Most of Europe is involved in a deep economic slump. Unemployment is high, governments are raising taxes and cutting benefits to the citizens to deal with a worsening debt crisis in aims of reducing the deficit and outlooks are down. In these hard economic times researchers have found that these conditions are being accompanied with higher suicide rates.
A study published in The Lancet, a medical journal, this week shows that suicide rates are rising across Europe. Among the hardest hit is Greece, that have been dealing with Greece Austerity lately to maintain some order.
Greece has had to make drastic spending and entitlement cuts, while raising taxes to keep the country from falling into deeper turmoil and stay afloat. Meant to help the nation’s finances, these actions have hurt the population, with 1 out of every 6 now unemployed.
“We investigated the case of a small businessman from Herakleion in Crete, who took his car, loaded it with tins of petrol, and first shot himself and then put fire to the whole car. Nothing was found of him, his body was totally extinguished by fire,” said a Greek journalist. “We found out that people killed themselves in a very dramatic and sometimes a very violent way, which maybe means that they are trying to make their suicide a statement, want the whole world to understand how badly they feel, how unlucky they were, how sad they have been, how hopeless they have felt.”
In Greece men have been the primary victims. While economic factors have had a big role in the increasing suicide numbers, self-respect and dignity also is a large factor as men find themselves unable to support their families.
Greece is not the only nation affected though. Out of 10 nations surveyed, 9 of them had on average a 5% increase in suicides reported, with Ireland at 13%. Accompanying these rises is also a rise in depression levels as the bleakness of economic conditions is realized.