common people"-the workers.
Something needs to be done, but I think this was years in the planning.

12:28AM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

Thanks for sharing

10:16AM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

This crisis was brought about by the creation of the Euro which was caused many member countries and a lot of people a great deal of pain. There are however some people who have made a lot of money out of this crisis (there are always a few), in addition Germany alone seems to be doing very well out of what is now an under valued currency which of course makes German exports outisde of the Eurozone, to the US/China/Japan etc, seem pretty good value for money.

9:04AM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

We have certainly got ourselves in a mess. The bankers, investor and corporations should be brough to justice and they should be made to do more to bring back the economy quicker. No more forclosure...ALL loans should be refinanced. And more business loans made and very reasonable prices.

7:54AM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

The global downturn is causing misery and many people are driven to desperate measures because they can see no way out it is so very sad

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