Washington, Oct 9 (UNI) The tragic case of the Rajaram family comes at a time when America is trying to cope with its economic turmoil amid fears of home and job losses besides plunging stock prices that could trigger mental health problems.
According to Rich Paul, Vice President of the Virginia-based ValueOptions Inc, calls about stress related to home-losses and financial hardship have gone up 200 per cent in California alone in the last year.
The Los Angeles Times quoted Kaiser Permanente's San Francisco Medical Center, to say that there was a fourfold increase in psychiatric admissions at the hospital during August, with roughly 60 per cent of patients saying financial stress contributed to their problems.
The murder-suicide case of Rajaram, has brought home the truth about the financial pressures that could turn into despondency.
What drove him over the edge to total despair seems to be a mystery. By all accounts, he had enjoyed a successful career as an investor in start-up companies before running into an economic crisis that led him to a violent end.
Rajaram, his wife, 39, his 69-year-old mother-in-law, and three sons, ages 7, 12 and 19, appeared to be a typical suburban family, although one former business associate said that ''he had some behavioral problems. . . . He was not an emotionally stable person.'' Police found no obvious foreclosure looming in Rajaram's future and no bankruptcy. But one investigator familiar with the case said Rajaram ''lost a lot of money in the markets.'' 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 two per cent when the economy faltered.
A survey released by the American Psychological Assn on Tuesday found that eight of 10 Americans say the economy is a major source of stress in their lives. Nearly half say they are worried about providing for their families' basic needs.
After a decade of easy money and soaring housing prices, the bursting economic bubble has been hard for many people to face. And for the immigrants, who come to chase the American dream, the situation has been particularly hard.
Rajaram was part of the highly successful Indian immigrants that has achieved the American Dream in less time than almost any other wave of immigrants.
Lakshmy Parameswaran, a family counselor and founder of Houston-based DAYA Inc, however, said that with that kind of success comes incredible expectations and pressure.
DAYA is an organisation that help South Asian victims of domestic violence. ''There is a constant pressure to make good and for one to show to those back home you are living the American Dream,'' she said.
''There is a lot of pressure to have it all,'' she added.
UNI XC MP BST0437