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Porter Ranch Murder-Suicide an Extreme Sign of Trend

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AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

"The tragic case of the Rajaram family is at the bleakest edge of the economic turmoil that is rattling Americans' emotional well-being. Worries about home foreclosures, job losses and plunging stock prices have sparked a surge in mental health problems," says the LA Times in a report about the economy and a national surge in mental health problems. "Rates of depression and suicide tend to rise during hard economic times. A study that looked at economic shifts between 1972 and 1991 found suicides rose an average of 2% when the economy faltered."

ComPsych Corp. says the last time they saw a spike in mental health referrals was after 9/11. Another company, ValueOptions Inc., that handles referrals has experienced a 200% increase in stress related, foreclosure and financial hardship phone calls from California. At the San Francisco Medical Center, psychiatric admissions increased by four times the usual amount with the majority of patients citing financial stress contributing to their problem.

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Most of the top ten congressional districts with the highest foreclosure rates in the country are in California with five of those in Southern California.