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Let the rising cost of living not ‘bury’ you...

Tuesday, 2 October 2012 - 1:47pm IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

Psychiatrists say inflation is leading to depression, loneliness and helplessness, making people vulnerable to suicidal tendencies. Spending as per your income and cutting down on unnecessary expenses may help avert the tendency. Speak Up gets you the details.

Psychiatrists say inflation is leading to depression, loneliness and helplessness among those who are finding it difficult to cope up with their financial condition, making them vulnerable to suicidal tendencies. They say the number of such patients has gone up considerably over the past few years. However, spending as per your income and cutting down on unnecessary expenses are some of the ways to help stay afloat, say experts. Speak Up gets you the details...

Steep inflation has frustrated everyone
There are many who migrate to cities like Pune in search of earning a livelihood and later realise that they cannot afford the high cost of living. Due to inflation, the frustration of those who are living on the financial edge is increasing and at the end it reaches a point where one thinks of taking the drastic step of committing suicide.

A person who is financially sound will never have suicidal tendencies for monetary reasons, only those who get into a series of financial hiccups tend to consider ending their lives as a solution to all the problems. Depression due to financial crisis can lead to suicidal tendencies. In such a situation, if the person gets the right support and guidance, he/she can step back and not go to the extreme point of committing suicide.        

Swapnil Bhopi, MA Student (Research on Suicide)

Debts should never be more than your assets
As prices are escalating, the cost of living too is going up. With the easy availability of loans and credit cards, many are getting into financial traps. With increase in the purchasing power due to credit facility tools and no proper financial planning as per the income, the chances of getting into a crisis have increased.

Unable to sustain or cope up with the financial pressure, people can easily become victims of depression and start feeling hopeless thus finally leading to suicidal tendencies.

The problem is that nowadays very few people understand that they are spending more than they can afford and later start feeling worked up. Unable to cope up with the given realities, a person tends to consider suicide as the last resort to escape from financial difficulties. In fact, financial crisis is one of the major reasons for suicides in our country.

My suggestion is that spend according to your earnings. Also, never get into credit card traps, always stash some funds for the rainy days on which you can fall back on and save at least 20% of your income. A provision is necessary, which can be used in the time of crisis. Debts should never be more than your assets when everything is dependable on the income. Those who are suffering from depression and have suicidal tendencies must immediately seek counselling.            

Dr Nitin Dalaya, Psychiatrist & Director,
Nityanand Rehabilitation Centre

Comforts, luxuries have become necessities
Definitely financial frustration is on the rise because we are spending beyond our needs. Nowadays, comforts and luxuries have become necessities. Financial companies are giving easy access to loans and lend money on EMIs (equated monthly installments), but all these lead to rise in the financial burden. The cost of living is rising, necessities have increased and besides luxuries there is a need to even meet monthly budgets.

Financial pressure was always there, it is not a new phenomenon. However, earlier there were constraints which forced people to live as per their financial limitations but today, with easy availability of loans, one can fall into financial traps. When a person comes to a point of no return, no resource to borrow and there is no other hope left, then he/she contemplates suicide.

What we don’t have in our country is debt counselling. Nobody goes to professional counsellors and senior citizens don’t counsel other family members over financial matters. A person trapped in such a  situation can easily start thinking about suicide as there is no other hope left. 

Niloufer Ebrahim, Psychologist & Counsellor

Taking assistance from a counsellor helps
There is an increasing trend among people to commit suicide due to financial crisis. This is happening because incomes are limited and many are spending beyond their capacity. When such people come to a point of losing mental balance and stress-levels go very high, they  focus just on themselves.

Without thinking of their loved ones and the consequences of their actions, they take the drastic step of committing suicide. People with suicidal tendencies should self-introspect, talk to their friends and try to maintain inner balance within. Taking assistance from a counsellor helps to break free from the cycle of such negative thoughts. Talking to those whom you trust will help in coping up with stress and resolve issues.

Viren Rajput, Volunteer, Connecting NGO

Tackling ‘financial blues’
The financial crisis due to rising cost of living and stagnating income is a serious issue, which cannot be ignored. Investment adviser Bharat Phatak gives tips to overcome this difficulty:

Face the truth: If your expenses are exceeding your income, do not be in a denial mode. Do not borrow on credit cards or personal loan to ‘tide over’ the situation. This will drag you deeper into trouble. Do not use one credit card to pay off another
Find a guide or a mentor: Freely discuss your situation with an expert. It will take the load off your chest
It can be done! If you are determined to take charge of your finances, you can easily regain the required balance
Take a note: List down and budget your expenses
Delay till you can: Postpone expenses or eliminate them all together
Think independently: Don’t succumb to ‘peer pressure’ for spending. Say ‘No’ to what you cannot afford
Cut down unproductive expenses: Latest electronic gadgets, partying and eating out can be avoided. Budget what you spend on clothes, don’t buy on impulse
Consider downsizing: This may be a big decision, like moving from own house to rented house, if things are totally haywire
Learn: Use your negative experiences as a stepping stone for future success
Bharat Phatak, Investment Adviser

Did You Know

Of the total number of suicides in 2011, 2.2% accounts for deaths due to bankruptcy or sudden change in economic status and 1.7% due to poverty

Due to bankruptcy or sudden change in economic status, 3,162 committed suicide in 2009, 2,709 in 2010 and 2,983 in 2011

Source: National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs

Helping Hand

Feeling depressed, sad, helpless or suicidal?
Contact NGO Connecting’s helpline: 9922001122.
For more details log on to: http://connectingindia.org

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