Blog #1: Economic Crisis, Unemployment Take Emotional Toll

The article, “Economic Crisis, Unemployment Take Emotional Toll,” was sad because it is during a time that we are living in. The fact that these suicide hotlines have had an increase of 35% in one year is frightening and an outrage. It’s scary to see how people feel as if they have no where left to go or turn to, and how embarrassed they feel about losing their jobs. The depression rate and/or desire to commit suicide is due to the fact that they feel unneeded, unwanted and unnecessary in life.

Durkheim expresses in, “From Suicide: A study in sociology,” she clearly states that it’s factual the connection that suicide and an economic crisis have with one another. The stats she gives us of suicides during the crisis in Vienna in 1873 is quite similar to the rise of suicide calls  during present time. She also says, “every disturbance of equilibrium, even though it achieves greater comfort and a heightening of general vitality, is an impulse to voluntary death.” (p.125) Society has such a major impact in all that we do, and maybe society seems to be too understanding of suicides and feel a sense of lingering sadness when we hear of this, only because we too at one point in our lives have thought death would be better than what I’m going through.

The fact that we have so many hotlines to help people out or try to talk them out of it is great to read about. Not like it will end suicide, but they can definitely be used as a voice of reason. The economy is indeed in crisis, but no crisis last forever, so why take away your life when you never know what can be given to you tomorrow?

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One response to “Blog #1: Economic Crisis, Unemployment Take Emotional Toll

  1. Thoughtful post. As you note, the audio piece brings attention to how loss of employment has not only negative material consequences but also psychological ones: embarrassment or, even more debilitating, shame (which adds a sense of moral inadequacy into the picture).

    Your comment about the critical service provided by help lines is a reminder of the important function of social ties as “protective factors” against mental illness and suicide, a key insight from Durkheim. It’s interesting to think about how new (post-19th century) technologies seem to serve the purpose of building some kind of “social solidarity,” or at least limit somewhat the pathologies of egoism and anomie.

    Regarding your last remarks about how life should be worth living because one’s luck can change at any time, one hears this a lot, especially in the US, I think, a kind of American optimism. But when people are caught in the kind of crisis described in the podcast, it seems like *uncertainty about the future* is precisely what causes such deep distress.

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