Home for Christmas: Suicide, Depression and the Holidays

Home for Christmas: Suicide, Depression and the Holidays

The holidays can be very trying times for people who are facing foreclosure or are in litigation. Many of us fighting foreclosure have been victimized by a corrupt judicial system that refuses to comply with the law, and predatory attorneys who fail to uphold their promises; while taking every last cent we have. There is often no recourse with the courts and filing malpractice is often not financially feasible. Banks rely on their ability to influence the judiciary and evade discovery requests while outspending and exhausting the consumer. If the laws were followed, these cases would be honorably settled, people would heal, and everyone would go forward with their lives-but this isn’t how the banks and courts work. The feeling of powerlessness, hopelessness and futility often contribute to major depression and too often result in suicide when people recognize that everything they had once assumed about justice, is wrong.

To most families, the holidays are a time of family and reflection. To those fighting foreclosure, the holidays can be a time of fear, uncertainty and shame. Foreclosure often causes a family not only to fear losing their home, but to forego gifts and celebrations in the face of prolonged and expensive litigation. People may isolate themselves from loved ones and friends, and even if they don’t- there is a foreclosure stigma that causes people to distance themselves from others.

At this time of year it is important that we put the issue of foreclosure in context. Most people who have been in foreclosure aren’t bad or flawed people. The majority are people who may have lost their jobs during the recession, been given a predatory loan, qualified for more house than they could afford, or found the value of their home decreasing. The holidays can compound the stress and trauma associated with foreclosure. Sareen Wang conducted a study on suicide and found that financial stressors had the largest impact on attempted suicides, followed closely by violent assault. Specifically, financial problems led to more suicide attempts than nearly all of the psychological conditions, except depression.

Home ownership corresponds to safety and security. When a home is lost- family members may feel they have lost their foundation and sense of place in the world. Next, home foreclosure is typically not a private affair and there is often no timeline until conclusion. People are often humiliated publicly and have no idea how many months or years the foreclosure or corresponding lawsuit may take to settle. Each protracted negotiation results in a new episode of trauma. Lastly, foreclosure often requires relocation resulting in disrupted social networks, new schools, and destabilized neighborhoods. All of these issues compound and place a person at increased risk of suicide.

Researchers have composed studies of state-level data on the association between rates of foreclosure and rates of suicide and confirmed that foreclosure adversely affects both health and mental health. They have also discovered that foreclosure is associated with worsening outcomes including depression, anxiety, increased alcohol and drug use, psychological distress and increased suicide risk. People in financial distress often engage in financial tradeoffs resulting in delayed or unmet medical needs due to the expense of litigation or trying to save their home. The stress of foreclosure is life-altering, but so is the experience of litigation. Compounding the issue are cases when the courts blatantly ignore the law, when banks break into homes, or in cases where the attorney fails to properly defend the case leaving the homeowner with no recourse.

The Obama administration has justified foreclosure prevention programs in terms of the economic benefits (stable neighborhoods, reduced crime) but has not addressed the health and mental benefits of providing legitimate alternatives to foreclosure. At least 5 percent of all residential homes in the United States are in the process of foreclosure and the foreclosure crisis is not close to being resolved. Earlier interventions to assist people when they lose their jobs or in cases of severe illness may prevent future chronic stress disorders that occur from prolonged and complicated foreclosure matters.

At this time of year, please support those in foreclosure or facing financially difficult times. Be particularly sensitive to people who are threatening suicide or displaying common features of suicidal ideation:

Suicide Warning Signs:

Appearing depressed or sad most of the time.
(Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.)
Talking or writing about death or suicide.
Withdrawing from family and friends.
Feeling hopeless.
Feeling helpless.
Feeling strong anger or rage.
Feeling trapped — like there is no way out of a situation.
Experiencing dramatic mood changes.
Abusing drugs or alcohol.
Exhibiting a change in personality.
Acting impulsively.
Losing interest in most activities.
Experiencing a change in sleeping habits.
Experiencing a change in eating habits.
Losing interest in most activities.
Performing poorly at work or in school.
Giving away prized possessions.
Writing a will.
Feeling excessive guilt or shame.
Acting recklessly.

Assistance is available at:

Live Chat at: https://www.imalive.org/



Suicide Hotlines: Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Crisis Line- 877-727-4747

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Wang, Y., Sareen, J., Afifi, T. O., Bolton, S. L., Johnson., E. A. (2012). Recent stressful life events and suicide attempt. Psychiatric Annals, 42.3, 101-108.

15 Responses

  1. sorry.. ignore the previous post/invitation – the link is bad…

    Join us this 6:45 Eastern this Wednesday
    at http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/139335 for a chat
    If you want to speak, call Phone Number: (724) 444-7444 Call ID: 139335 use guest log in 1#


  2. Join us this Wednesday at http://www.talkshoe/139335 for a chat

  3. For a Holiday “Jubilee”… [look up Jubilee]

    Instead of HAMP or Mortgage Mods – for those who lost their jobs and are either technically or old-age precluded from relief (unofficially of course) – and don’t have the financing to fight in court –

    How about having Fannie/Freddie step up and ADMIT they became the owners/landlords and declare the home a Section 8 exemption… and allow the existing occupants to live there indefinitely if they can make the minimum Section 8 payments?

    Not my first choice, but what harm would it do?
    The community/neighborhood would remain intact…
    The kids could stay in their school…
    The Sheriff could catch a break from being the disassociation bully…
    The Property Taxes would get paid from the GSE…
    The Banker-vultures could get settlement, move on, and: “let my people go”…
    The neighbor/family/sibling stigma of being “less-than a good American” could get put to rest…
    The former homeowner/now occupant could focus on a new career or business to bring more value into the world and rebuild his/her life… instead of litigating themselves into oblivion…

    Why Not?

  4. if you want to keep your claims alive, learn the legal difference between the phrase “to suffer” and “to endure”

    suffering gives it all back
    endurance holds your claims

  5. Happy holidays everyone! Don’t let the scum get to you! Faith in Truth. In Jesus name.

  6. @ Melissa

    Where have you been hiding?

    Assuming you are the same “Melissa” of past, we’ve been lurking for your seasoned input here.

    Please return frequently.

  7. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to Everyone. Remember not to become so angry that you lose sight. Stay on base and don’t get caught up in the daily negative.

  8. Reblogged this on Deadly Clear and commented:
    Well said. Courts make the homeowner follow every order to the letter of the law, but let the crooks off the hook. If a homeowner were sanctioned and ordered to pay within 10 days and failed to do so there would be a bench warrant issued – but not the bank or its attorneys, no – they get to file more excuses.

  9. Well said. Courts make the homeowner follow every order to the letter of the law, but let the crooks off the hook. If a homeowner were sanctioned and ordered to pay within 10 days and failed to do so there would be a bench warrant issued – but not the bank or its attorneys, no – they get to file more excuses.

  10. I am 66 years old. I graduated from high school at 17 and was immediately kicked out of my parents home with an emancipation of a minor document. I know what it is like to contemplate suicide. I have tried it twice.
    After leaving my parents home, I worked as a musician and carpenter while earning three doctorates. I have met thousands of people and have experienced more than most in my life to date. I have stayed in the jungles of Ecuador with Shaman to learn a deeper understanding of this existence and spent two weeks every year for five years in Monument Valley Utah with the Navajo. Of all I have done, I have come to the realization that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. That the most important thing we can do is Love each other as Love is the highest frequency that keeps us connected to the Source of all life. Love, honesty, integrity, compassion, service to humanity and more are the keys to this life and the next. Although we use money as a medium of exchange for goods and services we may want, humans NEED little. Mr. Garfield exemplifies all that is good in who we are and what our purpose is. May he and others like him continue to be blessed as they are a blessing….
    Dr. James Chappell

  11. Powerfully written piece Neil.

    It’s truly unfortunate that our government has turned its back on the crime spree, and instead of prosecutions of the guilty and reparations for the victims has instead decided to build the largest Potemkin Village ever constructed on the planet. And so far it’s working, as foreclosures have fallen so far off the radar as to seem liken a forgotten relic of a bygone era, as if it’s all good now. Crisis over….well handled Mr. President. Now pardon the turkey and let’s move on. It’s all good. Yellen raised rates, the economy’s vastly improved. Get out and shop!

    The corporate controlled media, The Ministry of Truth, has decided that a news blackout on the fact that foreclosure rates are still ongoing, along with the very same criminal acts that were alleged settled through consent orders continue unabated, almost as if those orders were merely suggestions, with absolutely no will to follow through with serious prosecutorial actions if and when the directives were blatantly ignored. The orders might as well read as a DOJ Christmas wish list, rather than a do-it-or-reap nasty repercussions threat.

    Legal Abuse Syndrome is real, and a very troublesome issue for those of us that have gone the distance in court, or are still finding out the hard way that no matter how perfectly practiced and recited your day in court may be, the outcome will be a sham and the bankers will rule the day. It’s happened countless times so far, with no reason to think that anything will change soon. TPTB know exactly what they’re doing, and tossing a bone now and again, such as Jesinoski, placates just enough to make one feel like justice might be attainable one day. It’s just a wee bit unfortunate, and not at all unexpected that that borrower victory came way too late for millions who might have had the wherewithal once upon a time to make use of its logic. This is by no means an accident, it’s a feature not a bug….keep the masses believing that there just might be hope on the horizon as the spree continues unabated.

    There are so many subdivision tracts to this Potemkin Village…..it seems that every day there should be another Champagne christening of a new huge parcel ripe for a whole new class of criminal acts. And there’s truly no end in sight. For those of us who have been around Living Lies and Neil’s foresight for a number of years, we all know the many that have come and gone with hat in hand, if they managed to hold onto even that item. And don’t give me the line about how many settlements the banks have entered into, there’s simply no proof or any possibility of verification on these areas. While we all know that they’d do anything to keep from going to trial, the judiciary’s had their backs on that pesky problem since day one. And they still do.

    From my view, this is one of the hardest life-lessons the average person will learn since falling off a bike for the first time…..trying to fathom this enormous paradox. America, as we all learned from grade school on up, was built upon strongly anchored piers guaranteeing for one and all that the truth will set you free and that if something goes askew, you’re guaranteed your day in court to seek justice. Learning that those truths are in fact chiseled in stone, but only for the Ivory Towered Chosen Ones, not for the brick and mortar types like you and I, is a very difficult if not impossible reality to comprehend. Maybe in Guatemala or Rhodesia, but never here. How could it be allowed to happen? Power does corrupt absolutely….that’s how.

    The only possible change that I can believe in these days is in peaceful but forceful revolt. It does not have to come in the form of blood and swinging bodies. It can come through civil disobedience kind of like “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” spoken directly to as many legislators as one can come across. Let them know that the jig is up, that you will do everything within your power to unseat them if they continue on course, and that the next move will be to see them imprisoned for their crimes. And these are crimes folks….enabling the financial sector to strip the assets of its citizenry unabated is at the very least misprision of felony, and that’s just for starters.

    The government, according to Thoreau, is not just a little corrupt or unjust in the course of doing its otherwise-important work, but in fact the government is primarily an agent of corruption and injustice. Because of this, it is “not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize.” Way back in 1849, in his book Resistance to Civil Government, Thoreau argues that “individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice.” Yes siree. We’re there. We’ve arrived.

    So, if you firmly believe that the next election will solve the problems facing our era, go for it. Vote for your favorite shill. Just don’t forget to put a tooth under your pillow and cookies on the mantle. All these acts will have the very same affect. And have plenty of bread on your way to the circus. They’re handing it out for free.

  12. Michael Keane-
    Well spoken. I echo your thoughts to Neil and those currently faced with this situation.
    The truth shell prevail, it always does.

  13. We are at WAR. And so far we are losing. Here’s hoping we win this WAR in 2016 and put this nightmare behind us. Peace.

  14. Thank you Neil – a VERY important topic and very well written – To my Fellow Foreclosure fighters – HOLD STRONG!! You are Not Alone – There is a network of people standing beside you! Reach out when it gets too much for you – we are here for you! WIth Blessings of peace to you and yours – I stand as a fellow warrior – in gratitude for all those who have stood by us – Thank you !

  15. Mr. Garfield is a patriot and this country owes him, beyond measure, for his defiance of injustice in the face of, seemingly, over-whelming odds.

    This is the holiday season, and, whatever your beliefs, it is, at least, my considered opinion, there is no higher calling than Truth in the face of corruption and lawlessness.

    I hope the Garfield family has a peaceful and restorative Chanukah and I wish for those, who are not indifferent to the demands of the criminal banks, “serenity” in the midst of understanding they are not alone.

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