Unemployment and Suicide: Mark Madoff Isn't Alone

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Suicide Mark Madoff seems like the latest victim of joblessness. During the two years after his father Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme was outed, Mark tried and couldn't find work. As the Daily News reports, Mark "cast about among his old contacts on Wall Street, but could barely get anyone to even call him back."

Mark Madoff was hardly alone in his despair. Last June, jobless Wayne Zickefoose was facing foreclosure. Before he killed himself he shot his wife and son. Since the beginning of the current economic downturn, calls to the suicide hotlines are up 18 percent, reports the National Suicide Prevention Network.

In 2008, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center [SPRC] reviewed the research on the subject. It was found that "a strong relationship exists between unemployment, the economy, and suicide." That's because of the reality of financial problems is compounded by the sense of the loss of personal control. The first sign of that downward trajectory is clinical depression.

The good news is that signs of clinical depression are fairly obvious. Medication and some talk therapy can make all the difference. Suicide is a preventable form of death. So be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • Withdrawal, ranging from the people in one's life to the daily activities
  • Not sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Gain or loss of weight
  • Difficulty concentrating
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